Heritage and Fossils of the Karoo

‘Civilised off the face of the earth’: Museum display and the silencing of the /Xam

The end of apartheid in South Africa initiated a period of intense analysis of historical and contemporary questions of identity. In the Cape, people who had been classified as “coloured” or “other coloured”began to reclaim their precolonial identities. This process has been made difficult by wide-scale language death during the twentieth century and the accompanying […]


A brief lithostratigraphic review of the Abrahamskraal…

The basal strata of the Beaufort Group of the South African Karoo Basin, comprising the western Abrahamskraal and eastern Koonap formations, contain the most time extensive record of Middle Permian fossil tetrapods and hold the key to understanding Middle Permian biodiversity change in the continental realm. To determine faunal stratigraphic ranges a reliable lithostratigraphic framework […]

| Tagged , ,

A dinocephalian therapsid fauna on the Ecca-Beaufort

Systematic exploration of outcrops of the lowermost Beaufort Group for fossils of the oldest terrestrial vertebrates of South Africa, known only from the Permian age Eodicynodon Assemblage Zone in Western Cape Province, has resulted in the discovery of a therapsid fauna in Eastern Cape province that is dominated by advance dinocephalians. The new discoveries include […]

| Tagged

Biostratigraphic correlation in the Karoo

The richness of fossil tetrapods from the Beaufort Group of South Africa has enabled biostratigraphic subdivision of this Permo-Triassic succession, with global applicability. Despite being the thickest of the seven biozones recognised, attempts at further subdivision of the Middie Permian TafJinocephalus Assemblage Zone (Abrahamskraal Formation) have not been successful, largely because the exact stratigraphie ranges of fossil taxa are […]

| Tagged

Die Rol van Neëntiende-eeuse Fotografie in Eietydse Bewaring

Hierdie studie het ten doel om die rol wat 19de-eeuse fotografie kan vervul in die rekonstruksie van ’n era en in die bewaring van kultuurgoedere vir die 21ste eeu, aan te spreek. Die fotoversameling van William Roe van Graaff-Reinet word as voorbeeld gebruik.

Also posted in The Built Environment | |

New evidence for diachroneity of the Ecca–Beaufort contact

The rocks of the Karoo Supergroup were deposited in a retro-arc foreland basin over an extended period from the late Carboniferous to the Middle Jurassic.1,2 They are internationally renowned for their wealth of fossils, particularly therapsids, which have enabled biostratigraphic subdivision of the rocks of the Beaufort Group3–5 and Elliot and Clarens Formations.6 Although a great deal of lithological amd palaeontological […]


Possible relationship between porotic hyperostosis and smallpox infections

Smallpox was a significant shaper of life histories for indigenous South African peoples during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was responsible for the demise of entire social structures and even entire communities of peoples. Survival of smallpox affords the individual natural immunity for the remainder of his or her life. The virus is undetectable […]


Refined stratigraphy of the Middle Permian Abrahamskraal Formation

Fluvially deposited rocks of the Abrahamskraal Formation of the lower Beaufort Group in the South African Karoo record sediment deposition during the Middle Permian, the earliest terrestrial environment of Gondwana. A rich diversity of fossil tetrapods from this Formation provides a unique opportunity for understanding Middle Permian biodiversity changes in Gondwanan terrestrial ecosystems, but this […]

| Tagged

Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo – Impacts on Heritage in the Karoo

The study area contains a rich layering of heritage resources stretching over some 4.6 billion years. Geological heritage sites and meteorites are the oldest aspects of heritage considered here, while palaeontological resources cover more than 300 million years of prehistory. The archaeological record spans some 2 million years and covers the Early, Middle and Late […]

| Tagged

Technology and Ecology in the Karoo

Windmills and wire fencing entered the farming practices of the north-eastern Karoo in the final decades of the nineteenth century. A new grazing system came into being comprising artificial water sources and camps in which sheep and other livestock ranged freely. By the late 1920s this had displaced the old shepherding-plus-kraaling arrangements. At the time, […]

Also posted in Agriculture | |