Skip to content Skip to navigation

OpenStax-CNX

You are here: Home » Content » Early settlements in South Africa

Navigation

Lenses

What is a lens?

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

This content is ...

In these lenses

  • GETIntPhaseSS display tagshide tags

    This module is included inLens: Siyavula: Social Sciences (Gr. 4-6)
    By: SiyavulaAs a part of collection: "History Grade 6"

    Collection Review Status: In Review

    Click the "GETIntPhaseSS" link to see all content selected in this lens.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.

Tags

(What is a tag?)

These tags come from the endorsement, affiliation, and other lenses that include this content.
 

Early settlements in South Africa

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

SOCIAL SCIENCES: History

Grade 6

TRADING IN AFRICA’S ANCIENT KINGDOMS

Module 16

EARLY SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Meanwhile, what happened in our country? People first started practising agriculture in the present South Africa approximately 2000 years ago. With farming activities spreading from the coastal areas to the river valleys on the central plateau, farmers were obliged to adapt their implements, weapons, and clothing to changing situations. All those living in the small farming communities more or less had equal power and wealth and prosperous towns developed in time, due to the expansion of trading in cattle, ivory, gold, etc.

The earliest farmers south of the Limpopo River lived along the Indian Ocean coastline where the climate was mild, the rainfall adequate and the soil fertile. They cultivated grains and stored their harvests in pots and also gathered seafood. However by 1000 A.D., many settlements had been established in the interior.

We are going to find out more about three interesting settlements, namely those at Mzonjani, Broederstroom and the Boomplaas cave. But first take some time to study the time line and the map.

Activity 1:

To Arrange events concerning the early settlements in our country in the correct sequence

[LO 2.1]

Connect column A and B by only writing the correct symbol from column B in column A.

Table 1
Column A Column B
1. 0 A. Gold trade of Mapungubwe takes place
2. 250 A.D. B. First Indians settle in “SA”
3. 400 A.D.600 A.D. C. Dutch under Jan van Riebeeck settle at the Cape
4. 1050 A.D. D. Birth of Christ San and Khoina in “S.A.” already
5. 1200 A.D. E. Agricultural towns such as Mzonjani and Broederstroom already exist (See map on this page)
6. 1652 F. Farming spreads to the interior Black farmers have already settled in the river valley of “Natal"
7. 1860 G. Black farmers settle in the highveld
  • When the first farmers arrived in Southern Africa, they settled in the densely forested and bushy areas along the coast. This area was suited to slash and burn agriculture, which meant that trees were cut down and new fields were cleared whenever current agricultural plots stopped yielding good crops.
  • Once farming had been established along the coastal area, farmers started moving inland along the valleys and large rivers to the fertile plains of the interior.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (Picture 7.png)

Activity 2:

To use sources to obtain relevant information about the early settlements

[LO 1.3]

Mzonjani

  • Traders from North Africa and the East sailed southwards along the eastern coast of Africa and discovered that Africa yielded a vast number of products. Gold and ivory were exchanged for beads and cloth.

Quite recently a group of road engineers who were busy building a new road north of Durban stopped their work for days on end to allow archaeologists to do archaeological excavations after bulldozers had revealed shards of ancient pottery. The excavation revealed more pottery shards, seashells, stones, animal bones and iron screws.

Figure 2
Figure 2 (Picture 8.png)

This was identified as the site of Mzonjani, one of the well-known agricultural villages of Southern Africa. People driving along the N2 highway approximately 20 km north of Durban drive over this site every day without realising that a Southern African village dating from about 280 A.D. was situated here.

(a) Conduct a group discussion based on the following questions:

  • Have you ever come across something important or valuable while walking in the veld - something that no one else has discovered?
  • Was Mzonjani found by lucky chance or by accident?

The Boomplaas cave

People inhabited the Boomplaas cave in the Kango, near Oudtshoorn in the Southern Cape over a long period of time. When archaeologists excavated a cross section of this cave, each layer of soil that they examined told a story about a different period in the history of the cave and the people who had inhabited it.

b) Study the diagram about the Boomplaas cave that follows and answer the following questions:

1. Identify the weapons that were used during the following periods:

  1. a) 40000 B.C. – 30 000 B.C.
  2. b) 4450 B.C – 50 A.D.

2. What are the activities that the people undertook?

3. Which kind of people lived there at about 250 A.D. and what did they do?

4. What can we discover from earthenware and domesticated animals?

Figure 3
Figure 3 (Picture 11.png)

Broederstroom

Broederstroom is one of the best-known early agricultural villages situated south of the Limpopo River. It is situated against the southern slopes of the Magalies River valley, in what used to be the south-western Transvaal. The people who lived here about 350 to 600 A.D. were hunters who also kept cattle, as it was a bushy environment with sufficient water and pastures approximately two days’ distance on foot.

After 600 A.D. the village was abandoned, to be discovered again through scrupulous investigation by archaeologists linked to the University of the Witwatersrand. Floors and foundations of the buildings of long ago are all that have remained.

The remains, however, indicate that the houses were mostly round and had floors of hardened plastered clay. The roofs were probably made of reeds supported by wooden beams. The excavation also revealed decorated clay pots of varying shapes and sizes and copper objects, and it was possible to learn that iron was smelted and processed at the site.

c) Study the following map and indicate whether the statements that follow represent facts or opinions:

Figure 4
Figure 4 (Picture 12.png)

Map of the terrain

Table 2
The first villagers built their houses in the north-western part of the terrain.  
Broederstroom expanded towards the eastern part of the area.  
Villages that become buried are often discovered by chance.  

Assessment

Table 3
Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 1
HISTORICAL ENQUIRYThe learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
1.1 finds sources:
  • identifies sources to help answer the question about the topic;
1.2 works with sources:
  • selects and records relevant information for specific purposes from a variety of sources (e.g. oral, written and visual sources, including maps, graphs and tables, objects, buildings, monuments, museums);
1.3 answers the question:
  • arranges information logically and chronologically in answering questions about people, events, objects, and places in the past.
LO 2
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDINGThe learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding.
We know this when the learner:
2.1 chronology and time:
  • places events, people and changes on a timeline which includes terms such as ‘BC’, ‘AD’ and ‘BCE’;
2.2 cause and effect:
  • gives reasons for and explains the results of key events and changes in more than one context;
2.3 change and continuity:
  • identifies some aspects of society which have changed and some which have stayed the same over time in more than one context.

Memorandum

Activity 1

(1) d (3) f (5) g (7) b

(2) f (4) a (6) c

Activity 2

(a) Yes

(b) (1) Sinkers (fishing), arrows and hand axes (stone, wood), arrowheads

of bone

(Middle Stone Age) Materials became more advanced (Late Stone Age)

  1. (1) Manufacture tools, food, jewelry, hunt, practising art, build houses
  2. (2) Khoina – partly also black farmers, keep sheep, earthenware
  3. (3) The Khoina introduced the first tamed animals (eg. fat-tailed sheep) and the first earthenware to South Africa.

(c) f, f, f

Content actions

Download module as:

Add module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks