1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Alleged mass graves and burial sites outside a formal cemetery at the Orange River concentration camp, South Africa

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Abstract

The South African or Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Orange River Concentration Camp on the farm Doornbult, close to Hopetown in the Northern Cape Province, is one of the best preserved Camps from this War. The history of the Concentration Camp at Doornbult is characterised by its occurring in two phases. At first, from April 1901 to the end of July 1901, the camp was under military control but later, from 1 August 1901 until November 1902, it was placed under civil control. It is known that several people died during the first phase. It was only during the second phase that a formal cemetery was laid out and burials occurred in an organised way. Graves situated outside the formal cemetery were investigated during May 2007 as part of an archaeological project of the Heritage Foundation. About 17 graves were found outside the perimeters of the formal cemetery, and it was clear that these were formal, or organised, burial sites. It presently still remains unclear why these burial sites are located outside of the formal cemetery. It may be connected to a custom that prematurely born or unbaptized children were buried outside cemeteries. The only grave that was completely excavated contained the remains of a prematurely born child, whose remains were buried formally. No evidence was found of existence of mass graves at the Orange River Concentration Camp at Doornbult.


Die terrein van die Oranjerivier Konsentrasiekamp op die plaas Doornbult naby Hopetown in die Noordkaap Provinsie, wat uit die Suid-Afrikaanse of Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) dateer, is een van die bes bewaarde Konsentrasiekampterreine van die Oorlog. Die geskiedenis van die Konsentrasiekamp bestaan uit twee fases. Aanvanklik was die kamp onder militêre beheer (vanaf April 1901), maar later (vanaf 1 Augustus 1901 tot November 1902) is dit onder burgerlike beheer geplaas. Dit is bekend dat verskeie mense in die eerste fase in die kamp dood is. Eers in die tweede fase van die kamp se bestaan is 'n formele begraafplaas aangelê en daarna het begrafnisse op 'n geordende basis plaasgevind. Grafte buite die formele begraafplaas is gedurende Mei 2007 as deel van 'n groter argeologiese projek van die Erfenisstigting ondersoek. Sowat 17 grafte is buite die formele begraafplaas gevind en dit is duidelik dat die informele gedeelte wel blootgestel is aan 'n formele begrafnisproses. Tans is dit onbekend waarom hierdie grafte buite die formele begraafplaas aangelê is. Die vermoede bestaan dat dit verband mag hou met 'n eertydse gebruik om vroeggebore en ongedoopte kinders buite 'n formele begraafplaas te ruste te lê. Die enigste oorskot wat volledig opgegrawe is, is dié van 'n vroeggebore baba, van wie die oorskot formeel begrawe is. Geen aanduidings van die bestaan van massagrafte is by die Oranjerivier Konsentrasiekamp op Doornbult gevind nie.

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/content/culture/29/2/EJC184591
2015-12-01
2016-12-03
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