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  Mpumalanga History and Heritage2007 / edited by Peter Delius
 

 

 
One of the set of seven ceramic heads dating 9th-11th century AD, found near Lydenburg in the 1960s and now preserved in the Iziko Museum in Cape Town
 
Botanical drawing by Rudolf Marloth of Gerbera asplenifolia and Gerbera Jamesonii (Barberton Daisy)
 

Curio sellers waiting for tourists on a route in Mpumalanga

 
The Nelspruit central business district today

 

 

Mpumalanga is known for its spectacular landscapes and its teeming game reserves.  But it also has an extraordinarily rich and vivid history that has not been adequately recognised or represented, and whose potential contribution to tourism, education, and economic development therefore remains largely unrealised.

This ground-breaking study is aimed at ensuring that the province's compelling past lives on in the present.  Written by some of South Africa's foremost researchers, and richly illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs, it tells a story beginning with the geological records of the first emergence of life on Earth more than three billion years ago, and concluding with the dawn of an inclusive democracy in South Africa.

Areas covered include geology, archaeology, rock art, traditions of early settlement, frontier conflicts, the South African War, conservation, economic development, political struggles in the 20th century, and the significance of all of this in the light of contemporary debates over heritage.

This book is aimed at raising awareness of and stimulating debate about issues of history, heritage, and identity in Mpumalanga. Ultimately, it seeks to invite and contribute to new initiatives to preserve the province's heritage and present it in ways that will enrich the lives of current and future generations.

Peter Delius is professor of history at the University of the Witwatersrand.  His previous publications include The Land belongs to US and a Lion Amongst the Cattle

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