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NYAME AKUMA

N e w s l e t t e r of t h e S o c i e t y of A f r i c a n i s t A r c h a e o l o g i s t s i n America.
E d i t e d by P.L. S h i n n i e and i s s u e d from t h e Department o f Archaeology,
The U n i v e r s i t y of Calgary, Calgary, A l b e r t a , T2N 1N4, Canada. Typing
and e d i t o r i a l a s s i s t a n c e by Ama Owusua S h i n n i e .

Apologies f o r t h e d e l a y i n i s s u i n g t h i s number b u t I have been


a w a i t i n g r e p l i e s from t h e two l e t t e r s s e n t o u t a s k i n g f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n
t h a t Nyame Akuma i s still wanted. The first c i r c u l a r e l i c i t e d r e s p o n s e s
from l e s s t h a n h a l f t h o s e on t h e m a i l i n g l i s t , t h e second more p r e s s i n g
l e t t e r brought some more, b u t of 287 on t h e l i s t 93 have n o t responded.
I r e a l i s e t h a t some w i l l be i n t h e f i e l d , b u t n o t I t h i n k a l l . T h i s
i s s u e i s b e i n g s e n t t o a l l t h o s e (287) on my c u r r e n t m a i l i n g l i s t b u t I
r e g r e t no f u t u r e i s s u e s w i l l be s e n t t o t h e 93 n o n - r e p l i e r s u n l e s s I
h e a r from them b e f o r e no.11 i s p u b l i s h e d i n November o f t h i s y e a r .
I
e n c l o s e a list of t h o s e from whom I have n o t heard and would be g r a t e f u l
i f r e a d e r s i n touch with any of t h o s e on t h e l i s t would a s k them t o make
t h e i r wishes known.

I hope t o be a b l e t o produce a l i s t of a u t h o r s and t o p i c s t o a c t


as a simple index f o r both t h e former West African Archaeological
Newsletter and f o r Nyame Akuma nos.1 through 1 0 . T h i s w i l l be s e n t free
a s soon as ready t o a l l t h o s e on t h e m a i l i n g l i s t . A similar c o n t e n t s
l i s t of KUSH Vols.1 through XV i s now ready and w i l l be s e n t t o t h o s e who
request i t .
There s t i l l seems some doubt as t o what material i s a p p r o p r i a t e
f o r i n c l u s i o n i n Nyame Akuma and s i n c e t h e r e a r e many new r e a d e r s s i n c e
t h i s was l a s t s t a t e d I g i v e my p r e s e n t p o l i c y once more. The i n t e n t i o n
i s t o p u b l i s h news i t e m s and s h o r t a r t i c l e s on any a s p e c t of t h e a r c h aeology and r e l a t e d d i s c i p l i n e s of a l l p a r t s of A f r i c a e x c e p t f o r t h e
Pharaonic and l a t e r p e r i o d s of Egypt and t h e h i s t o r i c p e r i o d s of North
A f r i c a s i n c e t h e s e a r e a l r e a d y w e l l covered elsewhere and l i e somewhat
a p a r t from t h e main i n t e r e s t of most of o u r r e a d e r s , though n o t , i n f a c t ,
of t h e e d i t o r . Exceptions can always be made f o r i t e m s of more g e n e r a l
i n t e r e s t even though n o t being s t r i c t l y w i t h i n t h e terms of r e f e r e n c e .
D r . Bisson of McGill U n i v e r s i t y h a s p o i n t e d o u t t h a t my comments
on t h e new M.A. programme i n archaeology at t h a t U n i v e r s i t y were based
on a misunderstanding - I p r i n t h i s l e t t e r i n f u l l by way of c o r r e c t i o n .

P. L .

Shinnie.

M.S.Bisson
Anthropology Dept.
McClLL L!NiVf%i?"r'

Nov. 15, 1976

Professor P. L. Shinnie,
Edi t o r , Nyame Akuma,
U n i v e r s i t y o f Calgary,
Calgary, A1 b e r t a

Dear Professor Shinnie,


Thank you f o r p u b l i s h i n g o u r announcement about t h e new M.A.
program i n archaeology a t M c G i l l ( Nyame Akuma.

No. 9, P.50 ) . I

must, however, p r o t e s t t h e e d i t o r i a l comment t h a t followed o u r


advertisement because I b e l i e v e t h a t i t s e r i o u s l y d i s t o r t e d o u r
i n t e n t seeking new graduate students and presented a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f o u r M.A.

program r e g u l a t i o n s .

