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Member of Council of Geological Society of South Africa, 
Author of " The Stone Implements of South Africa," " The Ore Deposits 
of South Africa" c., <&?. 






\_All riykts reserved.] 



The object of this volume is to co-ordinate the geological and 
archaeological notes accumulated during my many visits to Orangia. 

I am indebted to the Commission (consisting of Professor R. B. 
Young, of Johannesburg, Mr. T. N. Leslie, of Vereeniging, and 
myself), appointed by the Government to Report on the Desirability 
and Possibility of preserving the Petroglyphs and Rock-Paintings, 
for permission to include the copies from Fouriesburg, Ficksburg, 
Koffyfohtein, Biesjesfontein and Baviaanskranz : these, as well as 
those from the other localities, were made by myself. 

The volume constitutes a condensed survey of the geology and 
archaeology of Orangia. 

December, 1909. 














INDEX.. 100 





GEOGRAPHICALLY, Orangia may be described as the country lying 
between the Vaal and the Orange rivers. Politically it is more 
restricted, the plains west of the Capetown-Kimberley-Bulawayo 
railway and the hills east of the Caledon river belonging to neigh- 
bouring States. Both in regard to its physical features and its 
climatic conditions it represents the exact mean of that portion of 
South Africa which is at present inhabited by the white man. 

The railway from Capetown to Johannesburg via Bloemfontein 
almost exactly bisects this territory. The traveller from the coast, 
after crossing the Orange river, looks out on to a monotonous stretch 
of gently undulating grass veld dotted here and there with a kopje 
or randje,* and lit up by a blazing sun. In places, especially in 
the south, the grass is replaced by tiny shrubs while most of the 
kopjes and randjes are sparsely dotted with bushes, but neither are 
visible from a distance. If it is in the dry season, which extends 
from March to August, the veld will have a brown parched appear- 
ance, and the sky overhead will be a clear blue perhaps with flecks 
of white, but if it is during the wet season the veld may be a pleas- 
ing green and the sky overcast, for the rains are very intermittent 
and the heavens are seldom clouded. At long intervals he will pass 

* Translated literally, kopje means a little hill, but the adjective rugged must 
be added to convey a correct picture to the mind. A randje is a little ridge or range 
of kopjes. 


n patch of bush or a tree-encircled homestead, but they are too few 
and too insignificant a feature in the landscape to afford any relief to 
the eye. Two objects only will excite his curiosity ; the pan a 
large oval depression in the ground with a bare flat bottom of which 
he will see several examples, and the small hemispherical mound of 
the termite or white ant which is scattered in myriads over the veld. 
All the way to the Vaal he crosses only five rivers worthy of men- 
tion, namely, the Riet, the Moddcr, the Sand, the Vet, and the 
Yalsch, and even these are a mere succession of pools for at least 
one half of the year. They do not occupy valleys, but flow in deep 
stone-strewn channels between high bush-fringed banks. 

The country gets flatter and more arid as one proceeds west- 
ward from the railway, while it becomes more undulating and 
humid as one goes east, finally breaking up into hill and dale. The 
extreme west is one of the most dreary and barren regions imagin- 
able, short of absolute desert, while the eastern border is as fair and 
fertile a region as could be wished. 

When the European first entered this country from the south, 
he found it mainly occupied by the Bosjesman and the- Koranna , 
though the Bantu or Kafir had already come down from the north 
and taken possession of portion of it. In those days the broad 
plains teemed with big game. 

Now, the whole of this enormous area is parcelled out into 
farms averaging about 15 square miles in extent. The Bosjesman 
and Koranna are no more, the Kafir is reduced to a vassal and the 
game has mostly disappeared. The rooi-rhebok and the vaal-rhebok 
still hold out among the larger groups of kopjes, while the springbok, 
blesbok and gnu live on in the flats in a semi-protected state. Only 
the little stenbok and the diminutive duiker retain their full 

The farmers are, of course, mainly Boers, but here and there 
one of British extraction is to be met with. The standard of living 
maintained by the Boer is similar to that of the labouring classes of 
London and other big towns, but his environment is infinitely better. 
To describe the contrast between the stifling atmosphere of a big- 
town and the fresh air of the open veld, would be superfluous. He 
is often blamed for his unprogressiveness. But those who are aware 


of the disheartening antagonism of many of the natural forces which 
surround him, will not so readily find fault. His sobriety is un- 
paralleled and his hospitality proverbial. 

Within the political boundary there are only two towns worthy 
of the designation, namely, Bloemfontein, the capital, and Kroon- 
stad, a pleasure resort both situated on the main railway but 
there are quite a number of villages dotted over the country. 

Bloemfontein is a plain, unattractive little town, covering an 
area of about a mile square. The streets are laid out parallel and 
at right angles to one another, the one series running east and west 
and the other north and south. It boasts, besides the House of 
Assembly or Eaadzaal, and the Government buildings, an excellent 
sports ground, baths, a theatre, library, and museum, this last, 
however, being a very inadequate structure. There is also a park, 
but it is as yet in embryo. 

By planting more trees and erecting a better class of house, it- 
could be made, with its fine climate, a very pleasant place. This 
seems to have been recognised in planning the more recent additions 
on the outskirts of the town proper. The best scope for improve- 
ment is afforded at the north end, where the monotonous flatness of 
the surrounding bare veld is broken by a group of bush-covered 
kopjes. The town is already spreading out amongst these, and a 
superior style of house with large well-planted grounds is being 

The population, like that of all the South African towns, is of a 
cosmopolitan character, with a prominent Jewish element. It 
numbers 15,500. 

To the south of the town, and laid out on the same plan, and in 
continuation of it, is the Kafir location. The orderly arrangement 
and absence of crowding of the houses make it an exception and a 
model of its kind. The houses are of mud bricks, and contrast 
favourably with the usual corrugated-iron shanties. It has 18,000 
odd inhabitants. 

By adopting the geographic boundary one is enabled to 
enumerate one other town, namely, Kimberley. It is, however, 
even flatter, dustier and, apart from the famous diamond mines on 
which it is dependent, less interesting than Bloemfontein.. 


APART from some comparatively small outcrops of older formations 
along the Vaal river, the whole surface of Orangia is made up of the 
almost horizontal beds of the Karoo system. 

The most extensive outcrop of the older formations is that in 
the neighbourhood of the village of Vredefort, where a complete 
sequence of the rocks of the Witwatersrand, Ventersdorp, and Pot- 
chef stroom systems is exposed, resting on the older South African 
granite. The area has been well-described by Molengraaff. It 
originated in the planing down by marine denudation of the top of a 
great anticline by w T hich process the different rocks were brought 
to the surface in a series of concentric rings, the oldest being in the 
centre. Since then, in the northern half, atmospheric agencies 
have been at work on the upturned edges of these rocks, transform- 
ing the once level plain into alternating semicircles of hill and dale. 
In the southern half they are concealed beneath the beds of the 
Karoo system. The geological structure is well illustrated by the 
accompanying plan and section. 

The granite occupies the centre of the area. It is mainly a 
biotite granite, with orthoclase, plagioclase, and microcline. It 
was formerly thought to be intrusive into the overlying quartzites 
and slates of the Witwatersrand system, there being some peculiar 
rocks, suggestive of contact metainorphism at the junction. Molen- 
graaff says : ; ' Up to some distance from the granite the rocks are 
charged with contact minerals. From amongst these rocks I will 
quote two remarkable types : (1) apparently porphyritic more or less 

5 6 

6 5 


(1) Karoo Beds. (2) Pretoria Series. (3) Dolomite and Black 
Reef Series. (4) Yentersdorp Amygdaloid*. (.")) Upper Wn- 
\vatersrand Beds. (6) Lower Witwatersrand Beds. (7) Granite. 

schistose rocks, composed mainly of corundum and biotite in fairly 
large grains, connected by a network of quartz, (2) ferruginous and 
magnetic banded slate, charged with spherulites or bunches of 
actinolite. I found these two rocks to exist with great constancy 
and uniformity in the lower portions of the sedimentary formations 
around the greater part of the circumference of the granite." It is 
very probable, however, that they are older than the Witwaters- 
rand beds, and that the latter rest unconformably, both on them and 
the granite. 

The Witwatersrand system is split up into a Lower and Upper 
division, the former consisting mainly of slates and quartzites, and 
the latter of quartzites and conglomerates, but there is no sharp 
line of demarcation between the tvo. There is a peculiar belt in 
the lower division, of banded silica-iron oxide rock, consisting of 
alternating layers of quartz, jasper, hematite, and magnetite, which 
is frequently remarkably folded and faulted, and the lamina) 
minutely plicated, although the slates above and below arc 

The Ventersdorp system consists chiefly of basic aphanitic and 
porphyritic amygdaloids, but sediments are also represented. Hatch 
has described an interesting occurrence of coarse conglomerate, con- 
sisting of flattish pebbles or boulders of quartzite in a gritty matrix, 
on the farm Stinkhoutboom , south-west of the village of Reitzbiirg. 

The rocks of the Potchefstroom system have been divided into 
(1) Black Eeef series, (*2) Dolomite series, and (3) Pretoria series. 
The Black Eeef series consists of quartzites and conglomerates, but 
is poorly represented, and often absent in this district. Molengraaff 
describes the Dolomite series as consisting of alternating beds of 
dolomite and chert, the dolomite predominating in the lower and 
the chert in the upper portion of the series. The Pretoria series 
consists of quartzites and slates. 

From the highest point on the granite, near Vredefort, a good 
insight into the geological structure, as reflected in the topography, 
can be obtained. To the south lies the flat or gently undulating 
country formed by the Karoo beds. To the west, north, and east 
are the semi-circular hill ranges constituted by the more resistant 
horizons of the older formations. 

The hills immediately adjoining the granite show sharp crests 
and serrated outlines elongated in the direction of the general strike, 
and are composed of slates and quartzites belonging to the lower 
Witwatersraud beds. 

Running parallel with these are the kopjes formed by the quart- 
zites of the Upper Witwatersrand beds. 

Beyond these again, and contrasting strongly with them, are 
the smooth rounded hills resulting from the weathering of the basic 
amygdaloids of the Ventersdorp system. 

The Black Reef scries is here too poorly developed to 
have any appreciable effect on the topography, while the Dolomite 
formation, which rarely gives rise to any -elevations, occupies the 
broad valley between the last mentioned range and the final semi- 
circular ridge formed by the lowest quartzites of the Pretoria series. 

South-west of the Yredefort area a long strip of the lavas of the 
Ventersdorp system is exposed along the river, while to the east 
there are other but smaller outcrops. 

Some fifty miles east of Yredefort, in the angle between the 
Wilge and the Yaal rivers, there is a small inlier of the Lower \Yit- 
watersrand beds. A number of boreholes have been put down in 
the neighbourhood by Sawyer, in order to locate the base of the 
Upper \Yitwatersrand beds, which are there covered by the hori- 
zontal rocks of the Karoo system, and in the hope that, as on the 
\Yitwatersrand, payable auriferous conglomerates will be met with. 
The position of these boreholes is shown in the acconipam-ing plan 
(Figure "2). The section revealed by boreholes Xo. 2, 4, and 8, 
which are ranged in a straight line, taken in conjunction with the 
small outcrop, is illustrated in Figure 3, and is of great interest. 
Borehole No. 9 is in progress at the time of writing. Figure 4 shows 
the three boreholes in greater detail. 

An insight into the underground geology of the neighbourhood 
is afforded by the deep shafts of the Kimberley and De Beers mines. 
The sections exposed arc represented in Figure 5. They shew the 
older granite overlain by sediments and lavas of the Yentersdorp 
system, and capped by Karoo shales with intrusive gabbrodiorite. 
The diamond mines of other localities have not been exploited to a 
builicieut depth to expose the rocks underlying the Karoo beds, but 








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a clue to their nature is afforded by the boulders brought up from 
below with, and found in, the mine breccia. 

The Karoo beds strike across Orangia in a south-west and north- 
east direction, and dip slightly to the south-east. They have been 
divided into Dwyka, Ecca or Beaufort, and Stormberg series. 

The Dwyka series is represented by a band of boulder-shale 
which outcrops all along the north-western border of Orangia, using 
this term in the wider sense. Its true nature was first recognised 
by Stow who pointed out that it was nothing more or less than a 
glacier moraine. All along the Vaal river from its junction with 
the Orange to the village of Vereeniging, wherever the underlying- 
rocks have been exposed by denudation , they are seen to be polished 
and seriated. 

These underlying rocks, as already noted, are predominantly 
the hard aphanitic and porphyritic amygdaloids of the Ventersdorp 
system. They form gently undulating country which, notwith- 
standing the results of weathering, still present the characteristic 
contours of a glaciated region, and, in which, as might be expected, 
the present drainage system can be seen accommodating itself more 
or less to the glacially modified pro- Dwyka river valley. Occasion- 
ally, as at Pniel and Riverton, these surfaces consist largely of 
typical roches moutonnces. The evidence of the striations indicates 
that the general trend of the ice movement was from north-east to 

The covering of moraine varies much in thickness with a maxi- 
mum of about 30 feet. It consists of boulders and pebbles scattered 
haphazardly throughout a friable matrix. The boulders frequently 
exhibit typical stria>, and usually have characteristic glacial forms. 

The Ecca or Beaufort series is made up of sandstones and shales, 
the latter predominating, and forms the surface of the greater part 
of Orangia. It is probably unconformable to the underlying series. 
It is about 1,500 feet in thickness, and is important on account of 
the valuable coal-seams which occur here and there towards its base. 
The largest deposit so far located is that of the Vereeniging coal- 
field, discovered by the geologist Stow. The lower beds have yielded 
a number of plant remains, for a knowledge of which we are in- 
debted mainly to Leslie of Vereeniging. They comprise species of 


Glossopteris, Gangamopteris, Cordaites, Sigillaria, Lepidodendron , 
Xeuropteridium Bothrodendron , Psygmophyllum , Callipteridium 

and Bchizoneura. Certain of the sandstones contain siiicified wood 
in abundance. 

Near Vereeniging there outcrops in the river bed a seam of 
coal through which project numerous casts of roots and stumps, 
still occupying their original positions, as well as the prostrate stems, 
of the trees that, with their predecessors, produced the material 
out of which the coal-seam was formed a veritable fossil forest. 

The Stormberg series, apart from some small outliers of the 
lower beds scattered along the central belt, is met with only along 
the eastern border of Orangia, and is probably unconformable to the 
underlying series. It comprises four well-marked subdivisions, 
namely, the Molteno beds, the Red beds, the Cave sandstone, and 
the Volcanic formation. Pornan gives the following thicknesses 
in two typical sections, just over the boundary : 

Morija. Thaba Tsuen 

Volcanic Formation ... ... 600 feet. 

