A report on the archaeological investigation of a grave at Holding 162 Erand Agricultural Holdings X1, Gauteng Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Rob Fowler Consulting Town and Regional Planners to investigate the best way to deal with a grave located on holding 162 Erand Agricultural Holdings X1 in Midrand, Gauteng. During the site visit in November 2009, the grave could not be found as the vegetation in the area was mostly impenetrable. However a pit of the same size as a grave was identified. The town planners were called out and they indicated the position of the grave as the location where the pit has been found.

It therefore seemed as if the grave was opened and only the hole in the ground remained. The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) gave permission to excavate the site in order to determine whether any human remains could be found.

During the second site visit in September 2010, with the purpose of exhuming the grave, it was found that the vegetation cover was burnt down recently. The grave was now identified approximately 60 m from the pit identified earlier. It was exhumed, but the first ‘grave’ was also excavated in order to make sure that it did not contain any human remains. Neither of the two excavations produced human skeletal material, but the first one (the actual grave) did produce remains of an iron bedstead. This, together with a soil sample was reburied in grave number 905 at the Midrand grave yard.

It is believed that the archaeological investigation, exhumation and relocation of the grave from the site were conducted successfully. After the first visit it was believed that the grave was removed illegally, but it has now been proved not to be the case. The development in the area may therefore continue.

Report by

A.J. Pelser - Accredited member of ASAPA