Original Research

A preliminary report on settlement layout and gold melting at Thula Mela, a Late Iron Age site in the Kruger National Park

M.M. Kusel
Koedoe | Vol 35, No 1 | a389 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v35i1.389 | © 1992 M.M. Kusel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 1992 | Published: 22 September 1992

About the author(s)

M.M. Kusel, University of, South Africa

Full Text:



Archaeological investigations at a Late Iron Age stone-walled hill site, Thula Mela, near the Luvuvhu River in the Pafuri area of the Kruger National Park, have produced evidence of gold melting. The recovery of two fragments of pottery crucibles with the remains of slag and gold globules and three gold beads from a test trench in a midden at Thula Mela represents the first direct evidence of indigenous gold melting in South Africa. From radiocarbon dates it was established that this site was occupied between the fifteenth and early seventeenth century AD.


archaeology. Late Iron Age, Kruger National Park, settlement patterns, indigenous gold melting.


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Crossref Citations

1. Smelter and Smith: Iron Age Metal Fabrication Technology in Southern Africa
Duncan Miller
Journal of Archaeological Science  vol: 29  issue: 10  first page: 1083  year: 2002  
doi: 10.1006/jasc.2001.0758