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    New archaeological project will expand our understanding of human evolution in the Magaliesberg

    Archaeologists from the University of Johannesburg, Dr Matthew Caruana, Dr Matt Lotter and Principal Investigator Professor Marlize Lombard, have initiated a comprehensive study of the Magaliesberg Stone Age landscape. In a series of integrated research projects they will test whether the unique Magaliesberg geomorphology, geology and hydrology provided a refuge for human ancestors and other mammals to evolve into their modern forms.  The project, called Hu-MAP (short for Humans of the Magaliesberg Archaeological Project) will broaden the scope of evolutionary research from the current narrow focus on the caves in the Cradle of Humankind onto the wider landscape of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve as a whole. Hu-MAP will use the most…

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    Vincent Curruthers wrote this touching OBITUARY for Professor Revil Mason who died this week a year ago (1929-2020)

    OBITUARYProfessor Revil Mason 1929-2020. With the sad death of Professor Revil Mason on Sunday 23rd August 2020, South Africa lost the last member of a generation scholars that included such other luminaries as C. van Riet Lowe, Guy Gardiner, Raymond Dart, Phillip Tobias, James Kitching who, during the mid and late-twentieth century, transformed our understanding of pre-colonial Africa. Revil’s life work traversed vast regions of the subcontinent and revealed thousands of years of the ancient past including his pioneering work on the rich archaeological history of what is now the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve. He was among the first to excavate Iron Age and Stone Age sites at Olifantspoort, Kruger Cave,…

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    BATTLE OF KALKHEUWEL

    The following report on the battle of Kalkheuwel by Prof Ian Copley is based mainly on research in British military archives. Just over one hundred years ago, the South African, or Anglo-Boer War, came to the countryside around Hartbeespoort On the 3rd of June 1900, Field Marshall Lord Roberts began his march on Pretoria from Johannesburg. His cavalry wing under General French at Bergvlei was detailed to swing round to the West of Pretoria, out of range of the guns of the Pretoria forts. The objectives were to cut off the retreat of the Boer Government to the West or to the North (by rail), to capture the Wonderboom fort…

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    BATTLE OF DWARSVLEI 11 JULY 1900

    On 11 July 1900 1300 Gordon Highlanders and other infantry left Krugersdorp under the command of General Horace Smith-Dorrien to assist the beleaguered town of Rustenburg. Their orders were to link up with reinforcements from the Rietfontein camp (now Hartbeespoort Dam) and the combined column was to drive out the Boer commandos in the area. General Sarel Oosthuizen, nicknamed ‘Rooibul’ because of his large red beard, planned to ambush the column as it crossed his own farm, Dwarsvlei, 15km outside Krugersdorp. He had already won fame as the man who caught Winston Churchill and for his courage on the Natal battlefields. Dwarsvlei was an ideal position for an ambush. The…