An introduction to the stone age archaeology of the polihali dam area, mokhotlong district, lesotho

Tim Forssman, Matt Lotter, John Parkington, Jeremy Hollmann, Jessica Angel, Wouter Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Much of Lesotho’s cultural heritage has been studied as a result of dam developments. Where dams have been built, heritage studies have provided crucial data for improving our understanding of local archaeological sequences. Ahead of the construction of the Lesotho Highland Development Authority’s (LHDA) new Polihali Dam in Lesotho’s Mokhotlong District and following the recommendations of a heritage assessment (CES 2014), a large-scale five-year cultural heritage management program was launched in 2018 that seeks to excavate and mitigate a number of heritage sites. Here, we provide the background to one of southern Africa’s largest heritage mitigation contracts by contextualising the current research program. We then present the archaeology of Lesotho’s eastern highlands basalt region using data collected during the inception phase of this program. The findings challenge current preconceived notions about the sparsity of archaeological remains for this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cultural heritage management
  • Dams
  • Lesotho
  • Rock art
  • Stone age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archeology


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