- 1. Meeting with ILembe Council
Article from UNESCO
- 3. Sibudu Gardens – suggestions
- 4. Example of a World
Heritage Site Upcoming tour of the Site
FRIENDS OF SIBUDU MEETING WITH THE ILEMBE LOCAL COUNCIL:
5th the Mayor of the ILembe Town Council and several Councillors met with the Friends of Sibudu and also members of the Sibudu Trust. Presentations were made on the importance of the Sibudu/Sigudu Site and
how it could be developed into a great asset to the local community – as well as to South Africa and indeed the whole world.
Professor Lyn Wadley of the Sibudu Trust gave a slide presentation on Sibudu - a World Heritage
Professor Wadley described in fascinating detail some of the archaeological finds: for example she described, and showed photos, of fossilised reed bedding and how they had found insect repellent leaves carefully
placed in it, and also the oldest artefacts ever found, world-wide. She said too that the excavations showed there were fire-pits in the rock shelter 65-80,000 years ago and one of these had no traces of food like the others (bone and seed fossils) –
but only some semi-poisonous herb! Possibly for arrow-heads – or else medicinal.
Another Trustee, Gavin Whitelaw, archaeologist and Chief Curator of the Human Sciences department of the Natal Musuem, spoke of the educational value
of the Sibudu/Sigudu artefacts and how the Museum hosted public exhibitions and school visits that included activities like ‘rock painting’ sessions for children, and school children making shell necklaces or mixing the red-ochre and gum to make
glue and so on. Three scholars had spent a week at the Museum learning about its work last year. The Mayor cross-questioned him on how safe the artefacts were – and were they not being removed overseas? Gavin was firm about them staying safely
in this Province!
Then Charlotte Mbali from Friends of Sibudu gave a slide presentation on the economic benefits that could ensue from both the archaeological site and the surrounding indigenous forest – an area of special natural beauty.
From Jean Stephenson came suggestions for a garden on traditional medicines - very popular at present for cosmetics – and also an educational garden on dealing with the invasive alien plants which are a threat throughout the Province (see
The Mayor had arranged a bus to take everyone on a field trip to inspect the cave - a rock shelter under an amazing cliff overhang. Friends of Sibudu offered an alternative programme for those who preferred not to make the trek,
but the Mayor said firmly that ALL the Council would go together! Afterwards the young people of the Core Drama Group put on their little performance, acting out hunter-gatherer family activities. This is the group that performed on May 1st at
the Ezemvelo Wildlife Open Day where we had a stand.
Prof Lyn Wadley wrote to us saying: Thank you most sincerely for making yesterday such a successful day. I have positive feelings about the day and the effect that it had on those attending. The
riverside walk is most enjoyable and, with some labels on trees and detours to see various staged activities, it should be a great attraction in the future.
SIBUDU or SIGUDU?
The correct Zulu name for the site is apparently SIGUDU and not SIBUDU! But all our official documents carry the name SIBUDU and so we must use
this name officially,
BUT have decided to use both names Sigudu/Sibudu in casual documents !
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SIBUDU/SIGUDU ROCK SHELTER
By Nuria Sanz, archaeologist, Head and Representative of the UNESCO Office in Mexico and General Coordinator of HEADS – the Human Evolution: Adaptations, Dispersals and Social Developments programme.
The history of Stone Age research
in coastal areas of South African dates back a century, but in the last twenty years there has been a burst of research activity in the region. This is, in part, due to better awareness of the importance of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in our understanding of
human evolution. This recent research has led to prominent investigations and studies on the MSA and has made this region of the world one of the most active research environments in matters concerning what can be referred to as cultural modernity (McBrearty
and Brooks, 2000; Wadley, 2001; Conard, 2007; Klein, 2009; d’Errico and Stringer, 2011).
One of the key sites of the region is Sibudu Rock Shelter, which contributes to our understanding of MSA and the development of what could now be referred
to as modern patterns of human behaviour. This is shown by a wide range of symbolic artefacts and technological innovations. Excavations at Sibudu have yielded personal ornaments, and the University of Tübingen’s excavations there reveal highly-developed
lithic traditions (connected with stone) preceding and following the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort. The lithic assemblages of the earlier phases of the MSA at Sibudu are characterised by distinctive Tongati and Ndwedwe tools and other artefacts that document
advanced lithic technology at the site, and question the notions that Still Bay and Howiesons Poort assemblage types are uniquely developed (Conard, 2012).
