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Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu


I am a PhD graduate from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom where I wrote a dissertation titled: A Comparative analysis of rock art in southern Africa: animals and cosmological models. I had previously studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, where I attained my BA Degree in Archaeology and Geography in 2000, an Honours Degree in Geography (Climatology and Environmental Studies) in 2001, and Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Rock Art Studies) in 2002. I successfully finished my Masters Degree in Anthropology at Rhodes University in 2005. I have almost fitfeen years’ experience in heritage management in South Africa, having worked for both national and provincial heritage authorities in various capacities. In my most recent position before taking the Senior Lectureship in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria, I worked as the Manager: Archaeological Collections for the University of the Witwatersrand.

I am currently the co-editor for the South African Archaeological Bulletin, Executive Member representing the East and southern Africa within the World Archaeological Congress, and also serves on the Executive of ICOMOS SA. I am also a Council Member for Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).

Research Interests

My research interest includes southern African rock art and the management of Africa’s rich cultural heritage and these have formed the main part of my publications to date. I am finishing a research project analysing the distribution of rock art in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which was funded through the Carnegie Large Research Grant at the University of the Witwatersrand. Besides an interest in heritage management and rock art, I am actively involved in different projects aimed at bringing about transformation in the archaeological discipline in South Africa, a process that will lead to the active inclusion of more African archaeologists and transform our interpretation of archaeological material. I have previously served as the inaugural Transformation Officer within the Association of southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA).


Distribution of rock art in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (funded by the Carnegie Large Research Grant, University of the Witwatersrand) – Rock art from this area is not well known. Thus, there were two main objectives of the study: (i) to extensively record rock art from the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, and (ii) to interpret this art in the context of what we already know about southern African rock art, particularly focusing on the regional variation of rock art.

Heritage management and the challenges of mining: The case of Mapungubwe (funded by a Research Development Programme Grant, University of Pretoria) – With the threat of mining ever on the increase, it has become prevalent that the archaeological community come up with strategies on how best to deal with mining challenges. Thus, the coal mining near the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape provides a valuable case study from which significant lessons can be learned. The project has two main research questions: (i) to what extent can the evident bridge between archaeology and development be bridged?, and (ii) how can heritage legislation and social consultation during Environmental Impact Assessments be improved based on the lessons from the coal mining near Mapungubwe?


I am the coordinator for undergraduate studies responsible for all operations and supervise postgraduate students in heritage management and rock art studies. I also a co-ordinator or co-coordinator for the following courses:

AGL 213: Introduction to Archaeological Theory

AGL310: The Archaeology of Southern Africa

AGL 751: Advanced Archaeological Theory

AGL 320: Collections Management


Ndlovu, N. 2014. The challenges of conserving rock art at the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Open air rock art conservation and management: state of the art and future perspectives (Darvill, T. and Batarda, A., Eds).

Ndlovu, N. 2013. Ownership of heritage resources in South Africa: challenges and opportunities. Internet Archaeology: Special Edition 33 (online publication).

Ndlovu, N. 2012. The presentation of rock art in South Africa: Old problems, new challenges. Smith, B., Helskog, K. and Morris, D. (Eds) Working with Rock Art, 280-291. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.

Ndlovu, N. 2011. Management versus Preservation: Archaeological heritage management in a transforming South Africa. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites (CMAS) 13 (2-3): 123-133.

Ndlovu, N. 2011. Legislation as an instrument in heritage management – is it effective? Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites (CMAS) 13 (1): 31-57.

Ndlovu, N. 2010. Archaeological battles and triumphs: A personal reflection, George Nicholas (Ed.) Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists, 222-234. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Ndlovu, N. 2009. Access to rock art sites: A right or qualification? South African Archaeological Bulletin 64 (189): 61-68.

Ndlovu, N. 2009. Transformation challenges in South African Archaeology South African Archaeological Bulletin 64 (189): 91-93

Ndlovu, N. 2009. Decolonising the mindset: South African Archaeology in a Postcolonial, Post-Apartheid Era. Peter Schmidt (Ed.) Postcolonial Archaeologies in Africa, 177-192. Sante Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.


Ndlovu, N. Reflecting on the decade of the World Heritage status: the involvement and benefits of the Indigenous people in the management of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Indigenous peoples and World Heritage Convention (under review).

Ndlovu, N. Heritage at cross-roads: the role of contract archaeology in South Africa. Heritage management in Africa (Shadreck Chirukure & Webber Ndoro, Eds). Under review.

Ndlovu, N. and Smith, B. The Past is a Divided Country: public archaeology in South Africa.

Ndlovu, N. and Ndabula, Y. The Pioneers of archaeology at Wits: 1920s to 2005.

Odiaua, I., Katsamudanga, S., Sinamai, A., Ndlovu, N. Upgrading Standards of Documenting Immovable Heritage in Lesotho.


Research Development Programme Grant for 2013, 2014 – R100 000 for the Mapungubwe project.

Carnegie Large research Grant for 2012 – R100 000 for a rock art research project in KZN.

Ford Foundation Scholarship to study for PhD in Archaeology in Newcastle University, United Kingdom.

Norman McCord Prize for Best Paper at the Historical Studies Post Graduate Conference (Newcastle University, UK) in May 2009.

Professional Membership

ICOMOS ICAHM – Expert Member

ICOMOS South Africa (Executive Member)

World Archaeological Congress (WAC)

Association for Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA)

Society of Africanists Archaeologists (SAfA)

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Last edited by Alexander AntonitesEdit