Cave Sandstone ... ... 200 ... 120 ,, 

Red Beds 400 300 

Molteno Beds 500 400 ., 

The full thickness of the Molteno beds is not exposed, but 
probably does not much exceed the amount in sight. 

The Molteno beds are composed of sandstones and shales, the 
latter being subordinate. They contain thin seams and pockets of 
coal, but none of economic importance have been found in Orangia. 

The basal sandstones are largely made up of granite debris, and 
are mostly coarse in texture, in both of which respects they differ 
from those of the underlying series. Large subangular pieces of 
felspar are frequently present, as also are fragments of garnet. 
These coarse-grained beds are sometimes succeeded by fine-grained 
aggregates of quartz and felspar in approximately equal proportions, 
which remind one forcibly of the peculiar Rooi Berg quartzites. 
Harger, who has carefully examined these beds from time to time, 
informs me that he has found at several widely separated places 
small isolated boulders of granite in them, which would seem to 






I . I . I .-1 


COALFIELD. (After Leslie.) 

Surface soil (1) with <jravel containing silicified wood at base : 10 
feet. Ecca or Beaufort Series, shales and sandstones (2), coarse-grained 
sandstone (3), coal seam (4), shale (5), coal-seam (6), stratified con- 
glomerate (7) : total thickness, 130 feet. Plant remains are found in the 
conglomerate underlying, and in the sandstones immediately overlying 
the coal seams. Dwyka Series, boulder-bed (8), 30 feet in thickness, 
Dolomite Series (9). 


suggest the operation of some abnormal possibly glacial trans- 
porting agent, at that period. 

The Eed beds pass downwards into the Molteno beds, and 
upwards into the Cave sandstone. They consist mainly of soft 
bluish, greenish, and brownish red shales. 

The Cave sandstone proper consists of a single thick bed of very 
fine-grained sandstone of a pfcle brown colour. It constitutes the 
capping of the numerous small plateaux and tafel-kops of the eastern 
border. The vertical sides of this capping are frequently weathered 
out into rock-shelters, and occasionally into caves, hence the name. 

In the mountains which form the eastern boundary of Orangia . 
the Cave sandstone is overlain by the basic aniygdaloids and tuffs 
of the Volcanic formation, which attains a thickness of as much as 
4,000 feet. 

The Stormberg series have yielded only a few fossils in Orangia. 
Outside of this area the Molteno beds contain abundant plant 
remains. The flora indicate'd, which includes the genera Thinn- 
feldia, Ta?niopteris, Callipteridium, Ba'iera, Stenopteris, Chiropteris 
and Pterophyllum, but not Glossopteris, is very different to that 
from the base of the Ecca or Beaufort series. A few reptilian 
remains have also been found in them. The Red beds near 
Harrismith village include a bone breccia, specimens from which 
have been described by Owen. According to Draper the fossil 
fishes, Semionotus, Cleithrolepis, and Dictyopyge, described by 
Smith-Woodward from the neighbourhood of the villages of Ficks- 
burg and Rouxville, come from the Cave sandstone. 

The rocks of Orangia are traversed throughout the whole area 
by a network of basic dykes and sills of similar composition. Their 
constituent minerals are augite and lath-shaped plagioclases, usually 
in ophitic intergrowth , with subordinate olivine , ilmenite and , occa- 
sonally, garnet, the last two differing from those of the diamond- 
bearing rock in exhibiting their crystal forms. They are for the 
most part aphanitic or porphyritic in texture, but are usually 
phaneritic in the middle, and may therefore be classed as gabbro- 
diorites. Their remarkable similarity makes it probable that they 
are all of the same age. The sedimentary rocks are frequently 
sharply tilted and intensely indurated at the contact, the shales, for 


instance, being converted into lydian-stone for a distance of several 
inches away. On account of their hardness, the larger dykes often 
form lines of bult, or even kopjes and randjes. 

Newer than the gabbrodiorite intrusions, since they frequently 
break through them, are the almost equally widespread vein-like 
dykes and pipes of diamond-bearing rock, which will be described 
in the next chapter. 

Diamonds, coal, and salt are the only minerals of economic 
importance that have been found in Orangia. Should the Vredefort 
granite prove to be intrusive into the surrounding strata, then one 
would be justified in searching for ore-occurrences in them. In any 
case, the peripheral belt of schists is worthy of investigation. Gold 
is widely disseminated throughout the Witwatersrand and associated 
rocks in minute quantities, and it is just possible, though not very 
probable, that some payable patches may yet be discovered. Oil 
has been met with here and there in the Karoo beds, but there is 
no reason for supposing it to be anywhere present in sufficient 
amount to be of industrial value. 

Of useful rocks, the Karoo sandstones afford good building 
material, the matrix of the Dwyka boulder-shale is employed in 
the manufacture of pottery, and valuable bodies of limestone will 
probably be found associated with the dolomite formation. 




THE volcanic diamond-bearing rock, or kimberlite, of South Africa, 
has a wide distribution in Orangia. It occurs as the filling both of 
narrow fissures and of cylindrical vents or pipes. Seen in situ it is 
a hard greenish-blue rock, which weathers at the surface into a soft 
greenish -yellow substance. 

The Roberts-Victor occurrence affords a representative example 
and, being best known to the writer, will be used here as a type. It 
consists of two small pipes situated on a fissure. The shales all 
around are much faulted and tilted sharply upwards. The con- 
tained rock is of at least two periods of formation. The older rock 
fills the fissure and part of the pipes, while the newer rock occurs in 
the pipes only, and consists of the smashed up remains of the older 
rock mixed with boulders of rock that have been torn off the sides of 
the vent at different depths. 

At the time the writer was connected with the mine, the 
excavations had not reached the unoxidised blue ground, but were 
still in the oxidised zone or yellow ground. Further, only the older 
rock and the richest portion of that was then being worked, so 
that there is no risk of any distinctive features of the newer rock 
being attributed also to the older. 

The older rock has the aspect of a friable sandy clay of fine 
texture, throughout which grains of red garnet, scales of brown 
mica, and fragments of green diopside, are somewhat sparingly dis- 
tributed. The garnets are always surrounded by a thick rind of 
the radially fibrous alteration product known as kelyphite. and are 
sometimes completely converted into that substance. 



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Somewhat plentifully scattered throughout this rock are irregu- 
lar shaped lumps of the local shale. Boulders of similar shale, 
exhibiting concentric zoning, and of garnet-peridotite and garnet - 
pyroxenite occur, but are not common. 

The concentrates remaining after the conversion of this rock 
into a thin mud by stirring with wafer, consist mainly of small well- 
rounded pieces of a greenish-blue slate or aphanite resembling a fine 
river gravel, and occasional rounded pieces of garnet-pyroxenite. 
Next in order of abundance arc the garnets, and then fragments of 
diopside. Olivine, ilmenite, mica, enstatite, kyanite, chromite, and 
diamond occur in comparatively small quantity. Of these minerals 
only the last two exhibit their crystal form.* 

The diamonds occur mostly as beautiful little octahedra, often 
distorted and usually with characteristically curved faces. The faces 
are commonly more or less etched, and often exhibit groups of tri- 
angles, both impressed and in relief, while the curve is sometimes 
replaced by a pyramid built up of concentric triangles. A number 
of the octahedra, however, have perfectly plane and smooth faces 
and enclose a colourless cube or, in the case of hemihedral examples, 
pyramid. Octahedra joined together in various combinations not 
infrequently occur. Macles are not uncommon, but other hemi- 
hedral forms are rare. The diamonds also occur in some instances 
as grains, and, in small quantity, as irregularly shaped masses 
(" boart ") and splinters. In some cases groups of minute octa- 
hedra, similarly orientated, are attached to one or more faces of a 

The garnet-peridotite (Iherzolite) and garnet-pyroxenite (eclo- 
gite) boulders are of considerable interest. They are the largest in 
the mine, averaging from half a foot to two feet in largest diameter. 
They contain in proportionate abundance all the characteristic 
minerals of the kimberlite. 

The readily decomposable garnet-peridotites, having suffered 
considerably from lying within the zone of oxidation, are barely 

* Only in regard to the harder minerals does this reflect the relative abundance 
in the rock. Mica, which naturally does not appear in any quantity in the con- 
centrates, is perhaps the most abundant megascopic mineral in the rock ; while, as 
will be seen later, olivine, now serpentinized and decomposed, is probably the 
dominant mineral, 


recognisable. Young has described (Trans. Geol. Soe. S. Africa, 
IX., p. 121) the microscopic characters of two thin sections from 
such boulders :" They are mainly composed of serpentinous, 
chloritic, calcitic, and ferruginous material, retaining the outlines 
of the original olivinc and pyroxenes, as well as traces of the cleavage 
planes. In Xo. 500, fairly fresh crystals of a pyroxene (diopside?) 
are present. In the fragment of No. 511, from which the slice was 
cut, ilmentte, and a few garnets can be seen." 

Even the more resistant garnet-pyroxenites are, as a rule, much 
altered. The commonest form consists of brownish-red clouded 
garnets, in an opaque dark green matrix. In some cases the garnets, 
and in others the matrix, are dominant. Young has described the 
microscopic characters of a thin section from one such boulder, as 
follows : " Xo. 508 is in an advanced stage of decomposition, and 
its original character is difficult to determine. The most conspicuous 
mineral is garnet in large irregular grains, which are corroded along 
the borders and some of the cleavage cracks. The grains are sur- 
rounded by a thin kelypjiitic border, composed of hornblende. Out- 
side this is a zone containing small crystals of plagioclase, grains of 
ironstone, flakes of biotite, and small grains of another undetermined 
mineral. Beyond this zone are shadows of some coarse-grained 
mineral which is almost entirely decomposed to cryptocrystalline 
matter." This last is the dark green matrix above referred to. 

Other varieties of garnet-pyroxenite some exceedingly hand- 
someoccur in the portion of the mine under consideration. The 
following are descriptions of some selected specimens : 

No. 504. Portion of a tabular banded boulder. The main 
mass consists of blue kyanite scattered throughout a pale bluish- 
grey matrix. A band mainly of much clouded reddish-brown 
garnets forms the margin. A thin section under the microscope 
shows several grains of kyanite and one or two of garnet sur- 
rounded by large individuals of some mineral which has been altered 
to cryptocrystalline matter. In some cases these last contain frag- 
ments of the original mineral, which is colourless and possesses 
brilliant polarisation tints (pyroxene?); while in others, traces 
remain in the shape of faint cleavage lines. The kyanite, wfrch is 
always twinned, shows characteristic cleavage, and, being apparently 


colourless, is not visibly pleochroic. The garnets show typical cracks. 
Both the kyanite and garnet are surrounded by decomposition zones. 
No. 505. Also portion of a tabular banded boulder. The main 
mass consists of colourless and bluish-red garnets, scattered through- 
out a holocrystalline matrix of semitranslucent grass-green diopside. 
The garnets are subordinate and elongated in the direction of band- 
ing. At the outside edge there is a margin about two centimetres 


thick where garnets predominate, and vary from colourless to smoky 
grey and pale brown. There is a string of ilmenite granules at the 
junction of this zone with the main mass. A thin section, under the 
microscope, shows in one case an interesting intergrowth of garnet 
with diopside, the garnet occurring as laths along the cleavage planes 
of the pyroxene prism, but no other features of special interest. 


No. 506. Blue kyanite arid brown garnets scattered through- 
out a pale grey matrix. Microscopically it consists of a holocrystal- 
line aggregate of kyanite, garnet and cryptocrystalline individuals. 
These last do not show any traces of the original mineral. The 
garnets in some cases enclose round grains of kyanite. The kyanite 
and garnet are surrounded by decomposition zones. 

No. 507. A holocrystalline aggregate of red garnets and trans- 
lucent dark green diopside. The latter traversed by a network of 
opaque decomposition lines. A thin section, under the microscope, 
shows no special features. 

There are some features presented by these boulders that have 
an important bearing on the question of their origin. They are : 
(a) The boulders have a polished and often striated exterior, the 
grains of garnet in the margin being frequently worn down to half 
or more of their original diameter, (6) Large isolated pieces of 
boulders, the corners of which are often quite unabraided, are\>f not 
infrequent occurrence, (c) Many of the boulders are more or less 
tabular, some are quite rectangular the edges, however, being 
rounded and most show a distinctly banded structure, the banding 
being alw y ays linear and never concentric. 

I have not had the same opportunities of investigating the 1 
newer rock, but it was exposed to a certain extent, through previous 
prospecting operations, at the time I was connected with the 

The most striking feature is the great abundance in it of various 
rocks that have been torn off the sides of the vent at different 
depths. They are mostly well-rounded and smoothed, but a small 
proportion are subangular. The most abundant are boulders and 
pebbles of a peculiar felspar-porphyry. Other rocks represented 
are quartzite, granite, syenite, and many obviously ancient green 
and grey aphanites, both amygdaloidal and porphyritic. Garnet- 
pyroxenites also occur, but are comparatively rare. 

There was a good section exhibited in the northern pipe, where 
the columnar distribution of the boulders was well shown. It was 
very evident that these had been violently erupted through the older 

In this connection it would be interesting to know whether a 


larger number of broken diamonds are found in the newer rock. A 
considerable proportion of the diamonds from the Kimberley, the 
Voorspoed, and the Premier pipes are broken. 

The output of the Roberts-Victor mine has been as follows : 

Loads. Carats. 

1906 ... July to December 29,259 ... 19,896 

1907 ... January to June ... 83,212 ... 55.066 

1907 ... July to December 168,751 ... 77,751 

1908 ... January to June ... 65,373 ... 30,964 
1908 June to December 164,679 58,815 

511,274 242,492 

The nature of the diamond-bearing rock of South Africa is still 
very imperfectly known. The rock of some fissures gives one the 
impression of being a consolidated igneous rock, while that of 
others has all the appearance of a purely fragmeutal rock. 

There are two narrow fissure occurrences in the neighbourhood 
of the Roberts- Victor mine. The one is situated on Blauwboschfon- 
tein and the other on Bicsjesfontein. both of which farms are shown 
on the accompanying plan (Figure 9). The three occurrences are 
arranged in an almost straight line, and probably lie in a zone of 
fracture. This last is almost certainly the case with the Roberts- 
Victor and Biesjesdam occurrences, since they are both skirted on 
the north-west by the same gabbrodiorite dyke. The rock of both 
fissures closely resembles that of the Roberts-Victor, except that it 
is mostly very hard, even at the outcrop. 

