Position: Senior Lecturer
Phone: 27 11 717 6053
Room: 211 Origin 2nd fl
I have a particular interest in the history of the last 500 years, and with contemporary issues in Archaeology. Working within the historical period provides the opportunity to work with a wide range of sources, from material remains, to oral and recorded histories. It also brings global forces, capitalism and colonialism to the fore. I’m also interested in the role that archaeology has come to play in the present, and how archaeologists are perceived by different sectors of society, particularly when the political and economic stakes are high.
Between 2001 and 2007 I excavated Historic Cave in the Makapan Valley, South Africa. This project was carried out with permission of the Kekana who are the living descendants of the group besieged by the Boers in Historic Cave in 1854. I have a long association with the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, and continue to research and write up popular material on the fossil hominids, fauna and flora of the area. Lastly I have worked with and published on charcoal and palaeoenvironments.
Esterhuysen, A.B. 2012. ‘A snake cannot have two heads’: understanding the historical and recent politics of succession as evidenced in the material and oral record of the Kekana Ndebele. Journal of Southern African Studies 38(2): 319-332.
Esterhuysen, A. 2012. The Cinderella metaphor: South African Archaeology (still) in the making. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 47 (1): 5-13.
Esterhuysen, A.B. 2010. Excavation at Historic Cave, Makapan’s Valley, Limpopo: 2001-2005. South African Archaeological Bulletin 65 (191): 67-83.
Esterhuysen, A.B., Sanders, V.M. & J.M. Smith. 2009. Human skeletal and mummified remains from the AD1854 siege of Mugombane, Limpopo South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 1038-1049.
Esterhuysen, A.B. 2008. Divining the Siege of Mugombane. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 27: 461-474
Refereed chapters in books
Esterhuysen, A.B. 2008. Ceramic Alliances: Pottery and the History of the Kekana Ndebele in the Old Transvaal. In: N. Swanepoel, A. Esterhuysen, & P. Bonner (eds) 500 years rediscovered: southern African precedents and prospects, 500 year Initiative Conference Proceedings. Witwatersrand University Press. pp 197-214.
Esterhuysen, A.B. & J.M. Smith. 2007. Archaeology: Stories set in stone. In Delius, P (ed.) Mpumalanga History and Heritage. UKZN Press.
Bonner, P., Esterhuysen, A. & T. Jenkins (eds). 2007. A search for origins. Science, History and South Africa’s ‘Cradle of Humakind’. Witwatersrand: University Press.
N. Swanepoel, A. Esterhuysen, & P. Bonner (eds). 2008. 500 years rediscovered: southern African precedents and prospects, 500 year Initiative Conference Proceedings. Witwatersrand University Press