PUBLIC NOTICE | PUBLIC COMMENT

INTENTION TO DECLARE

Thulamela Archaeological site AS NATIONAL HERITAGE SITE

The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) intends to declare the Thulamela Archaeological site situated on the Farm Thulamela Ruins No.7 – MU, in the far north-east of Kruger National Park in the Limpopo Province as a National Heritage Site.

Thulamela, a dry stone-walled archaeological site, lies on a mountain plateau overlooking the Livuvhu river floodplains, in the Pafuri area of the Kruger National Park. Thulamela is at the centre of what was once a thriving ivory-gold trade route, as evidenced by glass beads, bronze, Chinese porcelain, ivory bracelets, gold, and textiles. The inhabitants had skilled goldsmiths – with gold being the main currency traded. The Royal Palace is understood to have been located at the top of the Thulamela hill while the commoners lived below it – indicating the separation between the King and his subjects on a social and spiritual level. The sacred monoliths found in and around the confinement enclosure across the landscape demonstrate religious significance of Thulamela. Thulamela was discovered in 1983 by a ranger, confirms the existence of a complex State system in a pre-colonial South Africa. The abundance of archaeological material discovered at Thulamela significantly shaped out understanding of pre-colonial political states and helped redress past injustices and misconceptions.

Closing date for comments:

Thulamela – 19 May 2024

Access the full background and significance statement below.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT

Background and Significance Statement

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CONTACT US

HEIDI WELDON

Heritage Officer: Grading and Declaration

Email: declarationscoms@sahra.org.za