A hand specimen of the Blauwboschfontein rock which I have 
before me at the time of writing, shows scales of greenish-brown 
mica, averaging about two millimetres in diameter, scattered hap- 
hazardly throughout a bluish-grey aphanitic matrix, containing 
abundant specks of the same mineral, an ilmcnite grain, and here 
and there a red garnet and green diopside. There are also many 
round calcareous masses resembling amygdales. 

Two thin sections (Xos. 510 and 511) from this specimen, when 
examined under the microscope, present the aspect of a completely 




u Z 

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5 CO 


I I 

r O 

k h 


altered fragmental rock. The most conspicuous mineral is a mica 
which occurs in scales with hexagonal basal sections strongly 
pleochroic (ranging from green to a very light brownish-yellow). 
There is much calcite and probably dolomite, also some quartz and 
iron oxide. 

A typical sample of the Biesjesdam rock in my jx>ssession shows 
sparsely scattered scales of a dark brown mica ranging from about 
4 to 5 millimetres in length, and occasional grains of red garnet 
and green diopside embedded in a brown aphanitic groundmass. 
There are numerous amygdale-like bodies of dolomite or calcite and 
sometimes of quartz, but without any directional arrangement. 

A couple of thin sections (Xos. 501 and 5O2) of this rock show it 
to be microscopically similar to the Blauwboschfontein rock, but the 
calcite (or dolomite) is in large individuals enclosing the other con- 
stituents. The amygdale-like bodies are peculiar, being composed 
of dolomite or calcite, with well crystallized quartz prisms especially 
round the margins. In Xo. 501. one of the amygdale-like bodies 
contains a few scales of green mica. A vein of dolomite or calcite 
runs through the same section. 

In spite of the narrowness of the fissure, the rock contains 
numerous well-rounded pebbles and boulders, some as much as half 
a foot in diameter. They include granite, quartzite. grey and green 
amygdaloidal aphanites and garnet-pyroxenite. A distinctive 
feature is the comparatively large size attained by the mica and 

The extreme alteration revealed by the above described micro- 
scopic examination is characteristic of kimberlite wherever it is 
found, and is the chief cause of the obscurity surrounding its nature. 

Toit, after an exhaustive investigation of the Kimberley group 
of pipes, where there are splendid opportunities of studying the rock 
in depth , considers that kimberlite has been produced by the shatter- 
ing of various deep-seated basic and ultrabasic (felspar-less) rocks 
and the incorporation of the resulting debris by a magma of ultra - 
basic character. 

A typical hand-specimen of the blue-ground from the Ivimberley 
mines would show small rounded and angular fragments of various 
rocks embedded in an aphanitic matrix, in which pieces of 


tinised olivino, enstatite and diopside, grains of garnet and ilmenite 
and scales of brown mica, are prominent. 

Under the microscope this matrix sometimes has a fragmental 
aspect, and at others it has somewhat the appearance of an igneous 
rock, but usually the constituents are too decomposed for recogni- 
tion. Serpentinised olivine, sometimes showing sharp crystal out- 
lines, is probably the dominant mineral in this matrix. 

The shape of the pipes show that they are the result of sudden 
and violent explosions. Much of the debris ejected during the out- 
burst would fall back into the pipe, and the more resistant pieces 
would become rounded by movement in it. If Toit's conception be 
correct, an ultrabasic lava then welled up the pipe , incorporated the 
boulders, and finally consolidated as kimberlite. 

The absence of clear evidence of contact metamorphism of 
cither the walls of the vent or of the included fragments of rock, is 
surprising. The effects of high temperatures are plainly seen in the 
Theron and Paardeberg-East mines and, to a lesser degree, in 
.Kamfersdam, but may be due to hydrothermal action. Many mines, 
as, for instance, Wesselton, show no signs of the action of heat. 
If the kimberlite ground-mass is a consolidated lava, it is clear that 
it must have been of an exceptional kind. It could not have been 
a molten rock, but must have been more of the nature of a hot 

Corstorphine, however, maintains that the filling of the pipes 
is not an igneous rock but a breccia derived from an igneous rock 
that solidified in depth. 

The writer's impression is that the typical fissure kimberlite 
which is a hard, dark-coloured, aphanitic rock, containing much 
visible mica and occasional megascopic garnet, ilmenite, diopside 
and olivine, and comparatively few inclusions of foreign rock, is a 
magmatic intrusion, and that the pipes were originally filled, and 
perhaps on more than one occasion , with a similar magma , which , 
except near the depth of origin, must have had a very low tempera- 
ture for an igneous extrusion, and which, after solidification, was 
smashed up by frequently repeated explosions. 

The garnet-peridotite and garnet-pyroxcnite boulders have 
excited much interest from time to time. Their similarity in mineral 




KIMBEKLITE DYKES. (After Mdvill.) 
The outline of tlie smaller pipe is nut known accurately. 


constitution to the matrix in which they are found suggests a genetic 

Tt is true that only two instances of the occurrence of diamonds 
in them have been recorded, namely, the oft-quoted discovery by 
Bonney of ten small diamonds in two boulders from the Newlands 
mine, and the more recent discovery recorded by Corstorphine of 
sixteen diamonds in a boulder from the Roberts- Victor. But this 
is not surprising when one remembers the variable distribution of 
the diamonds in a mine, and that the richest portion of the Robcrts- 
Victor mine yielded only one carat per load (16 cubic feet) of a 
matrix so easy of thorough examination. To examine an equal bulk 
of boulders they would have to be chemically reduced to the same 
degree of incoherence, but this has not yet been achieved. To 
mechanically reduce them to the required fineness would be to pul- 
verise the diamonds also. The chances of exposing a diamond by 
breaking open boulders are obviously extremely small. Interesting 
in this connection, too, is the occurrence of graphite in similar 
boulders from Jagersfontein. 

The writer believes that the garnet-peridotite and garnet- 
pyroxenite boulders, as well as the bulk of the megascopic minerals, 
are derived from a jx)rtion of the same magma that solidified in 
depth as a coarse-grained plutonic rock, prior to the formation of 
the fissures and pipes, but that it is necessary to distinguish between 
the genetically related boulders and similar rocks of metainorphic 
nature that are associated with them. To this last category the 
writer would refer Nos. 508, 509 and 506, described from the Roberts- 
Victor mine ; the first and third of these have been found constitut- 
ing one and the same boulder, while the second is merely a variety 
of the third. 

Corstorphine, however, considers the garnet-peridotite and 
garnet-pyroxenite boulders to have been segregations. ' The pre- 
cise character of the magma as it solidified in depth we do not know- . 
In it there were coarser and finer grained portions ; aggregates of 
one or more of the constituent minerals ; segregation nodules and 
segregation veins all these being represented in the breccia." 



WHILE the different occurrences of kimberlite bear a remarkable 
resemblance for a volcanic breccia , showing that they are all derived 
from the same magma, yet each group possesses a distinct facies, due 
to such factors as variation in the tint of the garnets and in the 
size and proportion of the different mineral constituents, which, 
however, is not always easy to describe. 

Lion Hill is a characteristic tafel-kop of gabbrodiorite situated at 
the side of the main railway some sixty miles south-west of Kroon- 
stad. It is penetrated in a west and east direction by a series of 
kimberlite veins, one of which extends right across. This line of 
fissuring has been traced for a distance of nine miles, and three pipes 
have been located on it (see Figure 11). 

The Wynandsfontein pipe lies some three and a half miles to 
the east of the hill, and has an area of about 90 claims. The Verge - 
legen pipe is located about three-quarters of a mile west of the hill 
and comprises 150 claims. The \Velverdiend pipe lies nearly five 
miles further west, and measures only 40 claims. A claim, it 
should be mentioned, measures 31 by 31 feet. 

The relative proportions of garnet and ilmenite in these pipes 
is note woi thy. At Wynandsfontein ilmenite is abundant and garnet 
scarce, while the reverse is the case at Welverdiend. The following 
are some particulars of the different mines. 

The Welgegund (Driekopjes) mine is situated about four miles 
north-north-west of the Welverdiend pipe, and has an area of 55 
claims. The pipe reaches the surface through a thick gabbrodiorite 
sill, which forms the walls to the depth at present reached by the 




P c 

g S) 

rH O 

O ""3 

d I 

W s> 


At the time I visited the mine the bottom was covered with 
water, so that only the yellow ground was exposed. 

The rock resembles that of the Roberts-Victor, already 
described, in its broader features, but a considerable proportion of 
the constituent minerals are larger. The average garnet of the 
Roberts- Victor, for instance, resembles a pea in size and shape, while 
that of the Welgegund is like a broad-bean in those respects. 

Irregular masses of the local gabbrodiorite and rounded boulders 
of indurated shale are scattered throughout. Boulders of either 
garnet-peridotite or garnet-pyroxenite were evidently rare or absent. 
The boulders of indurated shale frequently exhibit concentric 
lamination, as also did two pebbles of quartzite. 

The concentrates show the same peculiar resemblance to a 
fine river gravel, and consist mainly of rounded and subangular 
pieces of slate (or aphanite) and gabbrodiorite (different to that of 
the walls) in about equal proportions. 

Several dyke-like bands of the breccia penetrate the surround- 
ing rock along joint planes. At the north-east margin of the pipe 
there is a well-marked column of boulders. 

About twenty miles north-east of the Welgegund is the Kaal- 
vallei mine. 

The Monastery mine lies about 35 miles south-east of the village 
of Winburg. It consists of two small pipes, situated on a fissure, 
and is noted for the large size attained by many of the constituent 
minerals. Among the boulders are numerous examples of a peculiar 
magnetite-pyroxenite, the two components of which are in graphic 
intergrow T th. 

The Ebenhaezer and Koffyfontein mines adjoin one another 
and contain 526 and 1,-150 claims respectively. The latter, which 
may be described as a large pipe, has been producing diamonds 
since 1899. Though the yield of carats per load is low the quality 
of the diamonds is above the average. The output, which is mostly 
from Koffyfontein, has been as follows : 

Loads. Carats. 

1898-1899 997,339 ... 40,170 

1899-1900 577,070 ... 30,564 

1900-1 305,269 ... 16,847 


1901-2 ... 

1902-3 ., ........ 

1903-4 ........ , 

1904-5 ...... ... 

1905-6 ......... 

1906-7 ......... 

July to December, 1907 
January to June, 1908 




(Figure 12) there are 

As shown in the accompanying 
several other pipes in the vicinity. 

The Jagersfontein mine lies about 35 miles south-east of Koffy- 
fontein. It is a large pipe of 1,124 claims. It has been producing 
diamonds since 1898, and has been worked opencast to a depth of 
500 feet. It contains a large number of garnet-pyroxenite boulders. 
It is famous for the si/e and quality of its diamonds, the largest so 
far found being the Excelsior, which weighed 971 carats. The 
output has been as follows : 

Loads. Carats. 

1898-9 2,768,082 ... 288,937 

1899-0 1,670,935 ... 183,349 

1900-1 156,359 ... 18,002 

1902-3 365,624 ... 29,302 

1903-4 1,836,634 ... 167,598 

1904-5 2,769,320 ... 266,225 

1905-6 2,709,819 ... 255,841 

1906-7 2,405,581 ... 219,275 

The Lace mine lies about sixteen miles north-west of Kroonstad . 

and has an area of 400 claims, 
as follows : 




1905-6 ... 


The output of diamonds has been 









The Voorspoed mine is situated some five miles north-east of 
the Lace. With the exception of the Premier, it is the only large 
payable diamond mine that has been discovered during the last 
seventeen years. Mr. Harger, the well-known expert on diamond 
prospects and mines, has kindly favoured me with the following- 
description of it. 

' The formation surrounding the pipe consists mainly of shales , 
but these are overlain on the north-eastern edge of the mine by 
felspathic sandstones. These form the wall of the mine for about 
one-third of its circumference, a basic amygdaloidal aphanite con- 
stituting the remainder. 

' The diamondiferous portion of Voorspoed pipe covers about 
800 claims, but at one time, the wTiter (who was the discoverer) 

anticipated it would ^ coyer ^ fully 1 1 500 Claims , for the reason that the 

3r. It was known that a 

ERRATUM. vdthin the rim rock con- 

^ mt as a huge mass nearly 

Page 32, line 7J.-For 1898, read 1878. liddle of the mine > and 

was hoped the remainder 

~, to ..~ jJace to kimberlite under- 
neath, as happened in nearly all the largest mines, to wit, Dutoit- 
span, Bultfontein, Jagersfontein and Wesselton. Such, however, 
was not the case. On the southern portion, which consists entirely 
of aphanite with little patches and veinlets of kimberlite in it, 
several boreholes were put down, but none of them passed through 
the aphanite, the greatest depth reached being 600 feet. The 
eastern portion w r as similar, the aphanite having apparently been 
much fractured, and containing patches of kimberlite in several 
places, whilst in another the aphanite and kimberlite w T ere indis- 
criminately mixed up. 

On the southern portion a fissure containing "highly micaceous 
kimberlite (free from pebbles and boulders) was met with in two 
places, striking roughly east-west. The ground in these cases was 
typical fissure ground. In close proximity, however, was a patch 
several claims in extent of kimberlite, containing boulders and 
pebbles, and in all respects resembling the pipe kimberlite. 

In addition to the masses of aphanite referred to, which occupy 


1901-2 .... 

1902-8 ... . ..... 

1903-4 ........ . 

1904-5 ...... ... 

1905-6 .......... 

1906-7 ., ....... 

July to December, 1907 
January to June, 1908 




As shown in the accompanying plan (Figure 12) there are 
several other pipes in the vicinity. 

The Jagersfontein mine lies about 35 miles south-east of Koffy- 
fontein. It is a large pipe of 1,124 claims. It has been producing 
diamonds since 1898, and has been worked opencast to a depth of 
500 feet. It contains a largi 
It is famous for the size am 
far found being the Excels 
output has been as follows : 
















The Lace mine lies about sixteen miles north-west of Krooustad. 

and has an area of 400 claims, 
as follows : 




1905-6 ... 


The output of diamonds has been 









The Voorspoed mine is situated some five miles north-east of 
the Lace. With the exception of the Premier, it is the only large 
payable diamond mine that has been discovered during the last 
seventeen yeal*s. Mr. Harger, the well-known expert on diamond 
prospects and mines, has kindly favoured me with the following- 
description of it. 

' The formation surrounding the pipe consists mainly of shales , 
but these are overlain on the north -eastern edge of the mine by 
felspathic sandstones. These form the wall of the mine for about 
one-third of its circumference, a basic amygdaloidal aphanite con- 
stituting the remainder. 

