Masorini Village Museum, a trek back to Stone-age

Perfectly positioned on top of the picturesque Masorini Hill, 11km from mining town of Phalaborwa entrance gate on the road to Letaba camp, Masorini offers a glimpse of an organized economy that existed before the arrival of European settlers in South Africa.

This trips you back in time to a beautifully restored Stone Age village in Kruger National Park
The close-knit village also gives insight into the lifestyle of the Stone Age hunter-gathering society that formed an integral part of the natural environment in Kruger National Park.
Excavations exposed hut floors and artefacts that gave clues to their way of life, homes, iron foundries and commerce.

Dome shaped clay furnaces were used to smelt the iron ore and moulded into spears, arrowheads and farming tools.

These items were traded for glass beads, ivory, animal products and food between the Ba-Phalaborwa at Masorini, the Venda in the far north and later, the Portuguese on the east coast.
Archaeological and ethnographic research ensured that the reconstructions are as authentic as possible.

Local people of Ba-Phalaborwa renovated the huts, have recently and there is a site museum and picnic spot at the base of Masorini Hill.

In the shock waves following the rise of the Zulu kingdom early in the 19thCentury, Masorini ended as a settlement.

As the letters PI-NE appear on the trigonometric beacon, it was incorrectly believed to be another name for Masorini (Piene).

The ancestors of the Ba-Phalaborwa stayed here.

They made a living from the melting of iron.

The smelters lived on the lower terrace at Masorini and the forgers in the higher terrace, because they had a higher standing in society.

Today Masorini is a restored village with stonewalls, grinding stones, potsherds and the remains of foundries, including a smelting furnace, which date back to the 19th century.

There are also some implements dating back to the Stone Age.

This village offers an insight into the economy and technology employed by the hunter-gathers, and later Iron Age people.

The northeastern Sotho tribe that inhabited this village were known as the Ba-Phalaborwa.

From the Masorini hilltop, there is a splendid view of Shikumbu Hill where the Chieftain lived.

Masorini Village is a restored village dating back to the stone-age. Restoration began in 1973, and at the time there were only grinding stones, post-herds, the remains of foundries and a few implements dating back to the stone-age. The real treasures were only revealed once excavation work began, including evidence and insight into trade and commerce within that era, and their domestic lives.

During excavations, various implements were discovered underneath the exposed hut floors, dome-shaped furnaces which were used to smelt the ore were uncovered, and the weapons they became were unearthed. Spears, farming tools and arrowheads were traded for beads, food, ivory and animal products with other tribes and the Portuguese.

Research revealed that the village was inhabited by people belonging to the Ba-Phalaborwa clan and they had advanced towards having their own developed technology, which existed before any European influenced local inhabitants.

The information and history of the area makes for a fascinating experience, shedding light on hunter-gathers, aspects of the stone-age and coexisted with the environment.

Go and enjoy the fabulous views from the top!

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