A final report on the archaeological investigation of a late iron age (Ndebele) stone walled settlement on the remainder of Hatherley 331 JR, near Mamelodi, Gauteng


During 2008 Archaetnos cc was requested by Dudula Environemental Consulting, on behalf of the Gauteng Department of Housing, to conduct an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) on the remainder of the farm Hatherley 331 JR, near Mamelodi in Gauteng. A new housing development project is being undertaken in the area.

During the subsequent survey, done by WITS Heritage on behalf of Archaetnos cc, a number of stone walled sites, related to the Manala Ndebele, were identified. A number of these fall directly in the area that will be developed, and will therefore be negatively impacted upon by the work planned here. It was recommended in the subsequent AIA report that the necessary mitigation measures be carried out on the sites, including mapping and drawing and archaeological excavations. These recommendations were supported by SAHRA in their Archaeological Review Comments (ARC) report, and the client subsequently appointed Archaetnos cc to conduct the archaeological investigations once a permit was obtained.

After a permit was provided by SAHRA (Permit NO. 80/08/10/008/51) archaeological fieldwork was conducted by Archaetnos during July 2009 for a two week period. Archaeological work included 4 excavations on two sites, as well as mapping and drawing of all features and individual settlement units, making up the larger settlement complex. This document represents a final report on the archaeological investigation and the findings of the said work. It is clear that the sites belong to the later phase of the Iron Age, and also to the period of contact (Colonial Period) between the Bantu-speaking inhabitants of the area and the first European inhabitants. The sites are similar to ones investigated on other portions of the same farm by the NCHM in 1996, identified as belonging to the Manala Ndebele.

We believe that the work conducted, and the data retrieved through it was adequate enough to enable us to make the necessary deductions and interpretations. The development can therefore continue once a destruction permit has been obtained, taking into consideration the recommendations put forward at the end of this report.

Report by

AJ Pelser & Dr AC van Vollenhoven