' The diamondiferous portion of Voorspoed pipe covers about 
800 claims, but at one time, the writer (who was the discoverer) 
anticipated it would cover fully 1,500 claims, for the reason that the 
area within the shales equalled that number. It was known that a 
considerable area on the south and east within the rim rock con- 
sisted of the aphanite already referred to, but as a huge mass nearly 
fifty feet in thickness also lay in the middle of the mine, and 
proved to be merely a ' floating ' mass, it was hoped the remainder 
would likewise be ' float ' rock, and give place to kimberlite under- 
neath, as happened in nearly all the largest mines, to wit, Dutoit- 
span, Bultfontein, Jagersfontein and Wesselton. Such, however, 
was not the case. On the southern portion, which consists entirely 
of aphanite with little patches and veinlets of kimberlite in it, 
several boreholes were put down, but none of them passed through 
the aphanite, the greatest depth reached being 600 feet. The 
eastern portion was similar, the aphanite having apparently been 
much fractured, and containing patches of kimberlite in several 
places, whilst in another the aphanite and kimberlite were indis- 
criminately mixed up. 

On the southern portion a fissure containing liighly micaceous 
kimberlite (free from pebbles and boulders) was met with in two 
places, striking roughly east-west. The ground in these cases was 
typical fissure ground. In close proximity, however, was a patch 
several claims in extent of kimberlite, containing boulders and 
pebbles, and in all respects resembling the pipe kimberlite. 

In addition to the masses of aphanite referred to, which occupy 



Basic Aphanite. 



an area of nearly 700 claims, the mine ground, wherever met with, 
contains a very noticeable amount of the aphanite throughout, vary- 
ing in size from microscopic dust to huge masses. In almost any 
hand specimen the presence of the aphanite can be detected, either 
with the naked eye or a lens. 

After a careful study of all the evidence obtained, the conclusion 
arrived at by the writer is that we have here a unique occurrence 
of a volcanic diamond pipe within the neck of a pre-existing volcano, 
the stump of which alone remains owing to denudation. The shape 
of the entire occurrence within the shales, as we see it to-day, is 
almost truly oval, and occupies about 1,500 claims. The intrusions 
of kimberlite appear to have blown out more than half of the older 
volcanic filling, but failed to displace the remainder. The explosive 
forces, however, shattered the remaining aphanite in all directions, 
filling many cracks with kimberlite and in several places forcing out 
masses of rock several claims in extent , and replacing it with a true 
kimberlite or serpentine breccia. The tilting of the shales at the 
contact all round the aphanite, proves the rock to be intrusive, 
although owing to weathering no evidence of metamorphism was 
observable in the shales. The presence of shale and sandstone form- 
ing a complete girdle around the aphanite and kimberlite shows that 
the occurrence is not a big dyke. It forms to-day a roughly crescent 
shaped mass around three sides of the mine between the diamondi- 
ferous kimberlite and the shales, and is evidently a solid vertical 
column of aphanite, representing portions of an extinct volcanic 
neck, or, in any case, a pipe-like intrusion of a related kind. 

" The rock itself consists of a greyish green basic aphanite, 
amygdaloidal in character. A few blocks found loose in the kimber- 
lite are highly vesicular, and contain almost fifty per cent, of white 
heulandite and calcite the former predominating, but the solid 
column of aphanite, tested to a depth of 600 feet, is but slightly 
vesicular in character, and contains much smaller amygdales, wh 1st 
the zeolites are replaced by calcite. Some of the cavities have been 
only partially filled, and contain much dull green chloritic matter, 
while an occasional speck of copper was observed. Under the 
microscope a thin section shows the felspars, which are lath- 
shaped, to range between andesine and labradorite, the interstices 


between the plagioclases being partly filled with chloritic alteration 
products, and also with a greenish almost isotropic aggregate, con- 
taining acicular felspar microlites. Some serpentine psetidomorphs 
also occur, shaped like basal olivine sections, and the usual iron 
oxide accessories were plentiful. 

' Like almost every similar occurrence , the Voorspoed pipe lies 
on a line of weakness occupied by a fissure containing kimberlite, 
and this has been traced and opened up for four miles. This fissure 
was formed before the diamond pipe, as it is found dissecting the 
country rock right up to the wall of the mine, but not within it. 
The fissure, however, like the pipe, is evidently younger than the 
aphanite, as a fissure with similar strike (and probably an offshoot 
of it) can be seen traversing the aphanite, w T hich forms the southern 
wall of the mine. The fissure ground is of the micaceous variety, 
very fine in texture, and containing no megascopic minerals, except 
a few garnets with kelyphite coatings. In places, however, it con- 
tains roundish pebbles and boulders, usually of quartzite. The 
latter appears to have resulted from the metamorphism of sand- 
stone, as evidenced by the much corroded exterior of the pebbles, to 
which small flakes of mica adhere tightly ; their concentric zoning 
and cracking, silicification of the quartz grains, and alteration of 
felspars, are all probably due to the heat of the magma in which 
they had been caught during its passage upwards. Similar heat 
phenomena occur in other fissures or dykes known to the writer, 
but have not been observed in any of the large pipes. 

" The ground in the pipe differs entirely from that in the 
fissure. In the central portion of the mine the ground is bright 
yellow in colour, rough and pebbly, and rather full of very small 
mica. It contains about fifty per cent, of round and oval-shaped 
pebbles, and small boulders, the latter consisting of aphanite, 
granites, dolomite, quartzite, Dwyka conglomerate, etc. Ultra-basic 
rocks such as eclogite, Iherzolite, and pyroxenite, are either entirely 
absent or extremely rare not having been met with by the writer. 
' The most interesting boulders found, however, consist of a 
felspar-garnet rock, quite different to anything the writer has met 
with in other diamond mines : this occurs both as a coarse and 
medium crystalline granular rock, in which usually from one-third 


to half of the rock consists of much cracked, pale, clouded, mauve 
coloured garnets, attaining at times a diameter of nearly quarter 
of an inch, and contains flakes of graphite. A thin section made 
from the same rock, but of finer texture than the above, was 
examined by Mr. Weber, of Johannesburg, who found it to be made 
up principally of white perthitic felspar, garnet, quartz, and mono- 
clinic pyroxene the latter quite subordinate to the other minerals, 
none of which are idiomorphic. All the above minerals contain 
systems of acicular needles, having very strong double refraction, 
with extinction angles varying from 4, and colours varying 
from dark brown to brownish green. 

" The only other boulders found at Voorspoed and requiring 
special notice are roundish, highly micaceous lumps of kimberlite 
of the fissure variety, containing an occasional garnet. These boul- 
ders are not only round and oval in shape, but have usually very 
smooth and unctuous exteriors. Owing to their exact resemblance 
to the ground found in the fissure on w r hich the mine occurs, it seems 
quite probable that they represent masses or fragments of the fissure 
rock which were broken up, rounded, and distributed throughout 
the mine when the pipe burst through. It is quite reasonable to 
expect the fissure kimberlite to be represented in the pipe breccia 
as well as the other wall rocks found therein, but some local segre- 
gationists prefer to attribute their origin to magmatic segregation. 
The true origin of these boulders, however, like the eclogites and 
altered rocks, has yet to be solved. 

' The megascopic minerals found in the Voorspoed kimberlite 
are not very numerous or plentiful, nor do they form a ' pretty de- 
posit ' such as one sees at Jagersfontein , Koft'y f ontein , Bultfontein, 
and many other mines. The principal mineral is garnet, most com- 
monly a clouded red in colour, and much cracked. Some trans- 
parent pink to red pyropes occur, however, and also pale yellow to 
orange-red hessonite. Stones of the latter quality are, however, 
much scarcer than the diamond both in this and every other known 
mine. The garnets seldom exceed half an inch in diameter. 
Minute octahedral crystals of picotite (chrome spinel) are plentiful. 
A little ilmenite occurs, and is often to be seen in dull grey very 
smooth grains, as if water warn. In addition to the foregoing, of 


which the concentrates mainly consist, one finds a little diopside, 
pyrite (in both cubical and ' buck-shot ' forms), calcite, mica, barite, 
and an occasional piece of galena. Enstatite, which is present in 
most of the mines and quite plentiful in some, was not observed, 
but might make its appearance at lower levels. The present work- 
ing faces in the mines are all above the 100 feet level. 

' The diamonds are of a small average size, parcels usually 
containing a high percentage of specimens averaging one-eighth 
and three carats, but stones of from thirty to forty carats in weight 
are occasionally found. Although ' bright stuff ' of very good quality 
is constantly found, the grade in large parcels is not high, like 
Jagersfontein, Koffyfontein, and the Roberts-Victor mines. All 
shades of * white ' are found, and occasionally good ' blue-whites.' 
When cut, the white stones are very brilliant. Pale ' yellows ' and 
' bye- waters ' are plentiful, but 'deep yellows' of the 'fancy' 
descriptions rare. Pale ' rose pinks ' occur, but generally weigh 
a quarter of a carat or under, as at Bultfontein, although one of five 
carats was found, and retained its colour after cutting. The crystal- 
lisation of the gems is mainly of the round and elongated rhombic 
dodecahedron shapes, these being often very bright and smooth, and 
having curved faces. Perfect octahedra are seldom seen, though the 
Lace mine, a few miles away, contains quite a high percentage of 
octahedral forms. The cube, so common in South America and rare 
in South Africa, has also been found in Voorspoed mine, the writer 
having a small one in his possession weighing under one-eighth of 
a carat. A careful examination of one parcel by the writer showed 
a rather high percentage of diamonds which had undoubtedly been 
broken. Some of these might, of course, have been fractured in the 
mining and washing operations, but broken stones w^ere found 
in the earlier stages of exploitation, before either dynamite or 
machinery was in use. 

" A most interesting feature of the mine in relation to its 
genesis is the distinctly variable nature of the ground in different 
portions of the mine. About sixty claims in the centre of the 
pipe consist of bright yellow ground, soft and unctuous to the 
touch. It is full of small mica, and contains about fifty per cent, 
of roundish pebbles and boulders up to one foot in diameter. The 

. 40 

boulders have already been referred to. This ground breaks up 
freely in any direction into rough roundish lumps. The remainder 
of the mine produces quite a different class of ground, greyish 
in colour, harsh to the touch, comparatively free from boulders, 
and with much fewer pebbles. It has a distinctly laminated habit 
in places, and when broken up for hand specimens gives flattish 
lumps. The difference between the two classes of ground is so 
marked that one might easily conceive them to belong to 
independent mines. The cause may be due : (a) to a secondary 
eruption of kimberlite in the central portion of the mine, or (b) 
to a more prolonged volcanic movement in the latter part than 
was experienced by the remaining and larger portion of the pipe. 
The first condition might enlarge the neck at depth, thereby pro- 
viding a new and more abundant supply of wall rocks than had 
hitherto existed ; whilst the second could largely augment the 
quantity brought up during the initial stages of eruption, and at 
the same time produce the more rounded and smooth forms so 
noticeable in the small central area." 

The output of diamonds from the Voorspoed mine has been 
as follows : 

Loads Carats 

1906 ... July to December 40,096 ... 9,244 

1907 ... January to June 70,311 ... 13,839 

1907 ... July to December 123,041 ... 26,813 

1908 ... January to June 141,346 28,719 

374,794 78,615 

The Ivimberley group has been well-described by Gardner- 
Williams from the mining point of view, and by Toit from the 
geological. It includes six important mines, namely, the Wessel- 
ton, the Bultfontein, the Dutoitspan, the De Beers, the Kimberley 
and the Kamfersdam, and several small pipes. The relative posi- 
tions of those that are known are shown in Figure 13. Several 
other occurrences of kimberlite were known in the early days, but 
the ground on which they occur has been either built over or 
reserved, and almost all knowledge of their positions lost. 


Of the six mines the most important are the Kirnberley and 
Do Beers, which have been opened up to a greater depth than any 
other diamond mine. At the end of 1907 blue-ground was being 
extracted at the 2,500 feet and 2,100 feet levels. They have a sur- 
face area of 470 and 620 claims respectively , and a present yield of 
about 35 carats per hundred loads of 16 cubic feet. 

The usual inclusions of gabbrodiorite , sandstone and shale, occur 
in all the mines, as also do peridotite and garnet-peridotite boul- 
ders, in places predominating over the kimberlite matrix. Garnet- 
pyroxenites are not so common. 

In the Wesselton mine a block of sandstone containing remains 
of a fossil fish (Acrolepis) was encountered at a depth of 135 feet, 
while a large mass of coal, over five tons in weight, was discovered 
at a depth of 220 feet. There can be no doubt that both the sand- 
stone and the coal have been derived from strata which at one time 
extended over this area, and which have since been removed by 

During 1905, the diamond yield of the mines in the Kimberley 
district was 2,187,700 carats, of a value of '4,111,200 ; in 1906, the 
output was 2,641,260 carats, valued at 6,600,230; while during 
1907 the yield was 2,469,130 carats, of a value of 5,955,210.* The 
average price obtained per carat was 37.5, 50 and 48 shillings respec- 

One cannot help thinking it a great pity that the time and 
energy wasted in getting these useless stones is not directed into 
useful channels. 

In the latter part of 1907 the depression in the diamond market 
set in. The exact extent to which it affected the Orangia mines is 
unknown, but can be approximately gauged from the Government 
return of the Transvaal output, which is mainly from the great 
Premier mine. From July, 1906, to June, 1907, inclusive, the 
production was 1,545,340 carats, valued at 2,203,510. During 
July to June, 1907-8, the output was 2,182,710 carats, valued at 

* Since the above was written the output of the Kimberley Mines for 1908 has 
been declared at 1,510,470 carats, valued at '2,821.080. 


I 9 


'1,878,840. For the former period the price obtained per carat was 
28.5 shillings, for the latter 17.2 shillings. 

A large number of small pipes and dykes of kimberlite are 
scattered over the country surrounding Kimberley, especially 
between the town and the Vaal river, and in the country between 
the latter and its tributary the Hart , the denudation of which amply 
accounts for the diamonds found in the Vaal terraces or river- 
diggings, as they are termed locally. 

The Theron and Paardeberg-East mines, previously referred 
to, lie about thirty miles west-south-west of Kimberley. On the 
farm Secret aris there is an interesting occurrence of kimberlite in 
fissures, which strike in different directions. The Newlands mine 
is situated in the valley of the Hart about ten miles from its junc- 
tion with the Vaal. 

Several other small pipes are known in Orangia. 




