Kruger Implements – From Stone Age to Recent History

Many Kruger implements have been found in the park which come from vastly different periods of time.

If you’re a visitor to the park, you’d probably expect to be going on an animal safari only.

But there’s a lot more to the park than that. There’s the history of the people who once lived there.

This history can be told through the tools that belonged to those people which have been unearthed by archaeologists.

Implements have been found from archaeological ruins and sites throughout the game reserve.

Adzes, Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Centre, Skukuza Rest CampSome of the more prominent discoveries were the implements at Masorini, the Iron Age hill-top site inhabited by the Ba-Phalaborwa people in the 1800s.

Archaeologists found iron products smelted by the Ba-Phalaborwa people, such as:

  • Adzes
  • Arrowheads
  • Spears
  • Simple farming tools

If you’re interested in seeing the site, it’s near Phalaborwa Gate.

In the north of the park, further implements were found at a 500 year old site called Thulamela. These were not iron, but made of clay. Archaeologists discovered spindles there.

The oldest implements to be found come from the Stone Age about 1.5 million years ago. These tools were made of flint. Many have been found, including hand axes.

Lots of tools have also been found from the Middle Stone Age, which started about 250,000 years ago, in northern Kruger Park. These implements included knives, scrapers and spear tips.

Stone tools, Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Centre, Skukuza Rest CampMany of them are proudly on display at the small, but very well presented and neat museum at Skukuza Rest Camp. The museum is in the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Centre. The centre also houses a library.

The centre is named after James Stevenson-Hamilton who was the first ranger of Kruger National Park (or rather Sabie Game Reserve as it was called then). He took up the park warden’s post in 1902.

If you’re in the area, we’d highly recommend taking a stroll through the museum. There are some fascinating stories to read about there!