Topic ID #37730 - posted 12/1/2016 5:00 PM

Lesotho: Sehonghong Field School 2017 - Academic Credit through UCLA


Project Overview

Sehonghong is a rockshelter in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho, southern Africa. The landscape is rugged and remote, a vertical topography where dramatic river valleys slice deeply through southern Africa’s very highest peaks. For tens of thousands of years people used this broken landscape in diverse ways, from a year-round home to seasonal hunting and fishing grounds. The mountains were at different times no doubt a help and a hindrance, offering hiding places to ambush game, for example, or avoided altogether when the climate turned especially cold and dry. The changing roles the mountains played in the lives of the many generations who lived here are preserved in a variety of forms, including deep archaeological sequences in rockshelters, some of which are beautifully painted with San rock art. Sehonghong is one of the most impressive and historically significant such shelters in the whole of southern Africa. The goal of the 2017 field season is to continue excavating Sehonghong, and to conduct archaeological and geomorphological surveys in the surrounding area. Integrating these rockshelter and open-air archaeological and paleoenvironmental datasets will help us reconstruct early modern human strategies for coping with highland environments.

Program Director: Dr. Brian Stewart and Dr. Genevieve Dewar

Course Dates: May 7-June 11, 2017
Application Deadline: May 5, 2017
Tuition: $4,500
Credit: 12 UCLA credit units 


Johannesburg – In Joburg, students will stay at ‘Melville International Backpackers’ ( situated in the safe and vibrant neighborhood of Melville. The Backpackers has an airport shuttle that will collect you directly from O.R. Tambo International Airport. The Backpackers is an approximately 30 minute drive from the airport. We will stay at the same venue on the night that we return to Joburg from the site (June 10).

Maseru – In Maseru (Lesotho’s capital), students will stay at ‘The Trading Post’, a historic bed and breakfast situated in the suburb of Roma, where Lesotho’s National University campus is also located.

Sehonghong – On site, where the majority of the field school will take place, we will be camping. You will be required to bring your own tent, sleeping bag, air mattress etc. You will receive an information package before we leave detailing the equipment for which you will be responsible.

We bring all food into the field. Water, which is pure and fresh, is brought down form the nearby village by local people whom we employ. This is a rugged mountain environment with very limited resources and no major supermarkets in the immediate area. We cook our own meals in the field. We take turns cooking and doing the washing up, allowing budding chefs an opportunity to wow us all. We eat very well with typical meals consisting of risotto, pasta, curry, chili and stew. As we do not have a fridge so most meals are vegetarian with the exception of tinned tuna and dried meat (jerky, known locally as biltong). We do, however, have the occasional barbeque on days we return from a larger town with fresh produce and meat (approximately twice per season). Those who enjoy milk in their coffee/tea will also be happy to know we do have long life milk in camp. We can accommodate vegetarians, people with lactose intolerance, or who require Halal or Kosher food.

Toilet and shower facilities are very basic but functional. Our toilets are frequently renewed, open-air (but secluded) long-drops. We wash using solar showers, which everyone is required to bring. There is enough water for everyone to wash at the end of every workday.

For further information visit Program Page:


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