Preliminary Fieldwork at Kuruman Moffat Mission

Frontispiece from Robert Moffat's 1842 Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa

Frontispiece from Robert Moffat’s 1842 Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa

Preliminary fieldwork in 2017, as part of the larger Re-collecting the Missionary Road project was enabled by a grant from the D M McDonald Grants and Award Fund.

The site was visited between 8th and 12th of April by Chris Wingfield and Mark McGranaghan from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, together with David Morris from the McGregor Museum and Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley. A great deal of time was spent orienting historic maps and images in relation to the site as it stands today. An initial assessment was also ompleted of the on-site archive and preliminary agreements were made relating to subsequent fieldwork.

Coen Nienaber (University of Pretoria) undertaking a ground penetrating radar survey in the area adjacent to the historic church at Kuruman, with assistance from Chris Wingfield and David Redhouse from the University of Cambridge (Photo by Tyron Hopf)

Between 16th and 24th September a larger team to survey the site and conduct geophysical investigations (magnetometry and ground penetrating radar) in preparation for the first season of excavation, planned for July 2018.

The geophysical survey team included Chris Wingfield and David Redhouse from the University of Cambridge, Ceri Ashley, Coen Nienaber and Tyron Hopf from the University of Pretoria and Nick Zachariou from the University of Cape Town. Alongside magnetometry and GPR survey of a number of areas of interest, several historic photographs were rephotographed in the same locations, including the image created for the frontispiece of Moffat’s famous 1842 book, with members of the geophysical team filling in for the various people who appear in that image.

While in the field, the team were also visited by Jesmael Mataga (Sol Plaatje University) and David Morris (McGregor Museum) to plan the 2018 field school, involving students from the University of Cambridge and Sol Plaatje University.

 

 

 

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