Other areas of investigation in the southern African MSA have also borne extraordinary results
in recent years. Upon considering our understanding of the evolution of new patterns of subsistence during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, few regions have contributed as much to the ongoing debate as southern Africa.
These recent advances
in research demonstrate the relevance of Sibudu Rock Shelter, its cultural innovations and its role towards developing culturally modern behaviour.
According to the World Heritage Paper Series, HEADS 33, Human origin sites and the World
Heritage Convention in Africa (http://whc.unesco.org/documents/publi_paper_series_33_en.pdf), the international research community has identified Sibudu’s potential for future
nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This site justifies Stone Age research and the potential of being further researched, safeguarded and ultimately nominated for World Heritage status.
It is essential that this site
be preserved and maintained, so that research can be furthered and can contribute to local communities. Its preservation and increased investigation will yield evidence of the great trajectory of our human development, cultural modernity and culturally modern
behaviour; very few sites across the world reveal so much in this respect.ssss
GARDENING POSSIBILITIES AT THE SIBUDU/SIGUDU SITE
Gardens at the Sibudu/Sigudu site, if sufficient space is allocated, could offer the following opportunities:
- EUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: An educational garden will enable visitors to have a physical and tactile experience, helping
to provide a positive and tangible connection with the historical past in real time. Development, education and awareness programmes will benefit our schools and communities by increasing traditional knowledge, and at the same time encouraging the learning
and understanding about conservation and the maintenance of biodiversity and its importance in the future.
- ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES: Gardens will also offer fantastic economic opportunities by allowing for capacity-building of our human
capital, both in the form of job creation (gardeners, cooks, cleaners) and more importantly entrepreneurial opportunities and private sector skills development through guiding, selling, and marketing. This is all complimentary to the theme of Sibudu.
The garden could include the following 3 concepts / zones:
- FOOD GARDENS: An area with plants used the middle stone age, explaining their purposes.
These would also be harvested for the ‘paleo-diet’ menus at an adjacent “Sibudu Hunter-Gatherer Restaurant”
- MEDICINAL PLANTS and a traditional muti-nursery to create economic opportunities while
allowing for a sustainable future usage and reduce pressure on the wild populations of these valuable muti plants.
This would include an area to cultivate popular plants for cosmetic and health care. (There are several examples of farms
that have started already). Besides growing the plants for sale, a processing plant could be developed for cosmetics, soaps and organic remedies. There is already a large international demand for South African plants with the growth of the
organic cosmetics industry. Eg: Veld's is a French skincare brand that uses the wealth of the South African flora to serve French cosmetic know-how and women’s beauty: www.veldsasia.com
Wild ginger is an example of a Muti plant that is easy to grow, extinct in the wild due to over harvesting and has great economic value - Wild ginger, or isiphephetho, is mixed with other plants for respiratory infections such as
flus, colds, and is also used for pain, probably having anti-inflammatory properties from the essential oils it contains.
“AFRIGETICS Bulbine MAX 5:1 contains our unique Bulbine natalensis
5:1 plant extract which our in-house blood tests have shown will improve testosterone by 35% in 14 days.” Bulbine frutescens organic leaf extract has natural and remedial benefits. It is soothing, healing, moisturising and contains anti-bacterial
- AN INVASIVE ALIEN PLANT demonstration area – to help educate people on identifying and getting rid of these problem plants that are destroying large areas of our indigenous vegetation, which loss also adversely
affects our birds and butterflies and other creatures.
(From an article by Jean Stephenson)
UPCOMING GUIDED TOUR OF THE SIBUDU/SIGUDU SITE
On Heritage Day, 24th September, the Friends of Sibudu are planning a guided tour of the site.
Members of the Friends of Sibudu Association will be offered preference and special rates and will be contacted individually.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sibudu.net