Metsemegologolo – meaning ‘ancient towns’ in Setswana – is the name of an experimental digital project on African urbanism through the case study of Tswana towns (South Africa/Botswana).

It isn’t widely known that in precolonial times vast networks of towns and homesteads were built across south-eastern Africa, part of a rich cultural landscape that existed before modern national boundaries. We are looking for innovative ways to make this history accessible in digital form to different audiences. The project brings together an international collective of researchers in archaeology, history, GIS studies, history of art, digital arts, environmental studies and linguistics and is funded under the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation African Digital Humanities programme (Afridig).

We are in the process of gathering digital materials with a view to make this history more accessible. Our Omeka site presents a sample of objects and presentations from the larger digital archive that we are building.