BOTH the Orange and the Vaal are bordered by terraces of drift. 
In one of these, belonging to the latter river, and situated opposite 
the village of Barkly, a fragmentary molar of the extinct mastodon 
has been obtained. The country lying between these two rivers, 
however, is too flat to permit of the accumulation of any quantity of 
fluviatile drift. The rivers and spruits are merely bordered by a 
narrow strip of alluvium, which forms the banks, overlying a 
stratum of coarse detritus. Bain, the pioneer geologist, has recorded 
the discovery of the skull of an extinct species of buffalo, at a depth 
of 40 feet in the alluvium of the Modder river. The specimen is now 
in the Capetown museum. It had the largest horns of any known 
kind, the cores alone measuring 11| feet from tip to tip. In the 
Bloemfontein museum there is a large horn-core from the bed of the 
Kiet river that is probably referable to the same species. 

The whole country is covered with a layer of rubbly limestone 
like that which is spread so widely over other parts of South Africa. 
It is seldom more than a few feet in thickness, and has probably 
originated in the evaporation of lime-bearing water, the lime being 
derived from the dykes. 

In places, however, one meets w r ith hard massive limestone, 
which breaks with a conchoidal fracture and is full of the shells of 
small terrestrial gastropods. It is a true travertine and must, the 
writer thinks, have been deposited by springs during a period of 
more abundant rainfall. There are no springs in those places, or, 
at least, none reach the surface, at the present time. Of this 


period of better rainfall there is, as will be seen further on, other 

Overlying the limestone is an equally widespread sheet of 
reddish-brown wind-borne sand. Though now overgrown with 
grass all the peculiar features of sand-dune topography are fre- 
quently preserved. In some places where the grass has not yet 
obtained complete control one can imagine oneself on the borders of 
the Kalahari. The writer thinks there can be little doubt but that 
it dates back to a time when desert conditions prevailed in this part 
of South Africa. 

These superficial deposits are better developed in the western 
arid belt than in the more humid eastern belt. 

That peculiar geographic feature, the pan, has long been the 
subject of speculation , but no generally accepted interpretation of the 
phenomenon has yet been forthcoming. Pans are scattered 
throughout the length and breadth of the country, but the western 
arid belt is their country par excellence. 

The many problems connected with these pans are so bound 
up with the geological structure and meteorological conditions of the 
country that a consideration of these factors is necessary to a proper 
understanding of them. The whole of the western arid belt is under- 
lain by practically horizontal bluish-black shales, which change near 
the surface into a tough yellowish-brown clay. Both shale and clay 
have the peculiar property of completely breaking up into small 
pieces on exposure to the sun. 

The shales are intersected by numerous fine-grained gabbrodi- 
orite dykes. On account of their superiority to the shales, in point 
of hardness, the larger dykes often form lines of bult or even kopjes 
or randjes, but the smaller and more numerous dykes seldom seem 
to have any direct influence on the topography, being frequently 
encountered in cuttings in most unexpected places. 

Except on the top of the few kopjes and randjes, and in the 
bottom of pans, the whole district is covered with the superficial 
limestone and sand already referred to. 

The maps of the western arid belt, issued by the Surveyor- 
General, well illustrate the extraordinary number of the pans, but, 
unfortunately," these last are only sketched in, and although their 


relative positions are fairly accurately shown, the Absence of correct 
outlines has hidden many interesting features and relationships. On 
the diagram on page 24 (Figure 9) of a survey which the writer 
made of five farms in the neighbourhood of the Roberts-Victor 
diamond mine, he has shown in accurate detail all the more 
important pans, but, as may be inferred from his more detailed 
contour plan (Figure 14) of the mining area, there are hundreds of 
smaller ones. In fact, they vary from a few feet to several thou- 
sand in major diameter. Most of the former are mere patches of 
mud, which never retain more than a film of water on their pitted 
surfaces, and that only directly after rain. The latter are usually 
sunk deeply below the general level of the immediately surrounding- 
ground, and are capable of holding large quantities of water. The 
rainfall, however, within the memory of the oldest inhabitants, has 
only on rare occasions been sufficient to fill them to a depth of even 
two or three feet, and this quantity is absorbed and evaporated in 
a few months. During the period the writer spent in the neigh- 
bourhood of Boshof he never saw 7 any water in the pans for more 
than a few days at a time. 

Pans differ from ponds or lakes in having flat and level bottoms, 
there being no gradual slope to a central point or points. They 
are mostly egg-shaped in outline, this being the primary form. Cir- 
cular pans are due to the coalescence of two ordinary pans side-by- 
side, \vhile dumb-bell shaped pans are the result of the joining to- 
gether of two end to end. The very large pans are mostly irregular 
in outline, but an accurate plan will usually reveal their elements. 
The bottoms of the pans are covered with a thin layer of black silt, 
containing a residuum of salt. This silt consists of a mixture of the 
prevalent clay with -a little lime and sand. 

Pans are not confined to Orangia, but it is noteworthy that 
they are practically limited to those semi-arid portions of South 
Africa that are made up of the horizontal Karoo beds. 

Take the case first of the incipient pans or, as they would be 
more correctly termed, vleis, such as those shown on the contour 
plan. The limestone is there patchy while the sand is unevenly 
distributed, as one would expect it to be from its inferred origin, so 
that the shale has been left bare in places. Now this particular 


shale, as has been previously noted, has the peculiar property of 
completely breaking up into very small fragments on exposure to 
the sun. Water which soaks through the sand and limestone is in 
part retained for a little while on the shale, forming a vlei, and some 
animal passing over it completes the comminution of a small por- 
tion. This, on drying, is removed by the wind, and so the vlei is 
deepened and a pan started. But the growth of pans dependent on 
so fortuitous an occurrence must be very slow, and certainly could 
not attain to the size of the pans proper shown on the farm diagram. 

A careful inspection of the contour plan will reveal many points 
of interest. The pan in which the mine is situated no doubt owes 
its origin to the fact that the diamond-bearing rock is more friable 
than the surrounding shale. The small and deeply sunk pan rests 
on a gabbrodiorite dyke. 

Turning now to the big pans there are two features which 
immediately arrest one's attention. Firstly, they are all bounded 
on one or the other side by, and often occur in strings along the 
margin of, a large dyke ; and secondly, the farmer's wells are always 
situated on the edge of the pans and at their junction with the dyke. 

The reason for the position of the wells is that the dykes dam 
back the water wilich soaks into the ground after rain, and the 
broken condition of the shale at the contact permits of a compara- 
tively large accumulation there. It is there and there only that 
water is obtainable. It is recognised by the farmers, who have 
either learnt it from long experience or maybe acquired the know- 
ledge from the aborigines they displaced. A well sunk along one of 
the dykes draws on a considerable length of the dyke, though not 
on the entire length, for there are many cross dykes, and so with 
the ordinary demands made on it by the present farmers, the level 
of the water is not appreciably lowered during the dry season. 

The water in these wells usually rises to within a few feet of, 
and in some cases actually reaches, the surface. With a greater 
rainfall it would burst out as springs. 

The writer has already cited evidence to show that at no distant 
epoch the country enjoyed a better rainfall. Towards the end, at 
least, of that time, it was populated by a people of the Stone Age. 
It is safe to say that wherever there is a well where the water at the 


present day reaches the surface, there will be found the debris of 
the settlements of that people. Now the remains of these settle- 
ments are to be found also round shallow water-holes in which water 
is no longer found, and also at places where there is not even a hole. 
But always at the edge of the dyke, where we know water exists at 
a slight depth, and where it formerly reached the surface. That 
such springs really existed there can be no doubt, for the inhabitants 
had to have water and then, as now, there was no other source. 

These settlements seem to have been established after the pans 
had been formed, but before the incoming of desert conditions. 
Quite sharp and fresh-looking stone implements and other relics 
are sometimes found resting on the bottoms of the pans, preserved 
under a covering of rainwash, while the adjacent rubbish-heaps, 
containing identical objects, are often concealed under a covering of 
the sand. Maybe the aborigines never occupied all the springs 
at one time, but merely wandered from one to the other. 

Looking back to the still earlier time when the pans were in 
the stage represented by the vleis we have already considered, we 
are now r at once able to divine the secret of their great grow r th. 
Those vleis only hold water for a brief hour or two after rain, but 
these possessed more or less permanent spring-fed pools, to which 
the vast herds of game would repair to slake their thirst. The 
atmospherically disintegrated shale would be completely pulverised 
by the tramping of the animals, and the wind w T ould rapidly remove 
it. Alison, in an early volume of the " Transactions " of the Geo- 
logical Society of South Africa, has draw T n attention to the role 
played by animals in the excavation of pans, but has, the writer 
thinks, attached too much importance to it. 

That animals walking into a muddy pool must carry away and 
deposit elsewhere a certain amount of the mud is obvious, but 
whether large pans could be formed in that way is extremely 
doubtful. A more vigorous transporting agent would seem neces- 
sary, and there we have it in the shape of the wind. The process 
can still be seen in operation, though much relaxed, because now 
the wind is the only potent factor, and that alone is not sufficient. 

To sum up, it would appear that at no very distant epoch the 
country possessed a better rainfall. At that time man may or may 





not have penetrated so far south. Then the rainfall gradually de- 
creased and arid conditions set in. Pans were formed and rapidly 
increased in size. Numerous settlements were established around 
the springs at the edge of the pans by a people who were in the 
Solutric stage of culture. Later the rainfall still further decreased. 
Most of the springs failed, and the pans ceased to grow, the climate 
being much the same as it is now 7 . Eventually desert conditions set 
in to be finally replaced by the little better conditions of the present 

The small pans may have originated in several ways. The 
large pans owe their origin to springs, and their growth partly to 
the herds of animals which frequented them, and partly to the action 
of the wind. 

The formation of pans by these factors , however , was only ren- 
dered possible by the flatness (itself a result of the geological struc- 
ture) and aridity of the country. 

The silt in many of the larger pans contains a sufficiently high 
percentage of salt to repay extraction. 

Thermal springs are widely distributed in Orangia. In putting 
down a borehole in the Roberts-Victor diamond mine one was tapped 
at a depth of 630 feet ; it rose w T ith a pressure of 15 Ibs. to the square 
inch, and had a temperature of 25 degrees C. 




OUR knowledge of the pre-historic period of South Africa, like that 
of other parts of the world, is mainly derived from the almost 
imperishable stone implements which were then used, and which 
remain when all other objects have gone. Two very distinct groups 
of stone implements are found in Orangia, namely, the Acheulic 
and the Solutric. Their relationship in point of age, however, has 
hitherto been uncertain. 

While the Acheulic implements are almost exclusively 
amygdaliths, the Solutric ones are nearly all flake-tools. They are 
thus probably complementary to one another, which circumstance 
suggests that they may be contemporary. To this interpretation, 
however, there are the following objections : (1) In the few cases 
where an Acheulic amygdalith has been found together with a series 
of Solutric flake-tools, it has always been much more weathered and 
worn ; (2) in the few cases where an undoubtedly contemporary 
amygdalith has been found w r ith the Solutric flake tools it has always 
been far superior in shape and workmanship to the Acheulic amygda- 
liths. These facts point to the Acheulic implements being older 
than the Solutric ones, though they are too few to be conclusive. It 
should be noted in this connection, too, that flakes of an unques- 
tionably earlier period occur on the Solutric sites at Petrusburg 
and Rietkuil. 

The term amygdalith, it should be explained, is a new one, in- 
tended to designate the class to which the typical Acheulic imple- 
ments belong. 





More convincing is the evidence afforded by the Acheulic site 
at the village of Luckhoff which, in the writer's estimation, un- 
doubtedly demonstrates a great difference in age between the two 
groups. At this site the Acheulic implements occur under identi- 
cally the same conditions, and are mostly made of the same 
material, as those of the Solutric sites near Boshof and at Petrus- 
burg. That is, they are both mingled with debris accumulated 
in the former case naturally, and in the latter artificially on the 
solid rock underlying the layer of red sand. Yet the one group is 
deeply weathered and worn while the other has barely suffered a 
change of tint. 

The Luckhoff implements were exposed in the gullies and on 
the slopes leading down to the dam, where the covering of sand had 
been removed by the rain. They were associated with numerous 
flakes and chips, which were probably produced in their manufac- 
ture. They comprise two kinds, namely, amygdaliths and axe- 

The amygdaliths were by far the most abundant. They consist 
of pieces of stone chipped to a more or less flat shape, with the 
length, as a rule, greater than the breadth, and an edge worked 
along a portion or the whole of the periphery. Most are almond- 
shaped, and range from a symmetrically oval disc to a disc with one 
end draw r n out to a long point, a form intermediate between the 
two being commonest. They are made out of lydian-stone, rounded 
pieces of which are abundantly met with throughout the whole of 
western Orangia, and are much worn and deeply weathered, the 
facets being nearly obliterated and the outside changed to a reddish- 
brown colour. This lydian-stone much resembles flint in its appear- 
ance and in its fracture, but while equally sharp \vhen fresh, is softer, 
and hence weathers much more rapidly. The average length of 
these implements is about eleven centimetres. 

The axe-heads, of which there are only seven, are manufactured 
from the local fine-grained gabbrodiorite, and are also much 
weathered and worn. They are much larger than the amygdaliths, 
which accounts for the material used, because, while less easy to 
\vork, owing to its toughness and uneven fracture, it is readily 
obtained in larger pieces than is the lydian-stone. 


I have noted elsewhere the occurrence of large characteristic 
Acheulic flakes, as well as unfinished amygdaliths, among the debris 
on the sides of the hills south of the village of Douglas. 

The junction of the Riet and Modder rivers has been rendered 
classical by Rickard's account of his discovery of Acheulic imple- 
ments there. 

' The implements from the Junction were found in the bed of 
the river immediately below the point where the rivers become con- 
fluent, lying either on the bare rock or in small hollows containing 
a little coarse gravel ; I collected upwards of eighty specimens in a 
few hours, but had to abandon the majority of them on account of 
the difficulty and cost of transport." 

He devotes two plates to them. Plate I. shows two typical 
amygdaliths. Plate II. shows a fine axe-head drawn to actual size. 

I myself obtained quite a number of both types there, but they 
are all very much waterworn, being practically reduced to pebbles. 
I have no doubt that they come from the gravelly stratum at the 
base of the alluvium. This was east of the bridge. 

West of the bridge, and some little distance north of the river, 
I found a great quantity of quite fresh and sharp flake-tools of 
lydian-stone, mixed with flakes and cores. They had been exposed 
to view by the removal of a thin covering of surface soil. 

