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Master Students

Madeline Zhu

Thesis Title: Reconstructing the diets of southern African farmers: comparing stable isotopes across body tissue

Supervisor: Prof Judith Sealy

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Madeline is also a member of the UCT Debating Union





Vuyiswa Lupuwana

Thesis Title: The rock paintings and engravings of the 17th-18th century Karoo - Tracing Khoikhoi identity in a time of change, conflict and assimilation.

Supervisor: Prof. Simon Hall

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Other activities include - film-making (short films and documentaries), screenwriting and photography.






Navashni Naidoo

Thesis Title: A paleoenvironmental reconstruction using tortoise carapace from the Elands Bay Region

Supervisor: Prof. Judith Sealy

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Research Interest: Paleoclimate, Isotopes
What that fancy title means: Environment is a contextual puzzle piece that archaeologists need to uncover, in order to understand the behaviour of ancient peoples. Unfortunately the nature of South Africa’s climate system means that well established proxies for reconstructing climate do not preserve everywhere. Tortoise bones are a common feature at many Southern African archaeological sites and the carapace is easily identified, making it ideal as a proxy. Using stable nitrogen and carbon isotopes on the carapace can provide insight on aridity and temperature. If a reliable climate signal can be determined through deep time from carapace, then it can be used in other regions, unlike Elands Bay, that do not have good proxy records.


Catherine Schenck

Research Interests: Hinterland dynamics between east central Africa and the Indian Ocean trade world. I focus on the topics of interaction, integration, and innovation in situations of culture contact.

Supervisor: Prof. Shadreck Chirikure

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Matthew Shaw

Thesis Title: Middle Stone Age Landscape Use Along the Bos River in the Karoo, Northern Cape.

Supervisor/s: Prof. John Parkington & Dr. David Braun

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Robert Tendai Nyamushosho

Theses Title: Sociopolitical complexity, early urbanism and innovation in the Iron Age of the Shashi region, southern Africa

Supervisor: Assoc Prof Shadreck Chirikure

Research interests: Iron Age, Ethnoarchaeology, Ceramic ethnoarchaeology, Heritage Interpretation and presentation

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Societies: Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA)




Robyn Humphreys

Thesis Title:  Variation in the skeletal and ectodermal phenotype of mouse hybrids

Supervisor: Professor Rebecca Rogers Ackermann

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Rae Regensberg

Thesis title: Pastoralist systems in the Roggeveld during the 18th and 19th centuries
Supervisor: Simon Hall
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Research interests:
I’m predominantly interested in the interfaces between different peoples. My current research looks at interaction between Khoe and trekboer pastoralists in the Roggeveld during 18th and early 19th centuries and how this changed as large-scale commercial sheep farming took over in the latter half of the 19th century.






Jani Louw

Thesis Topic: The Oral health of the Khoisan during the Holocene.

Supervisors: Prof Becky Ackermann and Dr Wendy Black

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