Classical antiquities in Durban: A study of two collections

Graham, Samantha Rebecca (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: A recent survey has shown that there are approximately seventeen collections of classical antiquities in South African museums which fall into two main categories: museums attached to higher education institutions and public state museums. While these collections were once on display all but four of these collections are currently boxed-up and in storage. Furthermore the survey shows that the information pertaining to these collections is often lacking, unreliable or simply lost. It has been hypothesised that the disinterest in classical antiquities may have been as a result of the heritage transformation that took place in South Africa post-1994 and that, as the promotion of South African heritage has become the primary focus, more of these “Eurocentric” collections are being placed in storage. Samantha Masters‟ NRF Thuthuka-funded project has as its primary goal to research, collect data and digitise all seventeen classical antiquities collections in an electronic database. Another goal is to ascertain whether the shift in heritage policy post-1994 may have had an effect on the display of these collections. As a component of the broader Thuthuka project, this thesis examines two collections of classical antiquities held at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Museum of Classical Archaeology in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. It provides a digital solution for artefact conservation, preserving the data related to the artefacts and making this data accessible for future research. In addition, this thesis ascertains how these collections were acquired, and as a result, determines how and to what extent the journeys and histories of these two collections have been influenced by the shift in heritage policies. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the examination of the history of these two Durban collections reveals that though other collections were affected by changes in heritage policy, neither of these collections was greatly influenced by heritage transformation in post-apartheid South Africa.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: 'n Onlangse opname het aangetoon dat daar ongeveer sewentien versamelings van klassieke oudhede in Suid-Afrikaanse museums bestaan. Hierdie versamelings val in twee hoofkategorieë: museums verbonde aan inrigtings vir hoër opvoeding en publieke staatsmuseums. Terwyl hierdie versamelings in die verlede uitgestal was, is almal behalwe vier van hierdie versamelings tans weggestoor. Verder toon die opname aan dat die inligting rakende hierdie uitstallings dikwels gebrekkig, onbetroubaarof bloot vermis word. Dit is veronderstel dat die min belangstelling in klassieke oudhede dalk die gevolg is van die erfenis-transformasie wat na 1994 in Suid-Afrika plaasgevind het, en dat, aangesien die bevordering van Suid-Afrikaanse erfenis die primêre fokus geword het, meer van hierdie “Eurosentriese” versamelings weggestoor word. Samantha Masters se NNS Thuthuka-befondsde projek se hoofdoelwit is om navorsing te doen, data te versamel en al sewentien versamelings van klassieke oudhede in 'n elektroniese databasis te digitaliseer. Nog 'n doelwit is om vas te stel of die verandering in erfenisbeleid na 1994 'n effek op die uitstalling van hierdie versamelings kon hê. As deel van die breër Thuthuka-projek, ondersoek hierdie projek twee versamelings van klassieke oudhede wat by die Durban Universiteit van Tegnologie (DUT) en die Universiteit van KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) deur die Museum van Klassieke Argeologie in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, gehuisves word. Dit voorsien 'n digitale oplossing vir artefakbewaring deur die data rakende die artefakte te bewaar en hierdie data toeganklik vir toekomstige navorsing te maak. Bykomend stel hierdie tesis vas hoe hierdie versamelings bekom is, en gevolglik, tot watter mate die reise en geskiedenis van hierdie twee versamelings deur die verandering in erfenisbeleide beïnvloed word. In teenstelling met die aanvanklike hipoteses, onthul die studie van die geskiedenis van hierdie twee Durban-versamelings dat, alhoewel ander versamelings deur veranderinge in erfenisbeleid beïnvloed is, nie een van hierdie twee versamelings beduidend deur erfenis-transformasie in postapartheid Suid-Afrika beïnvloed is nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98747
This item appears in the following collections: