As part of an archaeological outreach (and reading) programme, CBN recently travelled to
the Tankwa Karoo in the arid Northern Cape. We gave five workshops in all, two at
Elandsvlei farm school, where the children welcomed new ideas, new books – and a chance
to conduct their own archaeological survey.
We have been trialing our Blue Toolbox for some time now, and it was wonderful to work
with archaeologist Dr Emily Hallinan to find out how effective our ideas are going to be in
the schools in the heart of the Tankwa where one of the book-bags is set.
In schools this remote, it would be useful to have a translation of some of the materials
particularly the book Emily published on Amazon recently (The Time Trackers written as a
team effort with Lesley Beake). We are working on that!
The workshops were for the older children first (Grades 4-7) which lasted for over an hour
and fascinated children and staff alike. We used the book Street beneath my feet by
Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer (a marvelously huge unfolding book published by
Quarto in 2017.
The second workshop was for the younger children who looked at (and drew) the concept
of someone coming to Earth and finding how we lived now – much as archaeologists are
doing for the people of the distant past. We showed the book If you come to Earth by
Sophie Blackall, published by Chronicle Books in 2020.
(All three of these books are reviewed on our Book page).
The principal and teachers of Elandsvlei Farm School who could not have given us a better
Photo-Journalist Toast Coetzer who not only drove us to the Tankwa and obtained the loan
of a splendid Mahindra vehicle for the purpose, but who also stood in as spontaneous
translator and workshop facilitator!
Most of all thank you to Emily Hallinan, who inspired the book by her research in the
Tankwa, and who raised funding for it through:
ICArEHB, the Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behaviour (University of Algarve, Portugal.
The book (Time Travellers) and the workshops were was conceived of as part of Emily’s research project ‘TANKwA’, funded
under the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant No. 891817. Additional funds supporting
a visit to share the book with the Tankwa Karoo community were provided grant UIDP/04211/ the Portuguese Foundation for
Science and Technology (FCT, Fundação para a Ciência e Technologia) IHC Programatico, awarded to ICArEHB.