Peter Clarence van Riet Lowe, archaeologist and civil engineer who built 109 bridges in SA, is born in Aliwal North, CC.


Clarence van Riet Lowe and Robert Broom, 1938. Source:

Sunday, 4 November 1894

Clarence van Riet Lowe was born on 4 November 1894 in Aliwal North, Eastern Cape. A civil engineer by profession, Clarence was in charge of construction of over a hundred bridges in South Africa. It was during the construction of the bridges that he discovered over 300 prehistoric sites. This led to a change of career from civil engineering to archeology for Lowe.

By 1935, Lowe was well known both locally and abroad as a leading archeologist. He was honored greatly for his service to the discipline. He died on in 1956 in Knysna.

• The African Rock Art Digital Archive Clarence van Riet Lowe [online] Available at: [Accessed on 29 October 2012]
South Africa. Info Cave of Hearths: Stone Age Sequence [online] Available at: [Accessed on 29 October 2012]

Last updated : 04-Nov-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 01-Nov-2011

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.