1st Report on the archaeological investigation of reported unidentified graves on the farm Brakfontein 264 IR near Delmas, Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Zenzele Funeral, on behalf of Umcebo Mining, Norwesco Colliery, to assist with the investigation and exhumation of a number of possible unknown graves, located on a site situated on the farm Brakfontein 264 IR. The site is situated between the towns of Leandra and Delmas in Mpumalanga. Mining operations by Umcebo Mining is being undertaken in the area.

Although no graves were visible on the site, social consultation undertaken for the relocation of graves located on another burial site on the farm indicated the possibility of the existence of graves on this site. Staff employed by the mine also did not want to carry out work in the area without investigations being conducted into the possibility of graves being present. Zenzele was therefore contracted to conduct the investigation, with the help of archaeologists. A number of test trenches (18 in total) were subsequently dug in the area. No burials were identified, and mining operations on this part of the farm can therefore continue.

Report by

A. Pelser & J. van der Walt