Simon Hall

Emeritus Associate Professor and Senior Scholar

Simon Hall is an Emeritus Associate Professor and Senior Scholar in the Department of Archaeology at UCT. His Master’s thesis (University of the Witwatersrand) dealt with Tswana-speaking farmers in Limpopo Province and his doctorate (University of Stellenbosch), examined aspects of the Holocene hunter-gatherer sequence in the Eastern Cape.

Hall works mainly within the sub-field of Historical Archaeology at the interface between indigenous and colonial worlds through the 18th and 19th centuries. This research is multi-disciplinary and combines material, oral and written evidence to straddle the precolonial past and the present to address “why we are the way we are today”.  A central focus is on Khoesan identity, change, continuity, and cultural hybridity. These cultural evolutionary processes of change and interaction closely correspond to – but sometimes diverge from – their biological counterparts.

Over the next five years this focus will continue in the Karoo and the Northern Cape, especially on the archaeology of mission stations, domestic space as social map, especially that of farm labour, and the associated 19th century rock art.

Archaeology Dept, Beattie Building, Room 3.13
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 2352
Google Scholar:
Academia Page

Courses lectured

  • AGE3012S - Global Interaction and the Transformation of South African Society
  • AGE3011F - Roots of recent African Identies


Hall, S. 2015. Life and Death at the Waterhole. Eds Parkington, J. et al. In, Karoo Cosmos:  |xam-Ka !au and the |xam. Credo Press

Whitelaw, G. & Hall, S. 2015. Archaeological contexts and the creation of social categories before the Zulu kingdom. In Hamilton, C. & Liebhammer, N. (eds), Tribing and Untribing the Archive: the Thukela-Mzimvubu region until 1910. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press

Warren, K., Hall, S. & Ackermann, N. in 2015. Cranio-dental evidence for between-population homogeneity in the archaeological record of southern African Iron Age peoples. South African Archaeological Bulletin

Warren, K., Hall, S. & Ackermann, R. 2014. Craniodental continuity and change between Iron Age peoples and their descendants. South African Journal of Science 110(7/8):275-86

Bandama, F., Chirikure, S. & Hall, S. 2013. Ores sources, smelters and archaeometallurgy: exploring Iron Age metal production in the Southern Waterberg, South Africa. Journal of African Archaeology. 11 (2): 243-267

Hall, S. 2012. Identity and Political Centralisation in the Western Regions of Highveld,c.1770–c.1830: An Archaeological Perspective Journal of Southern African Studies, Volume 38, Number 2, June 2012 38:2, 301-318

Hamilton, C. & Hall, S. 2012. Reading across the Divides: Commentary on the Political Co-presence of Disparate Identities in Two Regions of South Africa in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries Journal of Southern African Studies, 38:2, 281-290. Natal Press

Hall, S. 2010. Farming communities of the second millennium: internal frontiers, identity, continuity and change. In, Hamilton, C., Nasson, B. & Mbenga, B. (eds.): 112-167. Cambridge History of South Africa. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Parkington, J. & Hall, S. 2010. The appearance of food production in Southern Africa 1000 to 2000 years ago. In, Hamilton, C. Nasson, B. & Mbenga, B. (eds.): 63-111. Cambridge History of South Africa. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Smith, J., Lee-Thorp, J., Hall, S., Prevec, S. & Späth, A. 2010. Pre-colonial herding strategies in the Shashe-Limpopo Basin, southern Africa, based on strontium isotope analysis of domestic fauna. Journal of African Archaeology 8(1):83-98

Hattingh, S. & Hall, S. 2009. Shona ethnography and the archaeology of the K2 burials. Southern African Humanities 21: 299-326

Boeyens, J. & Hall, S. 2009. Tlokwa oral Traditions and the interface between history and archaeology at Marothodi. South African Historical Journal. 61:3-27

