ABSTRACT

The VOC trade in foreign parts pitted the Dutch against overseas competitors from London to Lombok, but the Cape market was focused on the indigenous Khoekhoen, whose idiosyncratic speech, beliefs, and dress had long titillated the trading nations of Europe. Beeckman painted his watercolor of the fort at the Cape sometime between December 17, 1657, and February 23, 1658, when the Arnhem lay at anchor in Table Bay. One can hardly devote so much attention to the objects in the VOC sites at the Cape without a discourse on their meaning. Archaeological residues track the ascendancy of the Europeans at the Cape in broken ceramics, glass, metals, ornaments, and gunflints. A historical archaeological unit already operates at Iziko, and related research is currently pursued at the University of Cape Town, both in its academic program and more loosely through its affiliation to the Archaeological Resource Center.