Promotion of a neglected heritage at Stone Age sites in the Western Cape, South Africa
Author: Deacon, Janette
Source: Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, Number 2, 1995 , pp. 75-86(12)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:All archaeological sites in South Africa are protected in terms of the National Monuments Act, yet some have been badly damaged by vandals, unauthorized collectors and the effects of natural and anthropogenic erosion. In an effort to minimize such damage, the policy in the past has been either to restrict access or to keep a low profile, in relation both to rock art and excavated sites. Coupled with the fact that, in the past, the precolonial period has not been included in school history curricula, this policy has had a negative effect. South Africans generally have a limited knowledge of the results of research on rock art and archaeology and are not aware of the legislation. Furthermore, there is no infrastructure and no market for promoting such sites for tourism. The National Monuments Council has identified the need for public education in this field within a broader goal of promoting a common heritage for all South Africans in this time of political change. Three examples of recent active intervention are given in this paper. Stone Age living sites at Nelson Bay Cave and Matjes River rock shelter have been developed as local attractions, and protective conservation measures have been put into practice at rock art sites that are open to the public in the Western Cape.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1995