Hall, S., Anderson, M., Boeyens, J. & Coetzee, F. 2008. Towards an outline of the oral geography, historical identity and political economy of the late precolonial Tswana in the Rustenburg region. In, Esterhuysen, A., Swanepoel, N. & Bonner, P. (eds.). 500 years Rediscovered. Proceedings of the inaugural meeting of the 500 year conference: 55-86. Witwatersrand University Press: Johannesburg

Hall, S. & Chirikure, S. 2008. Herders farmers and metallurgists of South Africa. In, Pearsall, D.M. (ed) Encyclopedia of Archaeology:66-71. Academic Press: London, New York

Chirikure, S., Hall, S. & Maggs, T. 2008. Metals beyond frontiers: exploring the production, distribution and use of metals in the Free State grasslands, South Africa. In, Esterhuysen, A., Swanepoel, N. & Bonner, P. (eds.). 500 years Rediscovered. Proceedings of the inaugural meeting of the 500 year conference.87-102. Witwatersrand University Press: Johannesburg

Miller, D. & Hall, S. 2008. Rooiberg revisited – the analysis of tin and copper smelting debris. Historical Metallurgy 42:1-16

Chirikure, S., Hall, S. & Miller D. 2007. One hundred years on: What do we know about tin and bronze production in southern Africa? In La Niece, S., Hook, D. & Craddock, P. (eds.) Metals and Mines: Studies in Archaeometallurgy:112-122. British Museum: London

Koursaris, A., Hall, S. & Grant, M.R. 2007. An archaeometallurgical study of iron artifacts from Mabotse Journal of Materials 59(5):22-25

Hall, S. 2007. Tswana History in the Bankenveld. In Bonner, P., Esterhuysen, A. & Jenkins, T. (eds.) A Search for Origins: Science, History and South Africa’s ‘Cradle of Humankind’:162-179. Witwatersrand University Press: Johannesburg

Smith, J., Lee-Thorp, J. & Hall, S. 2007. Climate change and agropastoralist settlement in the Shashe-Limpopo River Basin, southern Africa: AD 800 to 1700. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 62(186):115-125

Hall, S., Miller, D., Anderson, M. & Boeyens, J. 2006. An exploratory study of copper and iron production at Marothodi, an early 19th century Tswana town, Rustenburg District, South Africa. Journal of African Archaeology 4(1):3-35

Hall, S. & Mazel, A. 2005. The private performance of events: colonial rock art from the Swartruggens KRONOS 31:124-151

Hall, S. 2004. ‘South African pottery past and present’. In  A. Walter-Oliphant, Delius, P. & Meltzer, L. (eds) Democracy X: marking the present, re-presenting the past:13-21. UNISA Press: Pretoria.

Hall, S. 2000. Forager lithics and Early Moloko homesteads at Madikwe. Natal Museum Journal of Humanities. 12:33-50

Hall, S. 2000. Burial and sequence in the Later Stone Age of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The South African Archaeological Bulletin 55:137-146

Hall, S. and B. Smith, 2000. Empowering places: rock shelters and ritual control in farmer –forager interactions in the Northern Province, South Africa. South African Archaeological Society, Goodwin Series 8:30-46

Hall, S. 1998. A consideration of gender relations in the Late Iron Age “Sotho” sequence of the Western Highveld, South Africa. In, S. Kent (ed.) Gender in African Prehistory, pp. 235-258. Walnut Creek, London, New Delhi: Altamira Press

Hall, S. 1997. Material culture and gender correlations: The view from Mabotse in the late nineteenth century. In L. Wadley (ed.) Our Gendered Past: Archaeological Studies of Gender in Southern Africa. pp. 209-219. Witwatersrand University Press: Johannesburg

Hall, S. and M. Grant 1995.  Indigenous ceramic production in the context of the colonial frontier in the Transvaal, South Africa. In P. Vincenzini (ed.) Proceedings of the 8th CIMTEC: The Ceramics Cultural Heritage. 465-473. Techna srl: Faenza