The t e x t o f o u r announcement r e f e r s t w i c e t o o u r graduate


"program i n archaeology". I t does n o t r e s t r i c t graduate s t u d i e s
t o p r e h i s t o r i c archaeology. I f such a r e s t r i c t i o n was p r e s e n t
i n o u r program we would have s t a t e d so i n unequivocal terms. I
am 1 ikewise a t a l o s s t o see how the announcement can be i n t e r p r e t e d
t o mean t h a t

'I..

students w i l l n o t have t h e b e n e f i t o f Professor

T r i g g e r ' s e x p e r t i s e i n M e r o i t i c s t u d i e s " . Professor T r i g g e r i s


mentioned prominently i n t h e t e x t p r e c i s e l y because he i n t e n d s
t o be a v e r y a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n t h e program and would we1 come
students i n t e r e s t e d i n a v a r i e t y of t o p i c s i n c l u d i n g Meroe. We
would be g u i l t y o f f a l s e a d v e r t i s i n g i f we used h i s name t o r e c r u i t
students and then deni,e%hem

access t o him. The ~ n l ~ ? @ ~ @ n c o u r a ~ e d

students i n t e r e s t e d i n p r e h i s t o r y t o apply i s t h a t u n t i l t h i s y e a r
we have had t o s y s t e m a t i c a l l y discourage such students. There was
no i n t d n t t o discourage a p p l i c a n t s i n t e r e s t e d i n o t h e r time p e r i o d s
o r topics.

I hope t h a t a s h o r t c o r r e c t i o n can be i n c l u d e d i n t h e n e x t
i s s u e o f Nyame Akuma t o c l a r i f y t h e m statements t h a t followed o u r
announcement.

Minutes, SA.AAM
26 A p r i l 1977
New Orleans
SAAAM met i n New O r l e a n s , a t t h e B r a n i f f P l a c e H o t e l , A p r i l 25-27, 1977.
Twenty-two p a p e r s were p r e s e n t e d , The b u s i n e s s meeting d i s c u s s e d the
following topics:

Thanks. Thanks were v o t e d unanimously t o P i t z e r C o l l e g e , Claremont , and


E r i n d a l e C o l l e g e , Toronto, f o r t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e SAAAM m e e t i n g s by
s u b s i d i z i n g m a i l i n g s , p r o d u c t i o n of t h e program and a b s t r a c t s , and t e l e p h o n e
calls.
Nyame Akuma, A f t e r c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s c u s s i o n , i t was v o t e d t o empower t h e
E d i t o r of 5 a m e Akuma t o determine and a s s e s s a l e v y t o c o v e r - t h e c o s t s of
producing and m a i l i n g t h e p u b l i c a t i o n . T h i s sum should b e m o d i f i a b l e a t
h i s d i s c r e t i o n from y e a r t o y e a r , and s h o u l d b e independent of any membership
f e e i n SAAAM.
Thanks were unanimously acclaimed t o Mrs. P e t e r S h i n n i e , who t y p e s t h e copy
f o r Nyame Akuma w i t h o u t c h a r g e t o SAAAM.
Thanks were v o t e d unanimously t o P e t e r S h i n n i e f o r h i s genero s i t y i n a c t i n g
as E d i t o r . Members agreed t h a t Nyame Akuma s e r v e s a v a l u a b l e f u n c t i o n i n
c i r c u l a t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h o s e a c t i v e i n t h e f i e l d of A f r i c a n a r c h a e o l o g y .
Even t h o s e who a r e u n a b l e t o attendSAAAM1sbiennial m e e t i n g s are k e p t up t o
d a t e through t h i s c o n t a c t .
The Archaeology Department a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y of Calgary was v o t e d thanks f o r
i t s s u p p o r t of p r o d u c t i o n c o s t s f o r Nyame Akuma.
Membership. It was decided t h a t no membership f e e , independent of t h e l e v y
f o r Nyame Akuma, was n e c e s s a r y a t t h i s t i m e .
Venue f o r 1979 meetings. The b e n e f i t s of meeting i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h a n o t h e r
a s s o c i a t i o n were d i s c u s s e d . It was g e n e r a l l y agreed t h a t a u n i v e r s i t y s e t t i n gwas more compatible w i t h t h e s p i r i t . ; SAA& t h a n a l a r g e h o t e l , and t h a t t h e
meeting arrangements could be made much more simply by p e o p l e a t t h e s i t e .
Only 5 members p r e s e n t would n o t have a t t e n d e d i f t h e 1977 SAAAM meeting had
been h e l d independent of t h e SAA meeting.
T h e r e f o r e , f o r t h e 1979 meetings of SAAAM, members v o t e d t o meet i n Calgary.
Should u n f o r s e e n c i r c u m s t a n c e s a r i s e , t h e S t e e r i n g Committee w a s empowered t o
d e c i d e where t h e meetings would be h e l d .
E l e c t i o n s . By a c c l a m a t i o n , t h e f o l l o w i n g were e l e c t e d t o t h e S t e e r i n g Committee:
Maxine K l e i n d i e n s t , John Bower, Michael Bisson. P e t e r S h i n n i e , a s E d i t o r of
Nyame Akuma, i s a l s o a member of t h e S t e e r i n g Committee.
The members wished t o honor P e t e r S h i n n i e by naming him Chairperson. I f h e
d e c l i n e s , t h e S t e e r i n g Committee i s empowered t o s e l e c t a c h a i r p e r s o n from among
t h e i r members

