A short report on the investigation of disputed skeletal remains, younger than 60 years of age (grave 64), from site Mbila Station, impacted on by the Goedgevonden colliery near Ogies, Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was approached by Mr. Linda Jacobs, of Good Hope Funerals (Ogies), on behalf of Goedgevonden Colliery, XStrata Coal SA, to help with the investigation of human skeletal remains from the site Mbila Station. The remains, from Grave 64, was claimed by two families, one indicating that the remains belonged to an adult male and the other claiming it to belong to an adult female. The only way to verify the sex of the individual was to investigate the skeletal remains physically. As the undertaker was not certain how to do this, he requested Goedgevonden Colliery to allow him to take the remains to Anton Pelser, the archaeologist for the total grave relocation project at Goedgevonden, to confirm the sex of the individual. The grave is younger than 60 years of age.

The physical investigation of the remains took place on Tuesday the 12th of January, near Burgersfort, where Archaetnos cc is busy with a project. The skeletal remains, although fragmented, did contain certain characteristics that help with the identification of the sex of the individual buried in Grave 64. This, together with evidence provided by the one family, confirmed that the individual was indeed female, and the dispute was therefore resolved.

This work forms part of a project which is conducted through various phases, and as a result the graves are also investigated, exhumed and relocated in different phases. This document only constitutes a short report on this physical investigation of the disputed skeletal remains.

Report by

AJ Pelser