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Forgotten World

Forgotten World

The Bokoni are a historic maze of stone circles, terraces and engravings linked by stone passages located in South Africa around the Mpumalanga escarpment between Ohrigstad and Carolina. They index successive stages of homesteads built by the Koni people over many centuries and provide significant insight into the migration, settlement and agricultural patterns in pre-colonial Africa. At this time, they have not yet been declared 'world heritage' sites; most are found on privately owned land and many have been destroyed.

'With vivid immediacy, this film brings the excitement of investigating a long-lost society to the screen... To present scholarly precision and evidence-based argument in such a striking manner, but without sensationalism, is a rare skill. This is ethnographic/historical archaeological filmmaking at its best.' - Deborah James, Professor of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics

'A powerful film about people, place and the past... [The Bakoni's] presence survives in an extraordinary physical record, beautifully filmed and instructively explored.' - Colin Bundy, Professor and former Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies London University at Oxford University

'Vividly illustrates a lost African civilization in Southern Africa, [telling] the fascinating story of the Bokoni people... The film explores Koni society with stunning visual images from the air and the ground. ' - William Beinart, Rhodes Professor of African Studies at Oxford University

'This wonderful documentary uses aerial and ground photography so we can see what has hitherto been largely ignored... Watch this documentary and you will want to read [Peter Delius's] book-and you will want to go and see it all for yourself. - Graham Furniss, Professor and former Director of the African Studies Department at the University of London


Main credits

Ella, Terri (film director)
Ella, Terri (screenwriter)
Delius, Peter (screenwriter)
Masebe, Florence (narrator)

Other credits

Director of photography, Brendan Barnes; editor, Jo Gibbon; music composition, Murray Anderson.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

History (World)
South Africa
Urban Planning and Design


bokoni; south africa; stone; archaeology; ancient; settlement; terri ella; peter delius; koni; settlement; stone; "Forgotten World"; Icarus Films,doc,env; history