According to oral information collected by state ethnologist Paul-Lenert Breutz in the 1950s, the Hurutshe intermittently resided in a 'twin' capital, Tswenyane Kaditshwene, in the Marico in precolonial times. While the location of the Kaditshwene Hill ruins has since been verified archaeologically, the whereabouts of the Tswenyane complex have thus far eluded researchers. A combined analysis of oral-historical, toponymic, documentary, survey and mapping data reveals that two Hurutshe chiefdoms conjoined towards the end of the eighteenth century to form an expanded capital complex. Mounting regional insecurity impelled the senior Hurutshe branch, the Bahurutshe booMenwe, to relocate their capital from Mmakgame to the more defensible Kaditshwene Hill, close to the capital of the Bahurutshe booMokgatlha, which straddled the foothills of Tswenyane Mountain. The increased military stress emanated from internecine conflicts with the Rolong, Ngwaketse, western Kwena, Lete and the Bakgatla ba Mmanaana. During the chieftaincy of Senosi, the capital of the Bahurutshe booMokgatlha branch became subsumed under the Greater Kaditshwene complex as a southern district or zone. It is most likely this aggregated stonewalled settlement that spawned the tradition of the 'dual' capital.
Recent zooarchaeological and aDNA analysis have produced conflicting evidence for the existence of early domestic stock at Blydefontein Rock Shelter. The anatomical analysis identified eight specimens as sheep or sheep/goats, the oldest of which was dated to 2860-2765 BP, while the aDNA results suggest that the oldest identified sheep specimen was either greater kudu or eland. Almost all of the other aDNA identifications conflicted with the anatomical assessments. The faunal and aDNA analyses are presented in separate papers in this journal. This paper provides background information on the site of Blydefontein, and frames the discussion in terms of the reliability and validity of the anatomical and aDNA evidence.
This paper adds to the published record of nineteenth-century engraved horns depicting scenes of the Anglo-Zulu war, as seen by an unknown African artist. Two pairs of engraved horns in the early collections of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, described by Tim Maggs in 1990, form the foundation for the present account of horns that have subsequently been located in museums and private collections in South Africa, England and America. Two individual engraved horns, purchased by Iziko Museums of South Africa in 2003 and 2005, are given particular attention. The aim is not only to describe these horns in relation to other known examples but to provide more information about their historical context, as well as an interpretive reading of these and the other horns that are believed to have been engraved by the same hand. Despite research to discover the name of the artist, he remains anonymous. None the less, the engraved scenes on these horns provide rare insight into African perceptions of military encounters and other aspects of late nineteenth-century colonial life in Natal.