Feb 08


by in Culture & Heritage, History & Memories

There is evidence of crude ‘handaxes’ from the Stone Age occupants in Inanda. The later Stone Age (25 000 years ago) introduced the more refined stone tools, shell necklaces, bored stones, grindstones and the bow and arrow used by the original Khoi San residents. However, later developments are of particular interest One of many sites in the valley now inundated to form the Inanda Dam, was named Kwagandaganda because tractors were utilized to speed up archaeological excavations during construction of the dam. The small  Early Iron Age agricultural settlement with byres, evidence of built platforms, granaries, a forging area and a men’s assembly area dating back to the sixth century prove that the Inanda area has been occupied by Bantu people for at least 1 500 years. Clay vessels, grindstones, clay cattle and figurines and even remnants of dung reinforce
this evidence.

In the “Natal Museum Journal of Humanities Vol 6, 1994,” Archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw, writing about excavations at Kwagandaganda, states:”This pattern is archaeological evidence for a patrilineal society in which the structural relationship between men, women and cattle was similar to that found among Bantu speakers in South Africa today. It indicates, therefore, essential similarities between the worldviews of first and second millennium agriculturists in Natal. The successive use of recent ethnography from South Africa to explain a number of features on the site provides further support for this point of view”.

Personal items like glass and copper beads, ivory bracelets and a Ninth century Islamic vessel prove that these early residents weren’t isolated pioneers but part of a widespread network.