Nineteen examples are figured in the 1906 Report of the South 
African Association for the Advancement of Science. They are a 
similar assemblage to that illustrated from near Boshof and other 
localities in the next chapter, and bear a close resemblance to the 
Solutric implements of Europe. Interesting are the extremely 
elongate kinds, and the variety trimmed at both ends. These imple- 
ments are unquestionably newer than the alluvium. 

Together with them I found three or four chert flake-tools, a 
multiple-grooved cylindrical piece of sandstone, a hemispherical 
stone with a hole bored to a depth of about one and a half centi- 
metres from the flat side, numerous ostrich-egg shell fragments, a 
bead made of same, and the half of a glass bead. This last has 
probably no connexion with the other objects. 

I have three typical Acheulic amygdaliths from near Boshof, 
one each from the Schaapfontein-Dieplaagte and Elandsput pans, 


and one from Meerlandsvlei. They are made of lydian-stone, and 
are much worn and deeply weathered, the facets being nearly 
obliterated and the outside much changed in colour. Their ancient 
appearance, viewed in the light of the data already given, leads niu 
to conclude that they are much older than the Solutric groups to be 
described from there in the next chapter. With them also belong 
the neat little amygdalith from Damplaats represented by Figure 17. 
The Taaibosch spruit is a tributary of the Vaal, and flows into 
that river south-west of Vereeniging. Mrs. Hutt had previously 


{Actual size.) 

obtained Acheulic implements there, and drew my attention to the 

As in the case of all the large spruits in this part of South 
Africa, this one is bordered by a varying thickness of fine alluvium, 
at the base of which is a stratum of coarse detritus. 

The more important finds comprise a group of implements of 
Acheulic type from beneath, and a group of implements of Solutric 
type from above, the alluvium. 

From the bed at the base of the alluvium I have obtained, in 


addition to a quantity of the characteristic large flakes, a number of 
typical Acheulic amygdaliths. They are fashioned out of a green 
aphanite, and are all waterworn, some being reduced to the condi- 
tion of a pebble. One of the specimens is as much as 22 centimetres 
in length, whilst another is only 9. I also found examples of the 
group of large flakes worked on one side and edge only. No axe- 
heads were obtained. 


(Actual size.) 



In places on top of the overlying alluvium, I came across quan- 
tities of very small flakes of chert, jasper, and agate, and here and 
there among them, examples which had been trimmed into minute 
flake-tools. Some of these are shown in Figure 19. It is difficult 
to imagine exactly what could have come within the scope of these 
remarkably small tools. The fineness of the secondary trimming is 
really wonderful. 


They are of the same class as, and contemporary with, those 
from the Junction of the Eiet and Modder rivers. The difference 
in facies is due to the fact that in some localities the only available 
material was the lydian-stone, and at others the three varieties of 
flint. Now the lydian-stone occurs in comparatively large pieces, 
and permits of the manufacture of comparatively large flake- 
tools, while at the same time affording scope for the wide range of 
variation exhibited. The chert, jasper, and agate, on the other 
hand, are only accessible as small pebbles, and therefore small flake- 
tools were the rule, and variation was correspondingly restricted. 
These siliceous pebbles are derived from the amygdales of the lavas 
of the Ventersdorp and Karoo systems. 

The water-hole on the east side of the village of Petrusburg 
was evidently the centre of a Sol u trie settlement. On the heaps of 
soil which had been dug up in enlarging it, I found a number of 
the characteristic lydian-stone flake-tools. They are nearly all of 
the thick wedge-shaped type (see Figure 23) , including its long and 
short derivatives. I also obtained a fine chert example of the latter 

Together with these comparatively fresh and unworn imple- 
ments, and contrasting strongly with them, were a few much worn, 
and more deeply discoloured, flake-tools of the same material, and 
no doubt contemporary with the Acheulic amygdaliths previously 

It may , of course , be argued that the above evidence only proves 
that some Acheulic implements are older than some Solutric ones. 




The implements of the newer group from near Boshof are a 
similar assemblage to that from the Junction of the Riet and Modeler 
rivers, and are mostly made of the same lydian-stone. They occur 
in great quantity on the sites of prehistoric settlements. These 
settlements were all situated around springs, which in many cases 
no longer reach the surface. The implements are mostly flake- 
tools (scrapers), and. as one might expect from their occurrence, are 
as sharp as on the day they were made, though as a rule they have 
changed externally from their original black colour to various shades 
of grey. 

Most of the sites are shown on the plan reproduced in Figure 9. 

The Rietkuil site is perhaps the most interesting. There is a 
spring there which must have once been the centre of a large settle- 
ment. AH around are extensive middens, which are now 7 hidden 
from sight by a covering of sand, but whose presence is plainly 
shown by the little mounds of debris turned up by burrowing 
animals. Judging from the numerous finds in the very limited 
amount of material accessible, they would well reward a systematic 
exploration. Every little heap of ash contains quite sharp and 
fresh flakes and cores, mixed with pieces of bone and fragments of 
ostrich egg-shells, while finely finished flake-tools are not un- 
common. Most of the flakes are slightly trimmed, the secondary 
chipping in many cases being, I think, the result of use ; though in 
other instances due to the intentional removal of inconvenient pro- 
jections along the edge. It is noteworthy that some of the flakes 




have been struck off older large weathered flakes. Small chert and 
jasper flakes were also found, as well as a few neat little flake-tools 
of that material. 

The peculiar wedge-shaped flake-tools shown in Figure 23 are 
the dominant form at that site. Some are only half as long as these, 
though just as broad and thick. 

I also obtained hammer and grindstones, a multiple-grooved 
cylindrical piece of sandstone, the half of a single-grooved tabular 
piece of aphanite, portion of a stone ring (armlet?), and flat pieces 
of the local gabbrodiorite polished on one side by use. Besides these 
I found the greater part of a bone pin, an ostrich egg-shell bead, and 
the incised fragment of ostrich egg-shell shown in the top left-hand 
corner of Figure 24. I also picked up a piece of the shell of a large 
pelecypod (Unio?). Fragments of a plain hand-made pottery are 
abundant, while I obtained one decorated piece, the decoration 
which is not complete consisting of four rows of cord pattern. 

It is interesting to observe that the farm cemetery is situated 
on part of the area covered by the middens, while the present-day 
rubbish heap is being piled up close by, both of which circumstances 
afford a much needed warning against always lumping together 
everything found on one site. 

The Tweelingsfontein site is situated near a spring also. A 
shallow well had been sunk on this at some time or other, and the 
excavated clay and shale thrown up in a heap all round. In 
enlarging this well a cavity was met with in the made ground resting 
on the undisturbed clay (weathered shale) which occurred at a 
depth of 5 feet. In this cavity were found three ostrich egg- 
shells. Two of them were broken, but the remaining one, which I 
secured, was fairly intact, a small piece only having been knocked 
off by the point of a pick. The end was perforated to allow of its 
being used as a water-bottle, and the cuts round the opening have 
the appearance of being made with a stone flake. Immediately on 
hearing of the discovery, I visited the spot, but the ground round 
the cavity had been removed, and the remains of the other egg-shells 
dispersed. There was a certain amount of ash among the excavated 
debris, as well as part of the skull and some broken bones of the ox. 
I also obtained a grindstone, the half of one of the well-known per- 


PH -^ 



G3 ^ 

forated stone balls, and a single-grooved tabular piece of aphanite 
like that from Bietkuil. 

This spring is situated on the edge of a very large pan, not 
shown on the plan. Close by, the thin covering of silt in the bottom 
of the pan has been scraped up to form a dam wall. There, 
numerous flakes, cores, and finished flake-tools have been exposed 
to view. Together with them I found a neat little lanceolate 
amygdalith of typical Solutric form, worked on both sides. 

On the south side of the west end of the pan by the Damplaats 
farmhouse, where the bottom had been stripped of silt, I came 
across a fine series of the flake-tools of this group. Some of them 
are really remarkable for their fine workmanship. There, long T- 
shape flake-tools are dominant. 

There must once have been a spring there, though there is no 
trace of one now. 

There is the debris of a settlement round the now dried-up 
spring on the edge of the Elandsput pan, from which I have 
obtained a number of implements and other relics. The thin flake- 
tools, trimmed at the end only, are there more conspicuous than 
at the other sites, but thick forms are still in the majority. One or 
tw r o of the flake-tools are remarkably minute. 

In digging up one of the ash heaps, I came across a slab of the 
local gabbrodiorite , in which a hollow had been ground, together 
with the actual grindstone which was used with it. 

I have also one of the well-known perforated stone balls, w r hich 
was picked up in the pan and given me by my friend, Mr. Beveling. 

Still more interesting are a number of fragments of incised 
ostrich egg-shell presumably the remains of water-bottles from 
here. Some of these are shown in Figure 24. The specimen in the 
top left-hand corner is from. Bietkuil } and the large middle specimen 
is from the Lange Berg, the rest being from Elandsput. The per- 
forated piece of egg-shell the initial stage in the manufacture of a 
bead is from Elandsput also. 

I also found a number of completed egg-shell beads, also portion 
of a cowrie. This last is noteworthy, as it is a marine shell, and 
must have been brought up from the coast. 

I have two large perforated stone balls from Yooruitzicht and 





a small one'irom Meerlandsvlei , which were given me by Mr. Jones. 
They well illustrate the diversity in size and weight of these curious 
objects. The largest specimen measures 10 centimetres along the 
perforation, and weighs about 4J Ibs., while the smallest is only 4 
centimetres in diameter, with a weight of about J Ib. The latter is 
not completed, the hole, which has been started from both sides, not 
being finished. There are traces of middens round the well on 
Vooruitzicht, and I obtained a characteristic flake-tool and some 
pieces of pottery there. 

I have a few of the characteristic flake-tools of this group from 
the farm Schaapfontein-Dieplaagte, and there are traces of middens 
in places on the west side of the pan. At the point marked thus (*) 


there is a prominent outcrop of the local fine-grained gabbrodiorite , 
in which "several small hollows have been worn by grinding. 

On the farm Rietpan I obtained a large number of flake-tools 
from beneath a thin layer of rainwash, situated by the edge of the 
pan not far from the homestead. There, thick flake-tools still pre- 
dominate, but thin forms are better represented than at the sites 
previously considered in this chapter. A series of the latter is illus- 
trated in Figure 22. As at the other sites, some are a good deal 
larger than the average, while others are much smaller, one (see 
Figure 24) measuring 12 by 9 millimetres ; but neither extreme Is 
common. The very long flake-tools, and those trimmed at both 
ends, are well represented. I also obtained a very fine jasper example 
of the short variety of wedge-shaped flake-tool, as well as five small 


chert examples of more ordinary form. While a large proportion 
are most exquisitely finished, a great many have been very roughly 
made. I also found an ostrich egg-shell bead and a piece of pottery 
together with the implements. 

The site on the farm Devilliersrust is probably the most exten- 
sive and prolific of all that I have examined in this district. It is 
situated round an old spring on the edge of the pan and close by the 
homestead. The water no longer comes to the surface, but is 
reached by means of shallow wells. 

A B C D E 


The middens have been well turned over by the plough, and 
large numbers of beautifully-finished flake-tools exposed to view. 
Thick specimens are rare, while the wedge and T-shaped forms are 
conspicuous by their absence. Some are truly minute, yet lose 
nothing in quality of finish on that account. Very small chert flake- 
tools also occurred. 

I also obtained a perforated stone which differs in many respects 
from those previously referred to. Whereas they are either spherical 
or spheroidal in shape, this one is discoidal. The hole has been 
bored from both sides, and, instead of being of uniform size, gradu- 
ally decreases in diameter till at the middle it has only half the dia- 


meter it possesses at the two ends. Further, the striae in the hole 
are annular, not longitudinal, showing that the motion of the imple- 
ment when in use was rotary instead of reciprocal. 

Fragments of a plain hand-made pottery are abundant, and I 
found the greater part of two bone pins (portions of arrows) , a piece 
of ostrich egg-shell with a hole bored in it, five completed egg-shell 
beads, and a circular piece of ostrich egg-shell. 

During a hasty visit to the farm Kalkgat, I obtained some 
characteristic flake-tools from a spot on the edge of the pan by the 
homestead. They include an example of the wedge-shaped type. 
One scraper well illustrates the not very common feature of being 
notched on the sides to facilitate attachment to a handle. A few 
of the specimens are remarkably neat and small. Most important 
is a chert example of the crescent variety of " pigmy implements," 
a peculiar group that is more fully dealt with later. 

The group of implements considered above is an extremely 
interesting one, but, at the same time, a very difficult one to 
adequately describe and illustrate so multitudinous are the varie- 
ties , so remarkable the identity of specimen after specimen from 
different localities, so similar the general assemblage, and yet so 
distinct the local facies, that one requires to see all the specimens to 
appreciate them. They cannot be very ancient. The conditions 
under which they occur are final and conclusive on that point ; but 
they may have some antiquity. There is evidence of a considerable 
change in the meteorological conditions of the country since the 
makers of them lived there ; but such changes do not always require 
lengthy periods of time. 

Eiverton island, on the Vaal river, is famous for the outlines of 
animals and the curious geometric figures which are pecked on the 
polished rock-surfaces. The large representation of an eland men- 
tioned by Stow is still in existence, though sadly damaged. 

Above the alluvium and gravel on the south side of the river 
is a thin covering of constantly shifting sand. In places where this 
had been blown away I came across, in great abundance, a most 
interesting group of implements. Apart from hammer and grind- 
stones, a perforated stone ball, and grooved cylindrical pieces of 
sandstone, they may be divided into three series : (1) Flake-toois 


of lydian-stone and green aphanite, resembling in a general way 
those from the Junction of the Biet and Modder rivers ; (-2) minute 
chert flake-tools, like those from the Taaibosch spruit ; and (3) pigmy 
chert implements of remarkably delicate workmanship, mostly of 
peculiar form and unknown use. 

A series of these last is shown in the accompanying illustra- 
tion (Figure 25). They are a group that is already known from 
such distant corners of Eurasia as Britain and India. They com- 
prise six distinct types, including the highly characteristic crescent, 
besides little borers that were probably employed in the manufac- 
ture of the ostrich egg-shell beads. The smallest crescent measures 
only 9 millimetres in length. 

Among the Eiet and Modder group the short variety of the 
wedge-shaped flake-tool is well represented. Many of the flake- 


tools of the Taaibosch spruit group are much smaller than those 
from the type locality, though beautifully finished. Equally small 
circular flake-tools made from the half of a pebble occurred in great 

Besides these I obtained fragments of pottery, and a number 
of ostrich egg-shell beads, as well as spherical and cylindrical glass 
beads. These last, though much discoloured by long exposure to 
the weather, probably have no connection with the implements, 
there being all sorts of other modern debris associated with them in 
places. At the present time there are a number of Kafirs living in 
huts on part of the old site. 

