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 Artefacts from the Zulu War.

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impi

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PostSubject: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:25 pm

On which Battlefield have the most lucrative finds taken place with a view to artefacts from the Zulu War? This could be either Bullet, buckles. Buttons.

I would be interested to know when the looting of theses artefacts first began. And when the enforcements to prevent this were put into place.

Were those killed in action, buried in their uniforms, or were they removed an auctioned off, (Depending on conditions) with the rest of the belongings from the those KIA.
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90th

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PostSubject: artefacts , zulu war .   Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:29 am

Hi Impi .
Most prized
artifacts are from Isandlwana due to the fact that so many were killed there . Therefore a huge amount of battlefield debris was left behind . And it was a remarkable defeat in the eyes of the British and the world for that matter !.
It is common knowledge that the officers and others took items from Isandlwana when they left on the morning of the 23rd Jan.
Whereas at R.D not as much debris would have been left behind as it was more than likely cleaned up . The soldiers would
have been buried in what they were wearing . Auctioning was common place after the death of soldiers as the proceeds were
sent to the deceased's family. Not sure when it was made illegal to remove artifacts from Sth African Battlefiels , but I would guess
back in the 90's or possibly the 80's . Hope this helps .
cheers 90th. Idea


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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:25 am

Impi
In terms of sheer quantity Khambula would eclipse the lot, Wood was there for months, fought a pitched battle on a fixed fortification, plus the fact the Garrison has a bona fide refuse dump, (excavated C1980) and we all know where it was as it appears on the maps as zulusnipers were in it.


The battlefield at Isandlwana has turnd up artefacts over the last century, but in reality most of the debris was removed in 1879 and burned by a company of the 24th under Charles Bromhead (Gonvilles brother), at fort Melvill and buried in refuse pits, to my knowlege one of these was excavated about the same time (C1980) but others are long lost. Bromhead, would have removed and re-cycled anything re-useable, it was property of the crown.

rumours abound of many wagonloads of loot the zulu's pulled off the field in the sevice wagons, and left hidden in donga's, this could only have been done post Chelmsfords retreat as the zulu's had weeks to loot to their own content.

As the bodies were left unburied for months (most stripped by the zulus) nothing mush could have been with them apart from buttons.
I once spoke to David Rattray who told me as a boy on his many visits with Ingobese, and his father there were small piles of cartridge cases where men had stood,(or zulu had extracted the powder), however the artefacts are now scattered, by far the best grouped selection of artefacts is at Mtonjaneni Museum, sadly it recieves nowhere like the volume of visitors as it is off the beaten track, anyone venturing towards Ulundi from either direction its a worthy stop off, Wilfred the curator always greets visitors with a beaming smile. There is a super lodge adjacent which is worth a night stop over, mainly for the HUGE steaks they do! plus the view out over the valley is amazing.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:18 pm

Neil how many years was this after Isandlwana.
Quote :
small piles of cartridge cases where men had stood

Was David Rattay's father as interested in the Zulu War as what David was.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:31 am

1960's., its worth getting a copy of Davids CD "the day of the dead moon" for the background to his fascination of the AZW
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 10:07 am

Was there ever a major undertaking by an authorised society to collect and record and preserve the last remaining relics. Or have they just been taken away by Visitors to the sites over the years.
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 4:43 pm

There was nothing organised. When I first visited Isandlwana in 1963, youngsters would offer relics - some of which were modern items such as SA Railways buttons. Gradually the supply fizzled out and thankfully the controlled access to the site appears to have reduced the amount of plundering.
While removal of relics was generally frowned upon by the authorities, it was only in the 1970s (when battlefield tourism began to increase considerably) that legislation was introduced to protect them and outlaw their removal. One major problem was at Khambula, when it turned out that a former UK ex-serviceman had stripped the battlefield and was then paying impoverished local people money to excavate more relics. The then KwaZulu Monuments Council sent Arthur Konigkramer and Barry Marshall to the UK to confront the gentleman. If I remember correctly, he was declared persona no grata and will not be allowed to visit South Africa again.
My views on the Mthonjaneni collection are well known, but at least the owner of the Lodge explains the background and discourages people from doing what the late collector did to our battlefields - especially by using a metal detector.
Incidentally, Wilfred is no longer at Mtonjaneni Lodge. I saw him at the Tourism Indaba in Durban last week and he told me he now operates as a Tourist Guide from Vryheid.
Regards, Ken
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 7:47 pm

Ken. What happen in the 1970's that started the rush to the Battlefields to collect the artefacts? I have seen numerous accounts especially on e-bay.

“My Grandfather used to metal detect on the Battlefields during his lunch break ECT. “

Was it to do with the releasing? Of the film Zulu 1964. I’m not sure but was this going on in prior to the 1970s
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 9:18 pm

It was, but not to the same extent that was the case in the 1970s and 1980s.
Regards, Ken
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 9:30 pm

I'm not too sure there was a lot if interest in the Zulu War prior to the film being released. Just out of curiosity was Stanley Baker interested in the Zulu War.
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PostSubject: Re: Artefacts from the Zulu War.   Sun May 15, 2011 9:35 pm

Thanks Ken. I thought that was the case. Was there any large construction projects in the 70s/ 80s close to the Battle Field sites, Isandwana- Rorkes Drift. As there where people supposedly under took medal detecting in there lunch breaks.
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