Malan A., Halkett D., Hart T. and Schietecatte L. 2017. Grave Encounters. Archaeology of the burial grounds, Green Point, South Africa. With preface by Professor Carmel Schrire.
Summary: Grave Encounters provides a framework for understanding the historical layering of a small corner of Cape Town that has become defined by its links to death, urbanisation, social engineering and disputes. The first half of the story explains how the cemeteries were established in this area and why and when they were removed – and also why human skeletons are still being discovered in unexpected places. The second half describes excavations at four sites and discusses what was discovered and what has been learned in the process.
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This book was prepared with financial support from Lotto and published with financial support from the Cape Town Heritage Trust and the Simon van der Stel Foundation.
Ch 1: What lies beneath roads, pavements and buildings 1
• The making of Green Point
Ch 2: Disposing of the dead: a history of burials and Green Point 15
• Gathering, hunting and herding at the Cape
• Of slaves, soldiers and shipwrecks: dying at a Dutch East India outpost
• Who buried the dead?
• Conflicts: cemeteries and British commerce
• Poverty, dirt and cleansing
• Living and dead: social and spatial engineering
• Disturbing the dead: changing attitudes
Ch 3: Unmarked burial grounds in Green Point 53
• Finding traces everywhere
• Outside the formal cemeteries: Cobern Street
• A paupers’ burial ground: Marina Residential
• A comparative forensic study: Cobern Street and Marina Residential
• Mass reburial sites: BP Corporate Headquarters
• Upheavals to come
Ch 4: Prestwich Street: the discovery that divided 81
• The archaeology of Prestwich Street
• Analysing the data
• Beyond the cause célèbre
Ch 5: Making sense of what remains 103
• The voiceless of Cape Town: what have we learned about their lives?
• History, heritage, symbolism and transformation
• Overlooked, hidden, elided and displaced