PanAfrican Congress..
It was decided t h a t members of t h e S t e e r i n g Committee
b e a u t h o r i z e d t o r e p r e s e n t SAAAM a t t h e P a n a f r i c a n Congress i n N a i r o b i ,
September 1977.
Atlas. K a r l a Savage announced t h a t h e r work on t h e A t l a s i s p r o g r e s s i n g . She
r e q u e s t e d anyone who might p r o v i d e s i t e i n f o r m a t i o n t o complete a s h o r t form.
Those wishing t o c o n t r i b u t e d a t a may r e q u e s t forms from h e r c / o Anthropology
Department, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, C a l i f o r n i a 94720.
Archaeology R e g i s t r y . A r t J e l i n e k r e p o r t e d t h a t h e r e l a y e d SAAAM's concern
about t h e l i s t of a c c r e d i t e d a r c h a e o l o g i s t s t o SAA'in 1975. S i n c e t h e n t h e
S o c i e t y of P r o f e s s i o n a l A r c h a e o l o g i s t s (SOPA) h a s been formed,'u'"lag SAA
funds. Thus f a r , no c a s e concerning a member of SAAAM h a s a r i s e n ; v e r y few
SAAAM members have had t h e i r names i n c l u d e d i n t h e r e g i s t r y . It was t h e
g e n e r a l concensus t h a t some r e g u l a t i o n o f t h o s e doing c o n t r a c t a r c h a e o l o g y
i n t h e U. S. i s n e c e s s a r y , b u t t h a t SAAAM members a r e opposed t o any e x t e n s i o n
of such r e g u l a t i o n o u t s i d e t h e c o u n t r y ; t h i s o b j e c t i o n i s p a r t i c u l a r l y d i r e c t e d
a g a i n s t a body c o n s t i t u t e d by SAA presuming t o r e g u l a t e t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l
a c t i v i t i e s of SAAAM members i n A f r i c a .
Thanks a g a i n . S h e r y l M i l l e r and David Lube11 were thanked by t h e members f o r
t h e i r e f f o r t s i n o r g a n i z i n g and c h a i r i n g t h e 1977 m e e t i n g s .

NENS

ITEMS

Dr.J.E. Yellen of t h e Smithsonian r e p o r t s :

Professor Alison S Brooks and I w i l l spend t h i s summer (financed


by NSF) continuing our archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research
i n Western Ngamiland, Botswana. Alison w i l l push on with excavations a t
an open a i r s i t e with s t r a t i f i e d , and w e l l preserved LSA and MSA
l i v i n g f l o o r s . I s h a l l continue my San work.

