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Antonia Malan

Dr Malan is a Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology at UCT. She graduated from UCT in 1976 with majors in anthropology and archaeology, and returned to discover historical archaeology in 1985, completing a PhD in 1993 (‘Households of the Cape, 1750 to 1850: Inventories and the Archaeological Record’).

My research focus has been household inventories of the 18th and 19th century Cape Colony, leading to a deep interest in vernacular architecture and the spatial development of Cape Town and its hinterland. I also use these rich documents as a means to unearthing the life stories of colonial houses, families and their servants and slaves. Inventories from the Orphan Chamber at the Cape of Good Hope and associated documents have now been transcribed and can be downloaded from the TANAP website.

My main contribution to the Department was chaperoning the Historical Archaeology Research Group (HARG) for 20 years. It provided a perfect opportunity to interact with colleagues from other disciplines and to bring together people with a common interest in the more recent history of the Cape. Jane Klose and I have prepared guides for identifying and analysing ceramics from Cape sites and taught courses to students and the general public.

Professionally, I try to balance research interests with contract work in cultural resource management, and fortunately the two often come together in productive ways. I work closely with the Archaeology Contracts Office (, and produce publications for the Vernacular Architecture Society of SA (VASSA). Much of my time is now spent as consultant in multi-disciplinary heritage assessment teams and sitting on heritage advisory committees.

Research guides:

CORNELL, C. 2005. Slaves at the Cape: a guidebook for beginner researchers. Second Edition. Cape Town: Historical Studies Department, UCT.

CORNELL, C. & A. MALAN. 2005. Household Inventories at the Cape: a guidebook for beginner researchers. Cape Town: Historical Studies Department, UCT.

CORNELL, C. & A. MALAN. 2008. Places at the Cape: a guidebook for beginner researchers. Cape Town: Historical Studies Department, UCT.

KLOSE, J. 2007. Identifying Ceramics: An introduction to the analysis and interpretation of ceramics excavated from 17th to 20th century archaeological sites and shipwrecks in the south-western Cape. HARG Handbook no.1, third edition. HARG: University of Cape Town.

KLOSE, J. & A. MALAN. 2009. An Introduction to the identification of ceramics excavated from 18th and 19th century archaeological sites. Student Handbook, HARG, September 2009.

Recent publications:

MALAN, A. & J. KLOSE. 2014. ‘Porcelain at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century.’ In: T. Eliëns, E. Ströber & J. van Campen (eds), Chinese and Japanese Porcelain for the Dutch Golden Age. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum.

MALAN, A. 2013. ‘From outlaws to in-laws: families and farms in the Piketberg district, c.1700-c.1910’. VASSA Journal 27: 1-24.

MALAN, A. 2012. ‘The cultural landscape’. In: N. Worden (ed.), Cape Town - Between East and West: Social Identities in a Dutch Colonial Town. Cape Town: Jacana Media.

MALAN, A. & L. WEBLEY. 2010. ‘West Coast buildings: the architecture of a coastal frontier.’ VASSA Journal 23: 2-22.

MALAN, A. 2007. ‘Contested sites: negotiating new heritage practice in Cape Town.’ Journal of Islamic Studies, vol. 24/25, 2004/0: 17-54.

MALAN, A. 2007. ‘The form and layout of early Cape Town households, 1660-1740.’ VASSA Journal 18: 34-63.