I did a BA Degree at Stellenbosch University, majoring in archaeology and anthropology, followed by a Post Graduate degree in Museum studies.

After a two year gap, I completed a Honours degree in Archaeology at the University of Cape Town in 1995. The topic of my honours dissertation was the assimilation of the Khoekhoe into the rural labour force of Paarl, Drakenstein district. The dissertation highlighted the difficulty of finding the Khoekhoe not only archaeologically, but also in the historical record. In the mid 19th century, there was a strong presence of people identifying themselves as “Hottentot”: the freeborn “Hottentot” could not be sold as opposed to their slave born colleagues. Whether freedom is social, economic or political, the struggle for recognition and voice continues.

In 1996, I worked for the RESUNACT shools outreach program initiated by Martin Hall, Archaeology Dept, UCT. We excavated a spoil heap created by a property developer in District Six in Cape Town. Test pits indicated a 19th century municipal rubbish dump. A number of schools through out the greater Cape Town area took part in the project. 

I enrolled for a part-time Masters in 1998/9. Once again, I returned to the question of the Khoekhoe and their assimilation into colonial society. Knowing that the Khoekhoe have proved to be incredibly difficult to find archaeologically, and apparently more so during the historical period, I looked for a site where there was ample contemporary documentation and descriptions of the interaction between Khoekhoe and Western culture. The 18th century Moravian mission station at Genadendal seemed a logical choice. I suppose one must take comfort in the fact that along with many other well established academic archaeologists, I too failed in this endeavor!

After the hand-in of my Masters, I was ready for a break and signed up to go on a fieldtrip to the Konso region of Ethiopia with a research group from Florida University. I went back for a second field season. It was an interesting experience and three years of graduate level Anthropology came in handy.


Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists

The National Heritage Resources Act, Act 25 of 1999, governs the management of heritage resources in South Africa.

Archaeology is a non-renewable heritage resource. A permit is required from a heritage resources authority before any alteration, damage, disturbance of an archaeological site can take place.

One of the requirements of a permit is that a report is submitted on the work done, to the relevant heritage authority within 3 years of the completion of the project (excavation) or the expiry of the permit.

All in a day’s work

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