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Program

Wednesday, March 30 • 16:45 - 17:10
S17-04 Comparison of regional and local transport networks in 17th and 19th century AD pre-colonial stone-walled structures in the southern Gauteng Province, South Africa

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Comparison of regional and local transport networks in 17th and 19th century AD pre-colonial stone-walled structures in the southern Gauteng Province, South Africa

karim sadr

Abstract
Since 2008, as part of the South African National Research Foundation funded 'Southern Gauteng Stone Walled Structures' project a dozen postgraduate research assistants in Archaeology and Geography at Wits University, along with another dozen photo interpreters employed at SBL Geospatial Services in Cochin, India, have pored over freely available satellite images of an >8000 sq km study area between Johannesburg and the Vaal River using Google Earth software. Over 5000 pre-colonial stone-walled structures (SWS) have been detected and classified. This presentation focuses on the Group I and Group II pre-colonial SWS, comparing their distribution and probable transport networks within the 8000 square km study area. Group I structures date to the 16th and 17th centuries AD and represent the earliest Iron Age settlements in the study area. Previous studies on a restricted sample of Group I SWS suggest they represent a relatively egalitarian, more pastorally oriented society with a relatively dispersed settlement pattern. Group II structures date to the late 18th and early 19th centuries AD and are generally regarded as representing fairly complex and densely nucleated societies of Tswana-speakers in the immediately pre-colonial era. 
Using spatial modelling and analysis techniques, such as GIS-based cost surface and social network analysis, an attempt is made to compare the probable transport networks of Group I and II SWS at the local and regional scales. This involves the application of transport network modelling in the same landscape and environment but on two separate chronological periods. Combined with quantitative analysis, the aim is to see how the proposed differences in social, economic and political organization of Group I and II SWS that were ascertained through standard settlement pattern studies, might be reflected in their respective transport networks.

Moderators
avatar for Mark GROENHUIJZEN

Mark GROENHUIJZEN

PhD Candidate, VU University Amsterdam

Speakers

Wednesday March 30, 2016 16:45 - 17:10
Domus Media, Auditorium 13

Attendees (7)