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 Location: Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, South Africa.  Grid Reference: 25° 37' 54.12" S 30° 45’ 36.09" E.


      'Adam's Calendar': ('Stone setting').

Controversially suggested to be the oldest man-made site on earth by Michael Tellinger and Johan Heine. There are two distinct sets of remains in question: The 'Bantu Kraals'... and 'Adams Calendar'.

Tellinger claims that both the ruins and 'calendar' stones were inspired by the Sumerian Anunaki, and that they date from 260,000 years ago. He has also suggested that these are the remains of Enki's lost mythological Sumerian city of Abzu (Hell), where he believes the first humans were used as slaves to mine for gold. He also states that Great Zimbabwe was Enki's 'Headquarters', simultaneously dating it to c. 260,000 years old. (3)


   The 'Bantu' Ruins:

When historians first stumbled upon these structures they assumed that they were cattle kraal left behind by the Bantu people as they moved south and settled the land from around the 13th century. This idea today seems unlikely as a definitive answer, as there are several thousand similar ruins spread over tens of thousands of miles. The design of the structures is unlike any other Bantu cattle-kraal designs, which are usually made of thorny shrubs, with a single entrance/exit for the cattle. The complexity, design and high number, offer the possibility that these are the remains of a lost 'cultural activity' hitherto unaccounted for in the region.

Tellinger said of the ruins: 'Our research has shown that the ancient ruins of South Africa and Zimbabwe go back to around 260,000 years the very first appearance of humans on Earth'. (3) This is an unsubstantiated statement, with no evidence to support it. Without more accurate evidence however, we are left with the suggestion that the remains are from the 13th century. However, as we can see from the photo above, there is little, if any similarity to the Bantu kraal (below). The first estimates of the number of stone ruins was made in 1891 by Theodore Bent who had a real fascination with the stone ruins. He was also the first person to document his excavations of Great Zimbabwe at the time and estimated that there were about 4,000 stone ruins in this part of the world. This estimate has now been raised to around 20,000 ruins.


Typical Bantu Village Showing type of housing, layout and design.

Source: A. M. Duggan-Cronin, The Bantu Tribes of South Africa: Reproductions of Photographic Studies (Cambridge, U.K.: Deighton, Bell, 1935), vol. 4, Henri P. Junod, The Vathonga (The Thonga-Shangaan People), plate 24.


As we can see, many of the stone ruins appear to have been repeatedly built over.


Left: 'Kraal' with adjacent 'roadway', Right: Unusual 'Kraal' without entrance/exit.


Archaeology of the Region:

Apart from such glimpses into history, as well as well-made iron and stone artefacts that were collected, little is known about the archaeology of the mountain-lands. From July 1952 to 1955 some 1915 artefacts were collected from 20 sites around Barberton, including the mountain lands. These are at present housed in the Barberton museum. The artefacts were collected from open donga sites where material of all ages was mixed on the surface. Earlier Stone Age (approximately 1 million to 200 000 years ago) implements were exposed at various depths in the deep dongas, Middle Stone Age (125 000 to 75 000 years) material occurred in the ferricrete overlying the subsoil, and Later Stone Age (between 30 000 and 40 000 years ago until about 2 000 years ago) artefacts were exposed by surface erosion. Even today many Late Stone Age artefacts are encountered on walks in the highlands. (4)

However, the remains of ancient cultures that must once have thrived in the area are numerous. Terraces and rock packed structures can be found in the mountain-lands and research by Dr. Cyril Hromnik has it that the Dravidian merchant caste of southern India mined gold here 2000 years ago, resulting in these stone structures, celestial calendars as well as temples. Since 1984 interest in the early history of the Barberton goldfields has been revived by Dr. Hromnik’s controversial research and his discovery in this area, of what he claims to be ancient megalithic Dravidian religious structures. Hromnik is of the opinion that an area known, as Komati-land was the trading zone of the Dravidians and that their presence in fact predates the appearance of the first Bantu in this part of Africa by centuries. The oral tradition of the local Swazi (Siswati), who settled in this area only relatively recently, in the first half of the 19th century, has little to say about these early gold miners. However the Swazi people are almost unanimous in attributing the stone enclosures, stonewalled roads and other stone structures that occur in the vicinity of the gold workings to the beSutfu. By calling these ancient stone-builders beSutfu the Swazi traditions do not refer, as is popularly believed, to the modern Bantu-speaking BaSotho (meaning “Black People”). –Sutfu is not just a Nguni variant of the name Sotho; the reference is, rather, to people of the uSutu River. (4)


Gold Mining:

It has been noted that the area is extremely rich in gold. Several mining shafts have been reported in the area. Not only did the rich gold reefs attract attention in the 1880’s, but the early evidence of historic civilizations mining for minerals were described in writings by the early Europeans. Firstly, the prospectors found that others before them exploited gold by primitive methods. As D. Wilson (1901) Mining Commissioner and Landdrost of Kaapsche Hoop (then called Duiwels Kantoor), reported:

“Another curious and puzzling find, affording evidence of a very high degree of civilization on the part of the ancient explorers of De Kaap, took place within a few yards of my office at the Kantoor. Running into the side of a steep hill, was the remains of a tunnel, which was opened up in the course of prospecting work, when the diggers unearthed two earthenware pipes about three feet long and six inches in diameter. They had most of the signs one looks for in ancient pottery and were obviously of very great age”.