An idea of the extent of the industry which once flourished on 
this Solutric site may be gathered from the statement that from the 
comparatively small area then exposed to view I obtained over thir- 


teen hundred flakes, cores, unfinished and rejected implements, as 
well as seven hundred beautifully finished flake-tools. 

In the second edition of my book on the Stone Implements of 
South Africa, I have referred to the discovery by Mr. Cottell of a 
similar assemblage of Solutric flake-tools to that from the Junction 

FIG. 26. ARROW-HEADS FROM CRADOCK. (Actual size.) 

of the Eiet and Modder rivers and Boshof, near the village of 
Cradock. Since that was published he has found on the same site, 
and kindly given to me, the two arrow-heads shown in Figure 26. 
Though the locality is outside the area here dealt with, the discovery 
is sufficiently important to warrant mention. 




PETRO GLYPHS and rock-paintings are widely distributed over 
Orangia. The former are mostly found on boulder-like outcrops of 
rock, either among kopjes or in the open veld, while the latter are 
chiefly met with on the back of rock-shelters. The objects illus- 
trated are mostly animals and men which, except in rare instances, 
are shown in silhouette only. The petroglyphs are usually larger 
than the paintings and, as a rule, represent disconnected units only, 
whereas the paintings frequently depict connected objects such as 
the participators in a hunt or fight. Many of the more advanced 
paintings constitute intelligible records of customs and myths. 

There are some aboriginal peckings on the kopje overlooking the 
Kafir location attached to the village of Koffyfontein. They mainly 
depict various wild animals, such as the rhinoceros, eland, haarte- 
beeste, and ostrich. I obtained several characteristic Solutric flake- 
tools of lydian-stone from in between the boulder-like outcrops of 
gabbrodiorite on which they occur. 

The most numerous series of peckings that I have yet seen are 
on the farm Biesjesfontein, some eighteen miles south-west of Koffy- 
fontein. They are situated on the kopje adjoining the homestead. 
Only wild animals are represented, the eland, which was evidently a 
favourite, predominating. Men are also depicted, while geometric 
figures are common. 

Besides these are several representations of the eland, which 
have been scratched instead of pecked on the rock. 

Most interesting, however, are two engravings, of which there 
are probably more examples. Tracings of them are reproduced in 


FONTEIN. (Sra?e. J). 

Figure 27. The one is a large engraving in outline of a species of 
hippotragus, the other is a small engraving in detail of a quagga. 

The former is probably the initial stage in the production of a 
pecking. The latter, on the other hand, was clearly never intended 
to be pecked over. 

These petroglyphs are all in a more or less similar state of pre- 
servation, the worked portion of the rock being mostly weathered 
to nearly the same colour as the original surface. It is impossible 
to decide whether the small range of variation in this respect is due 
to the unequal resistance to disintegration of the rock or to difference 
in age. 

In addition there are three engravings of animals, representing 
eland, gemsbok and gnu, done in the same style as the quagga, but 
of markedly inferior workmanship, which are so fresh in appearance 
that they might very well have been made only yesterday. They 
are, however, undoubtedly aboriginal work, and are far superior to 
the engravings about to be described from Looge Kopje. The farmer, 
too, remembers them being there when he acquired the farm, 47 
years ago. This shows that the process of weathering must be a 
very slow one, and that the more altered petroglyphs may be very 
old indeed. 

Among the boulder-like outcrops of gabbrodiorite , on which the 
figures are depicted, I came across in places where the soil had been 
washed away, some characteristic lydian-stone flake-tools of the 
Solutric group. 

The most interesting series of petroglyphs that I have yet seen 
are situated on the randje which runs along the eastern boundary 
of the farm Baviaanskranz , some '23 miles south-west of Biesjes- 
fontein. They much resemble those of the last-named locality, but 
while the peckings are not so numerous, the small engravings are 
better represented. 

The occurrence has already been noticed by Peringuey, who has 
figured a photograph of one of the petroglyphs. This specimen, 
which is now in the Bloemfontein museum, where it was sent by 
Mr. Parkinson, is noteworthy as being an example of an eland 
scratched on the rock, like those noted at Biesjesfontein. The 
engravings appear to have escaped notice. 









The only scratching which I saw in situ was a shadowy repre- 
sentation of an elephant, which is one of the oldest petroglyphs 
there, having been almost effaced by the action of rain and wind, 
and weathered to the same black colour as the rest of the rock sur- 
face. Over it are engraved a blesbok, two springboks, and an eland, 
all of which are much lighter in colour and show up well against the 
dark background. Here is distinct evidence of considerable disparity 
in age, the figure of the elephant having already nearly become 
obliterated before the engravings were made. Apart from this one 
specimen it would be difficult to demonstrate any difference of age 
among the various petroglyphs there, though such may very well 

The finest series of small engravings in detail is that repre- 
sented by Figure 29. It consists of a chain of animals (Gnu, Koo- 
doo, Quagga, Eland, etc.) engraved along a narrow outcrop of rock. 
The quagga is specially interesting, as it is one of those formerly 
abundant mammals which have become totally extinct since the 
advent of the European. 

I also noticed one example of the large engravings in outline. 
A tracing of it is reproduced in Figure 30. It depicts two super- 
imposed elands facing in opposite directions. 

On the flat at the foot of the randje, where the surface soil has 
been much subjected to wind erosion, I obtained a number of the 
characteristic lydian-stone flake-tools of the Solutric group as well 
as numerous very small chert, agate and jasper flakes, one or two of 
which had been trimmed into flake-tools. 

Looge kopje lies to the south of Koffyfontein, and contains some 
engravings of a very interesting character. They are the work of 
Kafirs,* and depict the modern element, of which the figures of men 
on horses are typical, as opposed to the ancient element which is 
characterised by the aboriginal representations of the large locally 
extinct animals. They are all lighter in colour than the original 
rock surface. Figure 31 reproduces a tracing of a typical group of 
these petroglyphs. They should be compared with the Kafir paint- 
ings, figured further on, at Bestersvlei. 

* There are a number of their characteristic circular walls of unceinented 
stones at Koffyfonteiii, of which the modern local Kafirs know nothing. 




















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The replacement of the iife-like figures of the earlier engravings 
by stiff, conventional forms is noteworthy. 

Along the eastern border of Orangia, where the cliffs of Cave 
Sandstone constitute a prominent feature of the scenery, and 
afforded numerous shelters to the aborigines, the engravings and 
peckings are replaced by paintings. 

Several occurrences are known in the neighbourhood of the 
village of Fouriesburg, and I visited two of them. 

The rock-shelter on the farm Malopasdraai has a large number, 



but they are mostly very indistinct. The most conspicuous painting 
is that of a fight between Kafirs, the greater part of which (Figure 
33) was still sufficiently plain to admit of a tracing being made. This 
group is in red, as are the majority of the paintings, but the mythical 
being (Figure 34) from the same place is in red and white, as also 
are some representations of the eland. 

In the rock-shelter on the farm Bestersvlei an even more interest- 
ing series occurs, but there also they are mostly very indistinct. 
Specially noteworthy is the group reproduced in Figure 35, which 






evidently illustrates some myth. The representation (Figure 36) 
of what appears to be an hyiona is a peculiar specimen of abori- 
ginal art; it is the only painting in polychrome there, the spotted 
portions having originally had a background of some pale tint which 
has disappeared, but has left a faint mark on the rock. Figure 37 
is the only painting in outline that I have seen. 

There are a number of Kafir paintings (Figure 38) and scratch- 
ings, showing men on horses, there also, which are interesting to 
compare with the engravings, already referred to, at Looge kopje. 


I obtained some characteristic minute Solutric flake-tools in 
this shelter. 

At the farm Vraaiuitzicht , about two hours' drive from the 
village of Ficksburg, there are two very interesting groups of paint- 
ings. The one, reproduced herewith (Figure 39) , is different to any 
that I have seen before, in that the outline had been lightly engraved 
prior to the application of the pigment ; it is also in black instead of 
the commoner red. The other is a group of elands, depicted in 
black and white, and exhibiting, as many of the polychrome figures 


do, distinct, though incipient, shading. I found a number of minute 
flake-tools of Solutric type "under this shelter. 

On the farm Julijskraal, about three-quarters of an hour's drive 
from the same village, there is a fine series of paintings all in red. 
Among them is a group of geometric figures (Figure 40) the first I 
have seen among paintings ; a Kafir explained them to me as being 
records of journeys, the vertical lines representing men, and the 
horizontal lines the rivers crossed by them. 

I was shown near there a cliff which had been formed 27 years 
ago by the breaking away of a mass of sandstone, and which looked 
as new as if it had only been formed yesterday ; the faces on which 
the aboriginal paintings occur are not nearly so fresh in appearance. 

There are some paintings in red at the base of the overhanging 
cliffs which cap the elongated tafel-kop at the back of Ficksburg, 
but they are now very indistinct. In a kloof towards its south- 
western end there is, I was told, an eland depicted in polychrome. 
On a detached mass of sandstone, surrounded by a clump of trees, 
at, its north-eastern end, there are numerous paintings in red, but 
only two or three, includings pictures of an elephant, which seems 
to have been a favourite of the aborigines, and of an aard-vark, are 
distinct. Close by these last I found a number of minute chert 
flakes and flake-tools of Solutric type. 

At Modderpoort, in the cliffs at the back of the Mission Station, 
there are three rock-shelters which I examined under the guidance 
of the Rev. W. A. Norton. They contain a number of aboriginal 
paintings. One fresco is specially interesting because it shows 
work of three different ages. I obtained a large number of minute 
chert and agate flake-tools of Solutric type in these shelters, as well 
as a bone pin (portion of arrow) like those from Devilliersrust. 

On the south side of the kopjes on the farm Omega, there are 
rock-shelters \vith paintings , while on the north side is a cave on the 
front of which are more paintings. Both series are now, unfortu- 
nately, very indistinct. I obtained some small chert and agate 
flakes , as well as one or two minute flake-tools of the Solutric group 
from both the shelters and the cave. 

The village of Ladybrand is almost completely encircled by 
cliffs in which rock-shelters occur at intervals. I examined some 









02 ^ 

S * 





of these under the guidance of Mr. Caplin. Most of them contain 
aboriginal paintings, and all yield small chert and agate flakes, while 
here and there a minute flake-tool of Solutric type is to be found in 

All the shelters have been subsequently occupied by Kafirs, who 
have built in front of them Characteristic low semi-circular walls of 
uncemented stones, and close by, circular cattle pens of similar con- 
struction. Portions of clay dolls, fragments of pottery with a red 
gloss, glass beads, and crude paintings made in emulation of their 
artistic predecessors, also bear witness to the nationality of these 
later occupants, while in some cases the remains of their mud-walled 
huts are still preserved. 

Most of the aboriginal paintings are now indistinct, having 
suffered severely from the attacks of the atmosphere ; many have 
become mutilated and scrawled over by both Kafir and European ; 
while others have become completely obliterated by the smoke of 
fires. One large shelter due west of the village is a painful sight 
on account of the extent to which it has suffered at the hands of 
these vandals. Judging from the shadowy forms still traceable here 
and there, it must once have been covered with representations of 
hunting scenes and dances. One only of the numerous interesting 
paintings (Figure 45), which once adorned this shelter has, mainly 
on account of its being out of reach of the casual visitor, almost 
retained its original brightness. 

The paintings are mostly in one colour, sometimes black, but 
more often red. Some of the animals, especially the eland, which 
seems to have been a favourite subject, however, are in two or more 
colours. While the human figures are as a rule grotesque, those of 
animals usually show real artistic merit. 



FARMING is the mainstay of Orangia, which is fortunate in possess- 
ing a population fond of the land and content with the isolated 
existence entailed. It could, however, in spite of its many natural 
disadvantages, be made to support an immensely larger community. 
The great bar to the full utilisation of its potentialities is, as in 
other parts of the world, the private ownership of the land. It 
belongs to a comparatively small number of people, who are satis- 
fied with a bare living and, being free from competition, make no 
effort to introduce those artificial improvements without which the 
ground cannot be made to yield its maximum. The increase of the 
present population may in time remedy this, but experience of older 
communities suggests that it is more likely to result in what is un- 
doubtedly the greatest of national curses, namely, the migration of 
the young men to the towns. 

As I have already remarked, the extreme west is one of the 
most dreary and barren regions imaginable, short of absolute desert, 
while the eastern border is as fair and fertile a region as could be 
wished. The greater part of Orangia may be described as semi- 
arid. One would not, perhaps, be justified in using this term if 
it were based on the amount of rainfall alone. A ten years' record 
of the rainfall at Kimberley, Kroonstad, and Bloemfontein , gives 
for the six so-called winter months, 4.6, 5.5, and 6.6 inches, and for 
the six summer months, 15.8, 21.6, and 18.8 respectively. These 
figures compare favourably with those of other well-known semi- 


arid regions. But the rainfall is so very torrential and intermittent 
that, without means of conservation, it is largely wasted. The rain 
may all fall towards the beginning and end of the season, with a 
long interval of drought in between. Except along the few rivers, 
the flatness of the country prevents the conservation of this water in 
dams, owing, as has been demonstrated in discussing the pans, to 
the large proportion necessarily exposed to the sun and the high 
rate of evaporation. 

The country is not, as a whole, suitable for agriculture. Its 
possibilities lie more in stock-raising. But the latter is to a great 
extent dependent on the former. The best results can only be 
obtained by a combination of the two. 

Sheep and goats thrive well in Orangia, and constitute the 
staple industry, but it is manifest that the natural food supply of 
this parched country sets a limit to their numbers that could be 
raised very considerably by artificial means. The need is greatest 
towards the end of the dry season, that is, during the three months 
from July to September inclusive, when the veld has been denuded 
of its vegetable covering by beast and drought. It has been shown 
that certain grasses and plants can be successfully grown on dry 
lands for winter feed for small stock. The raising of crops that can 
be used in part to supplement the grass and schaap-bosjes as food 
for the animals, is highly desirable. But to do this water must be 

Ordinary methods of conserving the rain water, as already 
remarked, are out of the question, and that obtained from the wells 
is insufficient for irrigation purposes. 

There is, however, another method that has met with great 
success in other and less favoured countries, and that is the conser- 
vation of moisture in the soil by means of deep ploughing. 

