Final report on the archaeological Phase 2 mitigation of an open-air stone age site to be impacted on by the Aries Solar Energy Plant on portion 1 of the farm Klein Zwart Bast 188 Kenhardt District, Northern Cape


During 2011 Archaetnos cc was requested by EScience Associates, on behalf of Aurora Power Solutions and Biotherm Energy (Pty) Ltd to carry out an AIA for the proposed Aries Solar Energy Project: Sevenstones 159 Pty Ltd on Klein Zwart Bast 188, close to the Aries Eskom substation, in the Kenhardt District of the Northern Cape. During the fieldwork for this assessment, a number of archaeological sites, including a very large and dense scatter of Early to Later Stone Age artifacts (Sites 1 – 4), were identified in the area. As the open-air surface site was to be disturbed by the development of the solar plant, it was recommended that Phase 2 Archaeological Mitigation measures be implemented before the work could continue. Phase 2 Archaelogical Mitigation includes surface sampling of material as well as more systematic recording and sampling of material and the erection of an Information Plaque at the site. Another Stone Age site recommended for mitigation (Site 7) falls outside the development area, and will therefore not be impacted. As such, no mitigation was needed.

In their Archaeological Review Comments (ARC) on the Impact Assessment Report, SAHRA agreed with the recommendations made by Archaetnos cc. As a result we were then appointed by Biotherm to conduct the Phase 2 Mitigation of the site. After obtaining a permit from SAHRA (Permit No. 80/11/11/006/51), the fieldwork was conducted during February 2012. Prof. Marlize Lombard, a Stone Age specialist, acted as our Principal Investigator.

The mitigation was conducted using the following methodology. Three randomly selected blocks situated at and close to the previously identified Sites 1- 4 were measured out and all stone tools and flakes were marked, photographed and then counted in order to determine density in each block. A selection of representative material was collected for detailed analysis. Each block was also mapped using a handheld Garmin GPS device. Detailed photographs of the area were also taken. A selection of Stone Age material was also made on the surface of the larger area where no development will directly impact. The motivation for identifying material from the larger region where the plant is to be located is so that a more detailed and informed deduction on the Stone Age archaeology of the area could be made.

We believe that the work conducted, and the data retrieved through this work, is sufficient enough to enable us to make the necessary deductions. It is in line with the recommendations made during the AIA, the EIA ROD and the requirements of the permit issued by SAHRA. Therefore it is recommended that the development can continue, taking cognizance of the final conclusions and recommendations at the end of the report. Finally, it is our recommendation that a Destruction Permit for the site area that will be developed be issued so that the development can continue.

Report by

A.J. Pelser - Accredited member of ASAPA