Who the ancient miners were, still remains an unresolved and tantalizing secret, and depending on one’s viewpoint, great efforts are made to attribute it to San people, Dravidian merchants form the Indian sub-continent, Arabs, Phoenicians and even Egyptians. Evidence of dwellings estimated to be some 500 years old can be interpreted as part of a culture that traded gold with eastern (Arabic and Indian) communities in the past. At least one such complete Iron Age “village” is found on mountain-lands as well as various other sites still to be verified. (4)


Great Zimbabwe:

Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from around 1100 to 1450. The word "Great" distinguishes the site from the many hundreds of small ruins, known as Zimbabwe's, spread across the Zimbabwe highveld. The Capital of the Zimbabwe kingdom lies approximately 500 miles north of the site known as Adam's Calendar (below). Archaeological evidence suggests that Great Zimbabwe became a centre for trading, with artefacts suggesting that the city formed part of a trade network extending as far as China. This international trade was mainly in gold and ivory; some estimates indicate that more than 20 million ounces of gold were extracted from the ground. (5) It is in this very same region that one finds 'scattered throughout the strata and rocks ... deposits of reef and alluvial gold, and also iron, talc, asbestos and nickel' (4), offering a reasonable explanation for such a high concentration of ancient structures.

The gold-rich soil, the presence of ancient mines and an ancient local historical focus on mineral trade (i.e. the Zimbabwe kingdom) hint at an association between these extensive ruins and the natural resources of the region.


   Adam's Calendar:

The stone setting now called 'Adam's Calendar' was first brought to the publics attention in 2003 by pilot Johan Heine. The stones are arranged on the precipice of the Transvaal Escarpment overlooking the Waterval Boven Valley. The stones are all dolomite, weighing up to 5-tons each, and are claimed to have been transported from a distance to the site as the Escarpment itself is composed of Black Reef Quartzite, rich in gold. (9) It is claimed that the stones would have originally stood in a circle, and that the remaining stones denote the cardinal points (off by 3°) and the rising/setting points of the solstice sun. In the centre of the 'circle' are two upright stones which are said to have been carved.

'Adam's Calendar' as seen from above.


Computer generated view of the site.

It is claimed that the monolithic stones were transported from two miles away. This is apparently based on a geology report that indicates the rocks were moved here and worked with human hands. (8) The following two references to the region both make reference to Dolomite being common.

'Aloe alooides (Bolus) .... Large single-stemmed aloe, 1-3 m: on rocky dolomite slopes in grassland and bushy thickets... Distribution: endemic to Mpumalanga, occurring sporadically on dolomite between Sudwala Caves and Blyde River Canyon N.R'. (6)

'Bird watchers should not miss out on an opportunity to see Chrissiesmeer, which is the largest natural freshwater lake in South Africa, and famous for flamingos. The Sudwala Caves deep in the dolomite rocks of the surrounding mountains, are worth visiting' (7)


 Dating The Site:

These widely varying estimates all come from the same source: Michael Tellinger.

'The first rough calculation was from at least 25,000 years ago. But new and more precise measurements kept increasing the age'...

The next calculation was presented by a 'master archaeoastronomer' (Bill Hollenbach?(8)) who unsurprisingly, wishes to remain anonymous for 'fear of ridicule by the academic fraternity'. The calculation was apparently based on the rise of Orion and suggested an age of at least 75,000 years.  (2)

A further calculation in June 2009, suggested an age of at least 160,000 years, based on the rise of Orion 'flat on the horizon' but also on the 'erosion of dolerite stones' found at the site. Some pieces of the marker stones had been broken off and sat on the ground, exposed to natural erosion. When the pieces were put back together about 3 cm of stone had already been worn away. These calculation helped assess the age of the site by calculating the erosion rate of the dolerite. (2)

'Our research has shown that the ancient ruins of South Africa and Zimbabwe go back to around 260,000 years the very first appearance of humans on Earth'. (3)

At present (2011), the site has not undergone any official dating procedures.


It is regularly claimed that 'Adam's Calendar' is located on the same line of longitude as Giza and Great Zimbabwe. Using Google Earth's lat/long grid Giza is approximately 45km west of the nearest Adam's Calendar longitude line.

While the following images certainly suggest a human provenance for the stones, there is no evidence to support Tellinger's claims that they are '75,000 years or older'.


Gallery of Images:

The Two Central Uprights.

The 'Anthropomorphic' Menhir.


(Axum, Ethiopia)

(The Giza Complex)

(The Sphinx)

(Egypt Homepage)

(Egyptian Astronomy)


(Index of Ancient Sites)




1). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory
2). http://www.viewzone2.com/adamscalendar22.html
3). http://www.flickeringtorches.com/2009/12/04/exposing-the-lost-city-of-enki.html
4). http://www.mountainlands.co.za/archaeology.aspx
5). Gayre, R. (1972). The origin of the Zimbabwean Civilization. Galaxie Press, Rhodesia
6). E. Schmidt, M. Lotter, W. McCleland. Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. 2002. Jacana Publ.
7). http://southafrica-travel-guide.blogspot.com/
8). http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/mpumalanga/adams-calendar/
9). http://drakenberg.weebly.com/sacred-history.html
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