ARC000321 Lecture 10 Dutch Colonial Archaeology the Cape of

Dutch Colonial Archaeology: the Cape of Good Hope
The Dutch Golden Age (1584-1702)
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Dutch Golden Age (1584-1702)
Portrait of the Syndics of the Cloth-makers’ Guild - Rembrandt
The 17th century Dutch World
Cornelis de Houtman
Discovered a new sea route to
Indonesia challenging the
Portuguese monopoly on Far
Eastern trade and starting the
Dutch Spice trade
By 1600 dozens of Dutch merchant ships were travelling
east. The intense competition among Dutch merchants
had a destabilizing effect on prices driving the
government to insist on consolidation in order to avoid
commercial ruin
The Dutch East India Company - VOC
Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC
(United East India Company) established 1602
Granted a 21 year monopoly on trade in Asia by
the newly formed States-General of the Netherlands
First multi-national corporation, and first company
to issue stock
Possessed quasi-governmental powers. Could declare
war and negotiate peace , establish colonies, and mint own coins
The Dutch East India Company - VOC
The VOC consisted of six Chambers (Kamers) in port
Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Enkhuizen, Middelburg
and Hoorn.
Delegates of these chambers convened as the Heeren
XVII (the Lords Seventeen)
Of the Heeren XVII, eight delegates were from the
Chamber of Amsterdam
In 1619 the Governor-General of
the Dutch East India Company, Jan
Pieterszoon-Coen took 19 ships and
siezed Jayakarta
The city was re-named Batavia and
became the headquarters of the
VOC in Asia
Statue of Jan Pieterszoon-Coen in Hoorn
VOC headquarters - Amsterdam
VOC was an
important trading
concern for almost 200
It paid an 18%
annual dividend on
Declared bankrupt
and formally dissolved in
VOC possessions and debts were taken over by the government of
the Batavian Republic (modern Java)
The VOC's territories became the Dutch East Indies
These were expanded over the course of the 19th century to
include the whole of the Indonesian archipelago
Became Indonesia in the 20th century
Khoikhoi Colonial Encounters
The Khoikhoi ("people people") or Khoi are a division of the Khoisan
ethnic group of south-western Africa, related to the Bushmen (San)
They are pastoralists and migrated south into the Cape peninsula c.
2,000 years ago. Animal husbandry (sheep and cattle) gave them a
stable, balanced diet and they lived in larger groups than the
hunter-gatherer San.
Khoi migratory bands came into contact with European explorers
and merchants from c. AD 1500; these encounters often led to
Death of Francisco de Almeida,
Viceroy of the Portuguese Indies, Table Bay, 1510
Dutch Settlement of Cape 1652
1648 – 60 survivors of the wrecked Dutch ship the Haerlem
sheltering on Table Bay for 1 year before being rescued
1652 - VOC establish permanent settlement there to provision
passing ships en route to Amsterdam or the East Indies
Jan Van Riebeeck sent to claim territory, checking there were no
English ships in the Bay before laying claim, with orders from the
“As soon as you are in a proper state of defence you shall search for
the best place for gardens, the best and fattest ground in which
everything planted or sown will thrive”
Dutch forts
Second Dutch fort built 1666-1679
Second Dutch Fort 1666-1679
The forts was originally built on the beach, but the land
has been reclaimed and the sea is now 2 Km away
Dutch called khoikhoi Hottentots
(it means "stutterer" in Dutch,
although the word "stotteraar"
described the clicking sounds used
in Khoisan languages
When the Dutch East India
Company enclosed Khoi grazing
land for farms, war broke out
The Khoi were steadily driven off
their land and exposed to smallpox
Bitter disputes
when the Cochoqua
realized that the
Dutch were not
simply seasonal
Early 18th century Cape Town: fort, garden, grid
Greenmarket Square 1762 by Johannes Rach
First boatloads of slaves arrived in Table Bay in 1656
The subsequent massive expansion of wheat and
vine cultivation depended on slave labour
In 1731 slaves formed 42 per cent of the population of
Cape Town
Most slaves owned by VOC. Half of these were women
from Madagascar, Mozambique, East Indies
VOC Slave Lodge
VOC Slave lodge
Towards the close of VOC rule in 1790s two thirds of
the Cape Town population were classified as slaves.
Slavery in Cape Town was abolished by British in 1834
(emancipation 1838)
Themes in the archaeology of colonial settlement in Southern Africa
The Archaeology of Impact
Carmel Schrire excavated VOC Oudepost I & II, and explored
contemporary herder sites of the Cape west coast.
“ I became an archaeologist because
I wanted to drive around in a big Land
rover, smoking, cursing, and finding
Carmel Schrire Digging Through
Darkness, 1995
Oudepost I
‘Old Post’ 1669-1732
Initially established to
head off French, 120km
north of Castle of Good
Hope, garrisoned by 4-10
men, living off the land
shooting game, invading
gatherer niche.
Oudepost I
‘Its linkages with the great East India Company, of which it was no
more than a mote in the sunbeam, are seen here in Bellarmines
from north Europe, Delft from Holland, French gun flints, Dutch
pipes for smoking tobacco from Brazil and Virginia, porcelain from
China and Japan, martavan stoneware from Java’
Themes in the archaeology of colonial settlement in Southern Africa
The Archaeology of the Underclass
Martin Hall worked on at the estate of Vergelegen near modern day
Somerset West, looking for evidence of slave lives . He also excavated
within the Grain Store at the Castle and other sites in Cape Town
Themes in the archaeology of colonial settlement in Southern Africa
The Archaeology of the Mind
J. Gribble has applied Glassie’s structuralist approach buildings
to vernacular architecture of the Verlorenvlei area on the Cape
west coast
Themes in the archaeology of colonial settlement in Southern Africa
The Archaeology of the Text
Yvonne Brink studied the emergence of new architectural
forms in the Cape countryside.
In the early 18th century farmers were marginalized by the
official VOC hierarchy, so responded in a “language” of
material culture
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