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PROJECT NEWS

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

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Xander presented the project's background and future directions at the Society of Africanist Archaeologists' 26th Biennial Conference at Rice University in Houston, TX.

Xander and Annie presented on the excavations, finds and faunal remains of the project at the Savanna Science Network Meeting in Skukuza, Kruger National Park

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

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Environmental studies graduate students from the University of the South Coast, Australia, visited the excavations in June 2023. These students study a range of different fields within the environmental sector and they enjoyed the archaeology experience.

Annie gave a lecture for the Northern Branch of the South African Archaeological Society in Johannesburg on previous and new archaeozoological research at Letaba. The audience was very enthusiastic about the evidence of early coastal trade and the potential role of animal products in these long-distance networks.

RESEARCH

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Ceramic analyses are underway! The masters students who are not identifying bone material are hard at work cleaning, refitting and doing the stylistic analyses for the ceramics excavated at Letaba. Keep an eye out for the publications to come!

Pascal Mutakaya received his Archaeology Honours degree at the University of Pretoria in early 2023. He analysed animal remains from a pit feature at Le7 for his thesis. There were many bones of buffalo, blue wildebeest and zebra but also rare examples of lion, baboon and vulture.

RESEARCH

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The faunal material excavated at LE6 and LE7 is boxed and archived! Our team is busy analysing this material. Some of our masters’ students who joined us on the excavations are learning the ways of the Archaeozoologist. 

Annie received a three-year research grant from the National Research Foundation for her project Biographies of the Hunted: Archaeozoological Approaches to First Millennium AD Game Hunting.

DOCUMENTING PROCESS

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Another wonderful addition to our visual database. Daniel du Plessis is a friend and talented illustrator who joined us in the field and sketched artefacts and scenes from the dig. These stunning illustrations have formed part of a postcard collection we gift our guests in the field. 

Our resident photographer, Michelle, is in the process of capturing photos and videos of our excavation seasons so we have an artistic interpretation of our artefacts and sites. Our mission is to record the archaeology from many different viewpoints!

DOCUMENTING PROCESS

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Marnus Erasmus received his Archaeology Honours degree at the University of Pretoria in early 2024. He analysed the glass trade beads from the Letaba sites for his thesis. He now joins the team for his MA research looking at household-level activities at the sites.

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