Mapungubwe, a 13th and 14th century trading centre, was excavated from the s; Thulamela in the s. The two sites were the most significant archaeological gold discoveries in southern Africa, Tiley-Nel says.
THEFT: A History of Music
Researchers say that it is a blow to lose the Thulamela materials because new techniques are providing more information than ever about the composition and provenance of ancient metals. The theft is also hampering discussions about moving other artefacts to locations under the authority of South African National Parks, or SANParks, a government-supported conservation body. Researchers at other institutions say that SANParks has been seeking to become an official repository for about a decade, and it has a number of artefacts on loan from both the Thulamela and Mapungubwe collections.
And the University of Pretoria and other curators say that they are considering withdrawing their artefacts from SANParks and halting talks about future loans.
Researchers are also concerned that SANParks has yet to officially inform the Ditsong museum about the theft of the Thulamela pieces. The museum found out only through the archaeological grapevine this April, says Frank Teichert, an archaeologist there, and has received an email confirmation but no comprehensive list of what has been stolen. A SANParks spokesperson says that the museum had informed police and was not aware it had to let anyone else know about the theft. For the best commenting experience, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines.
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The Theft of History by Jack Goody
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