Topic ID #28150 - posted 4/10/2013 1:30 AM

Steinaecker’s Horse Historical-Archaeological research project 2013 - South Africa

Jennifer Palmer

Steinaecker’s Horse Historical-Archaeological research project 2013 - the Ngotsomouth outpost of the unit in the Kruger National Park



The 2013 excavation season of the Steinaecker’s Horse military unit will be done from 4-17 August 2013.  A person may opt to go for both weeks or for any of the individual weeks 4-11 August or 9-17 August).  Volunteers will be responsible for their own travel arrangements to Pretoria, South Africa, from where we will provide transport.  A fee for lodging and sustenance is also included.


A limited number of places are available.  Accommodation will be provided in huts in the Balule Rest camp.  This camp has no electricity, but gas fridges are available.  It therefore affords the unique opportunity to experience archaeology in this almost untouched environment – we also do make enough time to do some game watching.


The research project is undertaken by Archaetnos Archaeologists, a CRM company who does this research as part of their social responsibility programme of giving back to archaeology.  This is the second time that the Ngotsomouth site will be researched.  The site, located close to the Balule rest camp in the Kruger Park, was used by Harry Wolhuter as a camp during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1901).  He was a member of Steinaecker’s Horse and visited the different outpost in order to deliver provisions.


Steinaecker’s Horse was a military unit who fought on the side of the British during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The unit existed of local inhabitants of the Lowveld and also included members of the local communities.  These worked at soldiers, chefs and servants.  The main task of the unit was to prevent the Boers from making contact with people who supported them from Mozambique.


The importance of the projects is that it is one of only a few which investigates the Anglo-Boer War from an archaeological perspective.  It also creates the opportunity to study the involvement of local tribes in the war; something has for a long time not received attention from researchers.


The site consists of various refuse middens which will be excavated.  During the 2008 excavations some glass and porcelain shards as well as ammunition dating to the time of the Anglo-Boer War, were unearthed.


Steinaecker’s Horse also contributed to the establishment of the Kruger Park.  The adjudant of the unit, major A Greenhill-Gardyne, wrote guidelines for the preservation of the wildlife in the vicinity of Sabi Bridge.  This document was used by major J Stevenson-Hamilton when he worked in the park.  Various former member of the unit later on became game rangers in the park.


Any enquiries regarding the research can be directed to Dr. Anton van Vollenhoven, upon which full details on the excursion (price, transport etc) will be provided.  He can be contacted at or


Visit our Employment Network websites: - - For information on advertising on this website, contact