A report on archaeological phase 2 mitigation of an early farmer site to be impacted on by the development of the Zandspruit Eco Estate on the farm Happyland 241 KT Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Zandspruit Eco-Estates to carry out the 2nd Phase archaeological mitigation of an Early Farmer site located on the farm Happyland 241 KT near Hoedspruit. This work was the result of recommendations put forward in a Phase 1 Heritage Impact Assessment conducted by Archaeo-Info Northern Province (AINP) during 2007. Based on the findings reported in their document, it was recommended that the development can continue on condition that mitigation measures are implemented. These measures included archaeological excavations and the mapping and drawing of the site and excavations. SAHRA supported these recommendations in their Review Comment in March 2008. Initial identification of the site as belonging to the Eiland/Letaba facies of the Iron Age was based on scatters of decorated pottery found on the site.

After a permit was obtained from SAHRA, archaeological investigations at the site commenced during July 2008 for a two week period. Four excavations were conducted on selected areas on the site, while mapping and drawing was also conducted. A more detailed survey of the site and area was also undertaken, identifying and recording more features and scatters of cultural material. A large amount of cultural material, including pottery, faunal remains and shell was recovered during this work. The remains of at least three humans were also uncovered in the process. The largest portion of the pottery (decorated) sample indicated that the site belongs in the main to the Doornkop facies of the Early Iron Age, although some Mzonjani facies pottery was also recovered.

We believe that the work conducted, and the data retrieved through it, during July 2008 was adequate enough to enable us to make the necessary deductions and reconstructions. Therefore it is recommended that the development can continue, although certain conditions are put forward in the final conclusions and recommendations.

Report by

Mr. A.Pelser, Archaeologist (PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR) and Project Leader Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (FIELD SUPERVISOR) Mr. J. van der Walt ? Archaeologist: WITS Heritage Contracts Unit ? Ceramic Analyis Me. M. Mosotwane ? Forensic Anthropologist: WITS University Me. K. Scott ? Archaeozoologist: Analysis of faunal remains