Mysterious stone circles in South Africa, African metropolis

Aug 2014
195
United States
#1
Some people may have heard of Michael Tellinger and his UFO theories, if you look up anything on South Africa you see his nonsense. In fact Adams Calendar is mentioned in some websites that have otherwise sound info, Adams Calendar is a hoax. There is an interesting history in South Africa though that hardly anyone knows about, cities contemporary with Cape Town, some Europeans said these towns were as extensive and well populated as Cape Town. Herds of cattle could be seen down the roads going for miles, gardens were also seen for miles. The Europeans who visited described them as cities, they had wooden sliding doors and there are accounts of thatched homes as tall as 30 feet. There cleanliness was superb and put the Dutch Boers to shame according to one account. The inside of the homes had pillars and paintings of animals that were in good taste, the stone masonry were as if they were made by Europeans

Marothodi - The Historical Archaeology of an African Capital

https://books.google.com/books?id=K...a=X&ei=FNmiVeS7IcTGogTmro7YCw&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA
 
Aug 2014
195
United States
#2
Here are some sketchings I forgot to upload, the one on the bottom is a picture of women thrashing grain.

http://postimg.org/image/atf2mjvxz/

This is an example of some pseudo history stuff with pictures of stone circles near Mozambique, the pictures are interesting

http://themindunleashed.org/2015/05...south-africa-could-rewrite-human-history.html

See the wiki page under bakoni, thousands of stone walls built after the fall of the Great Zimbabwe culture

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machadodorp
 
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Aug 2014
195
United States
#3
South African ruins

The attachment of pictures wan't working on my phone but seems to be fine on my laptop. Here is an example of the paintings of animals that Europeans described in the houses and pillars. Some more info

http://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/20072/Steyn_Spatial(2011).pdf?sequence=1

There is a hidden history of irrigation technology in South Africa and a myth that the Bantu "never controlled water". In fact in the early 1930s a retired colonial official interviewed Venda people who told him they were aware of and practiced irrigation, and he was convinced that it was indigenous and Africans and compared some 19th century irrigation works to that of the Nyanga irrigation works, which was some of the most incredible agriculture works in South Africa

http://www.anthonyturton.com/admin/...elhoff_water_precolonial_history_SA_Apl06.pdf
 

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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,252
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#4
Very interesting, I do think that the pre colonial history of that region of Africa deserves all the possible attention, keep on posting.

In particular, are there local African sources suggesting the existence of a wide administration? I think to something like the Axumite Empire, if you want an African comparison.
 
Aug 2014
195
United States
#5
They were never united in an empire, they were made up of different towns or capitals that ruled an area and would constantly have cattle raids against each other. There is an oral history which is in the book In the first post

Marothodi was one of many competing towns
 
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Aug 2014
195
United States
#6
South African ruins

South Africa is full of ruins and one neglected area is Mpumalanga. I just listened to the lecture in this article by Professor Peter Delius who describes this culture and he also says they were very decentralized, perhaps the lack of a great state made it so they couldn't make themselves remembered. People remember great rulers who extract tribute from vast numbers of people but a decentralized culture will just be forgotten. At the end of the lecture the professor suggests that we look at Bakoni more and military rulers less

"Forgotten World: The Stone-walled Settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment"

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index...lled-settlements-of-the-mpumalanga-escarpment

The Bakoni

This is what recent archaeological and historical research in the area known as Bokoni in Mpumalanga has revealed. The Bakoni, the Koni people who first emerged in this area around the 1500s and lived here until around the 1820s, were advanced farming communities that created stone-walled sites – the remnants of which still cover vast areas in Mpumalanga today.

According to The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg researchers, historian Professor Peter Delius and archaeologist Dr Alex Schoeman, it is now clear that the Bakoni practised advanced technological and agricultural innovation and techniques long before Africa was colonised.
 

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Aug 2014
195
United States
#7
Some more on South African ruins. According to the author of this book the ruins of Nyanga in northeast Zimbabwe constitute probably the largest complex of building in precolonial Africa. Unlike Great Zimbabwe no foreign objects have been found in the region, so they were not part of international trade. The author believes that the architecture was more for ordinary people living their lives rather than Great Zimbabwe which was for a dominant minority. The terracing dates to the 17th century. Another source says some of the water furrows that were built were being used by Europeans when they took over. The photos show examples of the dense terracing of the region

"The Terrace Builders of Nyanga"

https://books.google.com/books?id=5...A1&dq=v=onepage&q&f=false#v=onepage&q&f=false



Our Rhodesian Heritage: May 2010

The most convincing evidence of the engineering skill of the Upland builders are the water furrows, simple earth ditches leading from perennial streams in a gradual gradient to the living sites. Often they run for several kilometres. Many have been destroyed and others adapted for use today, still feeding such places as the Rhodes Inyanga Hotel and several private houses and swimming pools. A little simple, shallow terracing, built up only of earth, is sometimes found (for example, on the hillside behind Inyanga Township).
Nyanga terraces 4.jpg

Nyanga terraces 1.jpg

Nyanga terraces 2.jpg

nyanga terraces 3.jpg

South Africa has a long history of people building things and just moving away. At Mapungubwe 2,000 tons of soil were carried up a large hill but the people living there eventually abandoned the site

Mapungubwe | South African History Online
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,588
#10
Yes, this is a good thread. The most common arguments against large scale societies with denser urban development in Africa are weak in south Africa where temperate climate, fair resources, and large area without diseases seems to be present. Missing only is constant contact with other civilizations as south Africa is relatively isolated and wide variety of domesticated beasts of burden. America's developed some large civilizations with only llama as beast of burden in Peru and nothing other than human labor further north but those places did have wider trade contacts and were less isolated than south Africa seems to have been.

Some indications I am seeing here are more that research into south Africa prior to European arrival was perhaps stymied by bias and lack of interest rather than lack,of evidence.
 
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