Revil Mason-Biography, Age, State of Origin

Revil Mason-Biography

We the team are so excited to inform you about the Biography of the prominent people in south Africa

Early life and career 

Mason was born in Johannesburg, grew up in Saxonwold and matriculated from St John’s College. He attained a B.Comm degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and was awarded the Aitken medal for the best graduate in commerce as well as the Chamber of Industries medal and the Dean’s award. However after attending a lecture presented by the anthropologist Raymond Dart he became fascinated with archaeology and decided to study it at the University of Cape Town. He was awarded his doctorate in archaeology at the age of 28, with a thesis entitled “The prehistory of the Transvaal : a record of human activity.” 

At the age of 24 he had successfully excavated Makapansgat and in so doing discerned three layers of the Stone Age within the excavation. He returned on occasion to St John’s to present talks on new archaeological finds and led the St John’s College Archaeology Club to excavate a Boer War site in the Magaliesberg. 

In 1954, at the age of 25, Mason climbed the Brandberg Mountain in Namibia searching for rock art created by the indigenous San people. He discovered abstract San rock art that became known as the Brandberg Picasso

Mason was appointed a professor by Wits as a successor to Clarence van Riet Lowe. In 1976 the university created the Archaeological Research Unit for Mason and his staff and appointed him Director, a post he held until his early retirement in 1989. 

During his career Mason excavated several significant sites including Melville Koppies,  Linksfield Ridge,  Bruma,[3] and Sterkfontein.  He discovered prehistoric iron furnaces and Tswana villages in Johannesburg and excavated a site in Broederstroom which dates back to 300 CE.  Part of his life’s work was the construction of an archaeological map of the North West and Gauteng provinces. This map is a direct contradiction of the myth perpetuated by the Apartheid government in which it was claimed that the southern portion of the African continent was uninhabited until the arrival of the Dutch settlers in 1652, the so-called “empty land” myth. 

Personal life 

He was married to Judith Mason, artist, and raised two daughters, Tamar (1966) and Petra



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