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Yearly Archives: 2013


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Visiting Mrs Ples

Yesterday, Dr Ceri Ashley (Archaeology lecturer at the University of Pretoria) and I had the great pleasure of seeing Mrs Ples (Australopithecus africanus) at the Ditsong: National Museum of Natural History:

20131205_125507Dr Ceri Ashley

20131205_125655_2Lu-Marie Combrink

We got to see a whole host of fossils and it was fascinating! We also got to see Paranthropus robustus:

20131205_130340Dr Ceri Ashley


Follower Locations – 34 Countries

I decided it would be interesting to see where all Archaeology at UP’s followers are from. So I looked at all the followers from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When I compare and add all three social media sites together (Figure below), the USA followers can be seen as the largest, with South Africa a close second and the UK third. There are also other African countries which feature, such as Ethiopia and Egypt. 34 countries make up the follower base of Archaeology at UP and this number was most definitely not expected. Here are all the countries:

Click to enlarge the image.


Comment below and let us know where you are from!


Archaeology Students Questionnaire


Calling all Archaeology Students of UP! We are trying to compile a few fun statistics about the Archaeology Students of UP. If you are interested, please fill in this anonymous Questionnaire. It won’t take too much of your time and there might just be some very interesting results when all the answers are compiled.

Click here

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Archaeological Ceramic Exhibition at UP

Earlier in the year, two archaeology honours students, Reagile Sengane and Kefilwe Rammutloa, took part in setting up a museum exhibition. The exhibition took place from July 2013 – November 2013 and was part of their community engagement project.

20130730_120842Dr Ceri Ashley introducing the Dean of Humanities Prof Norman Duncan

20130730_121119The Dean of Humanities Prof Norman Duncan opening the exhibition

The aim of the museum exhibition was to create a frontier where the public could engage with archaeology. This was done through showcasing the Mapungubwe ceramic pots that had never been displayed before. The exhibition also served the purpose of illustrating how archaeologists use ethnographic research and experimental archaeology to interpret the archaeological objects. In broader terms the exhibition aimed at decolonising archaeology, by using non-scientific words to include the public. In addition to this, the exhibition aimed at informing the public about the different research projects that the department of archaeology is undertaking at UP.


One of the display cases showcases the experimental ceramic pots that the first year students did as a practical. The aim of having these vessels was to illustrate that different people make pots differently, and how experimental archaeology has helps with the interpretation of archaeological objects (see image above).

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The archaeological pots from Mapungubwe, Schroda and K2 were categorised according to their archaeological information. For example, the ceramic pots from the Hill complex were grouped together; the same was done with ceramic vessels from the southern terrace. Once the ceramic pots were put into their designated display cases, labels followed. Labels within permanent and semi-permanent exhibitions serve a large purpose by talking to the visitors.

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Once the ceramic vessels were put in the display cases, an invitation was designed and sent out to the public (both archaeologists and non-archaeologists). In addition to the invites and the labels. three posters were made. The poster covered three themes, ethno-archaeology, experimental archaeology and one poster that highlight the history of Mapungubwe and  background research about Mapungubwe.

20130730_120434Prof Norman with Reagile Sengane and Kefilwe Rammutloa

The exhibition continues to be very successful. Be sure to go and have a look before it closes!


Archaeology Year End Function

Click to enlarge:

Year end flyer

See you there!

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Amazing Race


In the Amazing Race, four teams rushed around campus looking for QR codes and answering questions about the Museums and Monuments on the University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus with the help of clues. It was an exciting race with teams competing head to head. The teams:


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To track the progress of each team, photos were taken and posted live on the website as proof of them finding the secret locations. The places visited included Kaya Rosa, the Tukkie Chapel, the Old Agriculture building, the Mapungubwe museum, and the replica of the Rosetta Stone in the Merensky Library:

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The Winners:

Team 1 aka Scarred Shins
Justin, Dom, and Paul


Second: Team 2
Sumeri, Annemari and Catherine
Third: Team 3
Nick, Noah and Dave.


Congratulations to the winners. Thank you to everyone who participated and who motivated our teams.



Question of the day

Question of the day is a new feature here on Archaeology at UP. We will try and give a new question every couple of days, if not every day. The goal is to open up interaction between all readers of the website.


Today’s Question:

Can more be done to involve the public in the management of Heritage sites and Museum?