MOLOTO

 

Location

Moloto Hill was located to the north-west of Muhululu Hill. Today only the top part of this dome-shaped hill is recognisable above a tailings dump. Settlements immediately to the west of Moloto Hill include Cotton Hill, Escom Hill and Hill X (Ghoenkop) which are all situated within the boundaries of the Foskor terrain.

 

Historical evidence

It is said that the matrilineal relatives of Paane, one of the early progenitors of the Masękę-Malatji, were the Moloto clan who lived near Mapulaneng. This group was related to the Bakoni of Matlala. The Masękę-Malatji contracted marriage alliances with this group. The Bakoni also supported the Masękę-Malatji’s claims to the Ba-phalaborwa chieftaincy. This was particularly noticeable during the succession feuds between Paane and Makikele of the Makusane-Malatji. Moloto Hill therefore may have been occupied by a Bakoni group related to the Masękę-Malatji.

 

Archaeological remains

There was once a small, low outcrop with five small terraces to the north-west of Moloto and to the south-west of Nagome Hill. A free standing wall curved outwards from the base of the kopje and from below the terraces. Today little surface debris is found on the terraces and the free sanding wall has been almost completely destroyed.

 

The archaeological investigation

Before Moloto Hill was covered with a tailings-dump, a CR1 furnace, dated to AD 1890±120 Ad (Y-1661), was excavated near this syenite outcrop. No artefacts were recovered from this site.

 

State of preservation

This site no longer exists.

 

Table

 

LOCATION

EARLY IRON AGE

 

LATE IRON AGE

 

 

 

 

  

Loole (31LU)

No?

TERRACES

 

IRON WORKING

 

COPPER WORKING

 

 

 

 

GROUND LEVEL

HILL SLOPE

SMELTING

FORGING

SMELTING

SECONDARY ACTIVITY

 

 

 

 

yes

 

 

yes

probably

STATE OF PRESV

 

 

destroyed

destroyed

destroyed

destroyed

destroyed

destroyed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREV EXCA

 

 

 

 

 

 

previous excavation

 

 -----------------------------------------------------

 Source:

Archaeological survey and assessment of Palabora Mining Company’s mining areas in Phalaborwa, Northern Province of South Africa. An addendum to Palabora Mining Company’s environmental management programme report.

Dr. Julius CC Pistorius
Archaeologist and Cultural Heritage Management Consultant

Top