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Archives of Times Past

Best Non-fiction Edited Volume Award Winner, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 2023 AWARDS

Archives of Times Past: Conversations about South Africa’s Deep History, a book edited by Cynthia Kros, John Wright, Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Helen Ludlow. Outgoing CEO of the NIHSS, and now CEO of the HSRC, Prof. Sarah Mosoetsa, said “Archives of Times Past reminds us that much of our country’s history is still hidden. This book of essays by historians, archaeologists and researchers is a worthy winner of the 2023 Award. The editors have struck gold in their quest for pre-colonial truth.”

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Archives of Times Past: Conversations about South Africa’s Deep History explores particular sources of evidence on southern Africa’s time before the colonial era.  It gathers recent ideas about archives and archiving from scholars in southern Africa and elsewhere, focusing on the question: ‘How do we know, or think we know, what happened in the times before European colonialism?’

Historians who specialise in researching early history have learnt to use a wide range of materials from the past as source materials. What are these materials? Where can we find them? Who made them? When? Why? What are the problems with using them? The essays by well-known historians, archaeologists and researchers engage these questions from a range of perspectives and in illuminating ways. Written from personal experience, they capture how these experts encountered their archives of knowledge beyond the textbook.

Best Non-fiction Edited Volume Award Winner, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 2023 AWARDS

The book aims to make us think critically about where ideas about the time before the colonial era originate. It encourages us to think about why people in South Africa often refer to this ‘deep history’ when arguing about public affairs in the present.

The essays are written at a time when public discussion about the history of southern Africa before the colonial era is taking place more openly than at any other time in the last hundred years. They will appeal to students, academics, educationists, teachers, archivists, and heritage, museum practitioners and the general public.

Editor(s): Cynthia Kros, Helen Ludlow, John Wright, Mbongiseni Buthelezi
Contributor(s): Amanda Esterhuysen, Cynthia Kros, Fred Morton, Geoffrey Blundell, Grant McNulty, Helen Ludlow, Himal Ramji, Hlonipha Mokoena, Jan Boeyens, John Wright, Justine Wintjes, Lize Kriel, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Muchaparara Musemwa, Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu, Rachel King, Sekibakiba Peter Lekgoathi, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu