Iron Age Sites near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga
Lydenburg is the home of numerous Iron Age sites (500A.D.) particularly in the Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve,where stone-walled enclosures, engraved circles and pottery attest to these earlier inhabitants of this beautiful area.
Most of this pottery is closely related to the pottery found at the Lydenburg Heads site in respect of age and decoration. These famous heads were found in the 1950’s by a schoolboy and comprise 7 clay masks which were probably used in rituals and ceremonies in the Early Iron Age. The original heads are now housed in the Iziko National Musem in Cape Town but perfect replicas are beautifully displayed in the Lydenburg Museum along with much of the original pottery.
Situated about 18kms outside Lydenburg is the farm Boomplaats where very peculiar rocks are strewn across the veld. Engraved and chipped on their smooth surface are designs, some abstract and decorative, some seemingly maps of kraal settlements. Other rocks seem to be deep cisterns and are a curious sight. There is little explanation for these rocks – or ‘Petroglyphs’ - but they do testify to iron-age settlements in the area.