A report on an investigation of graves unearthed during mining activities at the Dorstfontein Mine near Kriel, Mpumalanga Province


During the moving of ground at a borrow pit at the Dorstfontein Mine, two graves were exposed. As recommended in earlier HIA?s done at the mine, an Archaeologist was immediately contacted to investigate the find. This assessment was done by Archaetnos. The Dorstfontein mine is located close to the town of Kriel in the Mpumalanga Province.

The graves were exposed in area where no indication of graves is visible on top of the ground. However, on close inspection, some depressions indicate that graves might have been present here and that it may have been removed previously. The site however is not any of those exhumed by African Grave Relocation Specialists and Archaetnos during 2009 and 2010.

The mine indicated that they will be able to use another area for a borrow pit. It therefore is recommended that the two graves be removed and the mortal remains be reburied at Thubelihle as was the case with other graves from the mine. The area, including the depressions, will then be fenced in to prevent any further disturbance. Should any more remains be unearthed by accident, these should also be removed by an archaeologist and reburied at Thubelihle. No social consultation is needed as an extensive process, followed during 2008/9, did not identify this site.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) & A.J. Pelser