A final report on the archaeological investigation of a Late Iron Age (Ndebele) Stone Walled Settlement as well as the implementation of the required watching brief on the sites located on the remainder of Hatherley 331 JR, near Mamelodi, Gauteng


During 2008 Archaetnos cc was requested by Dudula Environmental Consulting, on behalf of the Gauteng Department of Housing, to conduct an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) on the remainder of the farm Hatherley 331 JR, near Mamelodi in Gauteng. A new housing development project was planned for the area.

During the subsequent survey, done by WITS Heritage on behalf of Archaetnos cc, a number of stone walled sites, related to the Manala Ndebele, were identified. A number of these fell directly in the area that was to be developed, and would therefore have been negatively impacted upon by the work planned here. It was recommended in the subsequent AIA report that the necessary mitigation measures be carried out on the sites, including mapping and drawing and archaeological excavations. These recommendations were supported by SAHRA in their Archaeological Review Comments (ARC) report, and the client subsequently appointed Archaetnos cc to conduct the archaeological investigations once a permit was obtained.

After a permit was provided by SAHRA (Permit NO. 80/08/10/008/51) archaeological fieldwork was conducted by Archaetnos during July 2009 for a two week period. Archaeological work included 4 excavations on two sites, as well as mapping and drawing of all features and individual settlement units, making up the larger settlement complex. The sites belong to the later phase of the Iron Age, and also to the period of contact (Colonial Period) between the Bantu-speaking inhabitants of the area and the first European inhabitants and are similar to ones investigated on other portions of the same farm by the NCHM in 1996, identified as belonging to the Manala Ndebele.

The work conducted, and the data retrieved through it was adequate enough to enable the archaeologists to make the necessary deductions and interpretations. It was then recommended that the development can continue once a destruction permit had been obtained, while it was also recommended that a Watching Brief be implemented as part of the mitigation measures. This was agreed by the client (Gauteng Department of Housing Tshwane Region), who contracted EMBA Project Management to employ Archaetnos cc to implement the Watching Brief.

This document represents the final report on this project that has been underway since 2008 and will discuss the details around the implementation of the Watching Brief and provide final conclusions and recommendations.

Report by

A.J. Pelser - Accredited member of ASAPA