The recent introduction of this method by McLaren, near 
Vereeniging, has been markedly successful, and has revealed poten- 
tialities hitherto undreamt of. In this cases the crop grown is 
mealie (maize) the stalks of which afford a valuable bye-product 
when utilised as fodder but certain varieties of oats, rye, barley, 
and wheat could be raised in the same way. Kafir-corn is one of 
the best of the drought-resisting cereals that also yield a winter 


fodder, and is susceptible to considerable improvement on dry lands 
by scientific application of the principles of deep ploughing. 

The average farmer grows mealies only, and merely enough for 
his own requirements. They thrive well, even on the sand-covered 
bults of the western belt, in spite of his primitive methods, but are 
completely at the mercy of a drought. 

Deep ploughing requires the use of steam ploughs and acces- 
sory tackle which necessitates co-operation between a number of 

McLaren estimates that the amount of land that his steam 
plough can turn over is 15 to 20 acres of ordinary veld per day. The 
consumption of coal he gives as at three tons of Vereeniging 
" seconds " (7/6 per ton) per day. The percentage cost of break- 
ages is small. Three white men are usually employed upon each 
steam tackle, which consists of two engines, one five-furrow plough, 
cultivator, consolidate]*, and a set of six harrows, water cart, and 
sleeping van, costing 4,500 approximately, delivered f.o.r. The 
white men could probably be hired at 12 per month, and the over- 
seer at 4'15 ; five Kafirs at 2 10s. per month are also required. A 
syndicate of farmers purchasing one of these could plough practi- 
cally all the year round, and reckon on doing 2,500 acres. Mealies 
can be produced on new lands at 5/3 per bag : on old lands the cost 
is still lower. The yield per acre is about 8 bags. 

The fertile eastern border is better suited to cattle and horses 
than sheep and goats, and is favourable to the growth of wheat, 
which is largely raised in place of the less valuable mealie. 

Sheep, goats, and cattle are periodically subject to many of the 
diseases prevalent in South Africa, though not to so great an extent 
as in the country further north. Occasional hailstorms cause serious 
damage. Of recent years wheat has been subject to the depreda- 
tions of the common aphis which has completely destroyed the crops 
over large areas. 

The greatest plague, and a very serious one, is the locust. 1 
shall never forget the insight into its depredations which I obtained 
during my residence of little more than a year near Boshof. The 
surrounding country is typical of western Orangia. It is a mono- 
tonous waste dotted with innumerable pans, which alternate with 


clay flats and sand-covered bults. One may travel through it for 
hours without seeing a bush. All the year round it is swept by 
ceaseless discomforting winds which, in the cool months, June, July 
and August, chill one to the bone, and in the warm weather scorch 
one's cheeks like tongues of flame. It is a veritable wilderness. The 
monotony of the landscape is accentuated by its generally dried up 
appearance. With the advent of the rains, the veld takes on a coat 
of green, but the voracious voetgangers come at the same time, and 
their winged descendants remain till the rains are over, and the last 
blade of green grass has gone. Yet the Boer, with his huge farm, is 
able to keep large flocks of sheep and goats, and a few oxen. 

The voetgangers, it should be explained, are the young locusts 
which are still in the hopping stage. They march across the green 
veld in huge brown armies, eating everything in their track. They 
have a habit of collecting together in heaps during the night for 
w r armth, and can be surprised thus and destroyed in the early morn- 
ing. When they reach the flying stage they are more difficult to 
deal with. The first intimation of their approach then is a smoke- 
like cloud on the horizon. A few hours later the air is full of them. 
In such great quantities do they sometimes come that they obscure 
the sun's rays, and produce a gloom that is not equalled on the 
cloudiest day. 

During the visit of the locusts both bird and beast grow fat. 
Kafirs eat them and stock thrive on them. But this does not com- 
pensate for the havoc wrought. The brief feast is followed by a 
long fast. 

Insect life is the root of the majority of the farmer's troubles in 
Orangia as in other parts of the subcontinent. It is the cause of 
some and the propagator of most of the animal ills, and is the active 
agent in the destruction of the crops. It is not difficult to see why 
South Africa, in spite of its fine weather and fertile soil, is so 
inferior to Canada, from the farmer's point of view 7 . There climatic 
conditions are inimical to insect life, which withers away before its 
icy winters, here everything is in favour of the insect order. South 
Africa, indeed, is the paradise of the Hexapoda. 



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25. HAMY, E. T. Note sur un Hache en Quartzite du type de 

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26. HARGER, H. S. The Diamond Pipes and Fissures of South 

Africa, Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, VIII., 110-134 (1905). 

27. HATCH, F. H. Note on an Unusual Basal Development of the 

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28. JAUNETTAZ, E. Analyse d'un Pyroxene Vert des Mines Dia- 

mantiferes du Cap, Bulletin Societe Minerale, Paris, V., 
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29. JOHNSON, J. P. Note on Lherzolite and Eclogite Boulders from 

the Roberts-Victor Mine, Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, X., 
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30. JOHNSON, J. P. The Eruptive Diamond-bearing Breccias of the 

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31. JOHNSON, J. P. Stone Implements from beneath and above 

the Alluvium of the Taaibosch Spruit, Trans. Geol. Soc. 
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34. JORISSEN, E. Notes on some Intrusive Granites in South 

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(Names of farms in Italics.) 


Acheulic Period 



Ant, White = Termite 



Arrow-heads, Stone 

Augustines Mine 

Axe-heads, Stone 

Bantu = Kafir 


Basalt = Basic Aphanite 

Beaufort, or Ecca Series of Rocks 


Belgravia Mine 



Biesjesdam Diamond Rock 


Black Reef Series of Rocks 


Blauwboschfontein Diamond Rock 







Buffalo, Extinct 

Building Stone 

Bultfontein Mine 

Bushman = Bosjesman 


Cave Sandstone 




Crown Mine = Lace Mine 


De Beers Mine 

,, ,, Shaft Section 

Diamond-bearing Rock 

74, 86 



57, 63 
13, 15 



18, 21 


2, 73 

... 3,91 


24, 46, 47, 55, 59, 67, 93 



40, 42 



13, 15 

92, 94 



25, 26 


7, 11 


16, 17 

Diamond Mines, Augustines ... 42 

Belgravia ... 42 

Crown = Lace 
De Beers ... 40-42 

Driekopjes = Welgegund 












Roberts- Victor 





41, 42 
5, 32 

28, 43 


17-23, 27-28 
Taylorskopje ... 42 

Theron 26. 43 

Voorspoed ... 5, 33-40 

Welgegund ... 29 

Wesselton ...26. 40-42 

Diamonds, Roberts- Victor ... 19 

,, Voorspoed ... . 39 

River 43 

., Output of, See under Output. 
Dolerite = Gabbrodiorite 
Dolomite Series of Rocks ... ... 6. 14 

Douglas ... ... ... ... 55 

Driekopjes Mine = Welgegund Mine 

Duiker 2 

Dutoitspan Mine 40 r 42 

Dwyka Series of Rocks ... ... 12,14 

Ebenhaezer Mine 31, 36 

Ecca, or Beaufort Series of Rocks 

12, 14, 18, 21 
Eclogite = Garnet-pyroxenite 

Eland 70, 73 

Elands'put 24, 25 


Excelsior Diamond 32 

Felsite = Acid Aphanite 

Felspar-Garnet Reck 37 

Ficksburg 15, 85, 88 

Fishes of Stormberg Period ... 15 



Fossil Forest 13 

Fishes 15, 41 

Fouriesburg ... ... ... ... 43 

Gabbrodiorite 15 

Garnet-Peridotite 19-22, 28 

Garnet- Pyroxenite 19-22, 28 

Gemsbok* 72 

Glacial Moraine 12 

Gnu 2, 74 

Gold 16 

Granite ... .. ... 4, 11 

Haartebeeste ... ... ... 70 

Haartebeestefontein ... ... 6 

Hail-storms ... ... ... ... 93 

Hippotragus ... ... ... ... 71 

Holpan 36 

Hyaena 82 

Insects 94 

Jackals 81 

Jagersfontein Mine 32 

JiiHjxkradl 85-87 

Kaalvallei Mine 29 

Kafir ... 2 

Building? 77. 90 

,, Engravings ... ... ... 76. 77 

,, Paintingr 83. 90 

,, Pottery 90 

Kafir-corn 92 

Kalahari 45 

Kamfersdam Min- ... 26, 0,42 

Karoo System, Rocks of ... 10-16, 18, 21 

Kimberley 3,91 

Kimberley Mine 40-42 

Shaft Section ... 7. 11 

Kimberlite 1743 

KUpdrift 8 

Klipfontein 36 

Koffyfontein 70 

Koffyfontein Mine ::l. 36 

Koodoo 74 

Kroonstad 3. 91 

Lace Mine 5. 32 

Lady brand 86-90 

Landhofk ... ... ... ... 8 

Lepflkop ...... 

Lherzolite = Garnet-peridotite 

Limestone 16. 44 

Lion Hill 29 

Locusts 93. 94 

Luckhoff 54, 57 

Lydian-ston-3 16 

Maize 92-94 

Magnetite-Pyroxenite 31 

Malopasdraai ... ... ... 83 

Mantis 81 

Mastodon Remains ... ... ... 44 

Mealies = Maize 

^fe?r?andsrle^ ... ... ... 66. 65 

Minerals of Economic Importance 16 

Modder River 2, 55 

Modderpoort 86, 88 



80, 81 
28. 43 

Molteno Beds 

Monastery Mine 

Morija. Strata at 

Mounds of Termite 

Myth, Aboriginal ... f 
Newlands Mine ... 



Ottoskopje Min3 ... 42 

Ostrich 70 

Output of Diamonds, Jagersfontein 32 

Kimberley Mines 41 

Koffyfontein 31, 32 

Lace" 32 

Roberts-Victor 23 

Voorspoed 40 

Paardeberg East Mine 26. 43 

Paintings, Aboriginal, see Rock- Painting. 

Pans 2. 45 

Parijs 5 
Petroglypns, Baviaanskranz 72-75. 78 

Biesjesfontein ... 70, 71 

Koffyfontein 70 

Looge Kopje ... 76, 77 

Riverton 67 

Petrusburg 58 

Pigmy Stone Implements 67, 68 

Plagues 93 
Plants of the Ecca or Beaufort 

Period ... 13 

Plants of the Stormberg Period ... 15 

Pneil. Glaciated .Surfaces at ... 12 

Potchefstroom 5 

Potchefstroom System Rocks of 4, 5, 6. 7 

Prehistoric Settlements 49 

Pretoria Series of Rocks 5, 6. 7 

Quaggm 71 

Rainfall 91. 92 

Red Beds 13, 15 

Riet River 


2, 55 


River Diggings 

Riverton, glaciated surfaces at 
petroglyphs at ... 

Roberts- Victor Mine 

Bodies Moutonndes 

Rock-Paintings, Bestersvlei 

Rock -Shelters 





17-23. 27, 28 

25, 26, 28 
... 79, 83 
... 85.87 
86, 88, 90 
... 79, 80 
... 86, 88 
... 84, 85 
... 15, 70 





Sand, Wind-borne 

Sand River 

Schaap-bosjes ... .. 

Schaapfontem-Dieplaayte .. 
Schaapkraal ... ... .. 

Schistose Rocks ... .. 

Scrapers, Stone 

Secretaris ... ... .. 

Secretarishop ... .. 

Silicified Wood 
Solutric Period 
Solutric Pottery 
Springhaas ... 
Springs, Extinct 

,, thermal ... .. 


Stinkhoutbooin ... .. 

Stock-raising ... .. 

Stone Balls, Perforated .. 

Stormberg Series of Rocks 

Taaibosch Spruit 



Taylorskopje Mine .. 


Thaba Tsuen, strata at 

Thermal Springs ... .. 

Theron Mine 
Tweclinqsfontein ... .. 




... 92 

24, 55, 65 

... 8 

... 6 


... 43 

... 36 



61, 65-68 
2, 73 

... 81 


... 51 


... 6 

... 92 


... 13 




... 42 

.. 2 


... 51 

26, 43 

1, 2, 91 

... 24 




Vaalpan ... ... ... ... 36 

Vandermerwesdam ... 36 

Valsch River 2 

Vereeniging Coal-field 12, 14 

Vet River 2 

Ventersdorp System, Rocks of 4-7, 11-12 
Venterskroon ... . . ... 5 

Vcrgelegen Pipe 25 

Voetgangers ... ... ... 94 

Volcanic Rocks, of Karoo System 13, 15 
Ventersdorp System 

6, 7 

Voorspoed Mine ... 5, 33-40 

Vooruitzicht 24. 63 

Vraaiuitzicht ... ... ... 85 

Vredefort, geology of 4,5 

topography 6, 7 

Welgegund Mine 29 

Wells 48 

Welverdiend Pipe 29 

Wesselton Mine 26, 40-42 

Wheat 93 

Wildebeeste = Gnu 

Wilge River, geology of ... ... 7-10 

Winburg 31 

Wind Erosion 49 

Witkop Mine 5 

Witwatersrand System, Rocks of 

4, 6, 7, 9. 10 

Wood, Silicified 13 

Wynandsfontein Pipe 29 

Zebra 71 

Zwartrandsdam ... .. ... 36 





" This volume, the author states in his preface, is intended to meet a demand among 
those technically connected with the mining industry, for a co-ordinated and condensed 
account of the base-metal ore-deposits at present known in South Africa. It is also 
intended as a guide to the prospector. The author claims that only an elementary 
knowledge of geology and some mining experience are necessary in order to understand it, 
and that, with these qualifications, it will mateiially assist the prospector in his search 
for metalliferous mineral occurrences. . . . This volume constitutes a work of reference 
that no one interested in the mining industry can afford to be without. It is at once a 
concise and co-ordinated description of the different known occurrences, a complete record 
of output, and a guide to the scattered literature of the base metals of South Africa ."- 
South African Mining Journal. 






44 Our knowledge of the prehistoric period of South Africa, like that of other parts of 
the world, is mainly derived from the almost imperishable stone implements which were 
then used, and which remain when much else has gone. In this volume the author gives 
a co-ordinated account of his different discoveries in South Africa The new edition 
describes a large number of fresh finds, and includes many new illustrations. One of the 
most striking features is the very wide geographic distribution of Mr. Johnson's finds, 
which has afforded a sound basis for classification. Four distinct periods are now recog- 
nisedthe Eolithic, Strepyic, Acheulic, and Solutric. Very interesting are the repro- 
ductions of aboriginal paintings, packings and engravings, which were contemporary with 
the implements of the newest periods." South African Mining Journal. 


Printed by EDWIN SEABS Co., 4, Dorset Buildings, Salisbury Square, London, E.G. 


TO-* 642-2997 








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