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Posted on: Friday, 26 November 2010

Adams Calendar and Stone Circle Ruins in Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga

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Stone Circles

Stone Circles

Like many South Africans I took a gap year after school and went to the UK to work and experience life. Which ultimately ended up in me working in a pub for pittance and spending most of my time drinking. Still I did manage to see a little of the United Kingdom and spent some time in Somerset county after going there for the Glastonbury festival. While I was there I saw Stonehenge, the Avebury stone circle and developed quite a liking for the strange, symmetrical stone formations that apparently were maps of the stars.

It was only years later, long having returned to South Africa, cut my hair and shaved, that I discovered that our lovely country has its own version of these ancient temples to the stars …

Nestled in Mpumalanga are the ancient sites of the Stone Circle ruins and Adam’s Calendar which was found among the stone dwellings. Shrouded in mystery these fascinating sites have been misunderstood and overlooked by many.

Adam's Calendar

Adam’s Calendar

There are numerous myths and theories about the origins of man, and both Adams Calendar and Stone Circle Ruins give evidence to the existence of early civilizations.   Adam’s calendar is a 750,000 year old stone calendar, pre-dating all other man-made structures. It is clearly positioned to record the solstice, equinoxes and days of the year and is evidence of consciousness amongst the earliest humans in Africa.

The stone circles are estimated to be about 200 000 in total and they bear witness to those who mined the area for gold thousands of years ago. This ancient civilization still has remnants of dwellings, forts, temples, irrigation systems, agricultural terraces and ancient roads. Visible for hundreds of kilometers is an ancient road structure that connects most of the ruins. This proves that the settlement was not accidental and home to an evolved civilization who planned a transport route. This is very far removed from what historians previously thought: that the stone circles were left over cattle kraals of the Bantu people in the 13th century.

Be sure to visit the Stone Circle Museum in the mountainous town of Waterval Boven along the N4 to Nelspruit. Explorer and scientist Michael Tellinger has put together an astounding collection of items in a small private museum. The museum is home to a set of aerial photographs of the stone ruins and Adam’s Calendar as well as pottery from the Lydenburg Head’s civilization from around 300AD.  Stone tools that span 1 million years as well as the peculiar wonder stone, a circular stone formed billions of years ago that slowly turns on its own axis complete the museum.

Stone Circles

Stone Circles

A half-day guided tour to Adam’s Calendar and the surrounding ruins is another must, allowing you to discover the ancient civilizations up close. Hiking trails, guided tours, 4X4 tours and helicopter flights all make for exciting and unforgettable experiences.

Contact Details:
Stone Circle Tours – Telephone: +27 (0)82 948-8218
Stone Circle Museum, 17 Zasm Laan, Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga

Waterval Boven Links:
Waterval Boven Attractions
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5 comments about Adams Calendar and Stone Circle Ruins in Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga
  1. April 27th, 2011 at 14:42
    Deon van Onselen says:

    Me and my wife recently visited the Waterval Boven area for business and had some spare time on hand. I noticed the information sign at the turn off from the N4 directing us into town to find the Stone Circle Ruins. After a full circle tour of the town we found no further directions pointing us to this attraction. As this was a public holiday (27 Apr) the tourism information centre was closed. We therefore enquired from a local shop wheer we could find these Stone Circles. We were directed to a site on the Schoemanskloof road and were quite happy to find the site some 1 km after the N4 split. We were quite lucky to find some other tourists on the site as well but was told by a local tourist guide that we are trespassing on private land and should not visit the site without prior booking of a guide.
    What frustrates me is:
    The lack of information on the nature, location and history of these Stone Circle Ruins available for citizens like myself who show an interest in our cultural heritage.
    The arrogance of the local tourist trade to reserve this cultural site for them selves as a business.
    The lack of information on the site.
    If this is Sappi territory, I challange Sappi to take up their social responsibility and turn this potentially most informative site into a furher tourist attraction for our beaultiful country.
    If there are somebody out there who share my frustration with a backsliding tourism trade please contact me.

  2. October 12th, 2011 at 18:35
    Di de Villiers says:

    Hello – I absolutely have to agree with you. This should be a National Heritage Site and open and available for ANYONE to visit.

    I have visited ALL the major stone circle sites in UK, and while one has to SOMETIMES pay to get onto the site – it was for the upkeep and preservation of said site, so you didnt mind paying. NOT to line the pockets of some “Tour” group who want to keep it for their own personal money trove !!!!

    It is a disgrace that people are trying to capitalise on and profit from something that belongs to the country as a whole. Who gave them the right to do this ? And Yes if the property does belong to Sappi, they have a responsibility to not discriminate against people of this country who have an interest in such places.

    I look forward to hearing if anyone else has strong feelings on this matter, and what we can do to rectify the situation.

    Regards – Di

  3. November 22nd, 2011 at 18:55
    Avalokiteshvara says:

    Perhaps the reasoning behind this goes deeper than either of the previous commenters are acknowledging.

    Adam’s calender is an incredibly important site, the belongs to no one. It contains a lot of information about the capacity of mankind – our ancestors had a much greater intelligence than we do now. Perhaps the current system is in place to ensure that visitors come to the site with the appropriate respect and understanding and gratitude for the experience.

    And if a group of people, who has undoubtedly bore the brunt of modernism and industrialization – sacrificed their land and their way of life so that you may have the privilege to earn a salary, to fly to South Africa, to own or rent and drive a car that will enable you to visit the site – the least that can be done is to offer them a compensation for their hardships.

    Perhaps what can be done to “rectify the situation” is to drop the unbecoming sense of entitlement that you wear unquestioningly.

  4. August 16th, 2012 at 17:54
    Ray Harris says:

    First, let me tell Avalokiteshvara – you clearly don’t know what you are talking about. Live in the country before making such comments.
    I totally agree with the first two comments – places like this should be declared national treasures, and if entry fees are charged, it should be for the upkeep and protection of the area. People of that area can also benefit by being employed to carry out these functions, but self enrichment of a single person is nonsense! This is the kind of thing the South African Government should be investigating and incorporating into tourism instead of spending taxpayers money on luxurious lunches and tours around the world that do nothing to advance the plight of the very people they ‘struggled’ for.

  5. November 3rd, 2012 at 09:11
    Ria Wiid says:

    I am a South African living in Ireland and currently researching a visit to Adams Calendar in 2013. Must say my very first impression supports the first two comments – I was astounded at the lack of information about the site (compared to Cradle of Mankind for example). I was also shocked at the per person price of a tour of the site! At those prices – I don’t think so!! Why is this not a heritage site? We have many heritage sites in Ireland and they are accessible to everyone, and therefore get thousands of visitors each year! They are protected and visitors pause in these places with the necessary respect. In this regard Avalokiteshvara’s reasoning makes no sense – in fact it is ludicrous! At this stage I am not sure whether it is worthwhile to make the journey to that part of my heartland – what a pity!