Zgi,

EAST AFRICA
B r i t i s h I n s t i t u t e i n Eastern Africa
I n Somalia, t h e D i r e c t o r , Neville C h i t t i c k , t o g e t h e r with Somali
colleagues, c a r r i e d out a month's excavations at two s i t e s on t h e Hafun
peninsula, a l i t t l e south of t h e north-eastern t i p of A f r i c a . A t one
s i t e , near t h e shore of t h e lagoon between t h e peninsula and t h e mainland,
t h e lower l e v e l yielded fragments of a p a i n t e d ware apparently of
H e l l e n i s t i c o r i g i n ( a minority view holds t h a t t h e sherds a r e Mycenaean;
it has only been p o s s i b l e t o submit photographs t o t h e p u n d i t s ) . A s t o n e
s t r u c t u r e with c u t blocks i s seemingly of s i m i l a r d a t e . L a t e r occupation
i s a t t r i b u t e d p r o v i s i o n a l l y t o around t h e t h i r d century A . D . , and i s
c h a r a c t e r i s e d by t u r t l e bones ( t h e s h e l l s having been exported?) and by
many s h e l l s of Murex v i r g i n i u s .
The o t h e r s i t e i s c l o s e t o t h e modern
harbour, and i s thought t o be i d e n t i f i a b l e with t h e p o r t Opone of t h e
P e r i p l u s of t h e Erithraean Sea. Despite p l e n t i f u l evidence of occupation
and much p o t t e r y , no t r a c e s of permanent s t r u c t u r e s were found, with t h e
exception of tomb monuments.
Further work was undertaken a t another p o r t - s i t e near Heis on t h e
northern c o a s t . Here t h e r e i s a v a s t assemblage of c a i r n s of v a r i o u s
types. No occupation s i t e was found, and it seems t h a t t h e t r a d e r s were
present only during t h e t r a d i n g season, no doubt occupying s h e l t e r s
s i m i l a r t o t h e p o r t a b l e a q a l of present-day nomads. One of two small
c a i r n s excavated yielded fragments of Roman g l a s s of about t h e f o u r t h
century A.D.; o t h e r o b j e c t s found i n t h e p a s t include high-quality
m i l l e f i o r i g l a s s , and a t t e s t t o t h e wealth accruing from t h e t r a d e i n
incense. The span of t h e d a t e s of t h e o b j e c t s (which include fragments
of a bowl of Nubian ware) i s from about t h e first t o t h e f i f t h century
The p o r t i s e i t h e r Mosyllon o r Mundus of t h e P e r i p l u s .
A.D.
Mr.David P h i l l i p s o n conducted a reconnaissance f o r E a r l y I r o n Age
s i t e s i n t h e Tana River and Lamu d i s t r i c t s of e a s t e r n Kenya. P o t t e r y
which appears t o belong t o a l a t e phase of t h e Kwale ware t r a d i t i o n w a s
l o c a t e d a t Wenje, 30 km south of Hola, and a l s o i n t h e lower l e v e l s of

t h r e e c o a s t a l s i t e s a t Lamu and f u r t h e r n o r t h . This a r e a o f f e r s


i n t e r e s t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r research i n t o t h e l a t e r I r o n Age, combining
archaeology with t h e study of o r a l t r a d i t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e of t h e
Pokomo

M r . P h i l l i p s o n hopes, e a r l y i n 1978, t o c a r r y out an archaeologic a l reconnaissance of p a r t s of Equatoria and Bahr al-Ghaeal provinces of
t h e Sudan,
A t h i r d and l a s t season of excavation w a s c a r r i e d out at t h e Late
Stone Age s i t e of Ngenyin near Lake Baringo by Francoise Hivernel, Assoc i a t e of t h e I n s t i t u t e . The work w a s combined with a survey of t h e
adjacent region and study of t h e economy of t h e Tugen who l i v e i n t h e
area.

Ethiopia
The following i s t h e t e x t of a l e c t u r e given by D r . R . Fattovich
t o t h e Frobenius I n s t i t u t e i n September 1976. The t e x t as given h e r e
h a s , f o r reasons of space, been e d i t e d and shortened and t h e references
have been omitted. A copy of t h e f u l l t e x t with references i s h e l d by
t h e e d i t o r of Nyame Akuma and copies can be supplied at a c o s t of $2.00.

SOME DATA FOR THE STUDY OF CULTURAL HISTORY I N ANCIENT NORTHERN ETHIOPIA.
by

Rodolfo Fattovich

The purpose of t h i s paper i s t o give a p i c t u r e of Northern


E t h i o p i a ' s c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y i n t h e 1st m i l l . B.C. and t h e 1st m i l l . A.D.
based on t h e archaeological d a t a .
By Northern Ethiopia I mean t h e region l y i n g approximately between
10' and 1 8 O North l a t i t u d e s and between about 33' and 400 East longitudes,
from t h e Sudanese border t o t h e R i f t Valley and from t h e Red Sea t o t h e
Abay, including t h e modern governatorates of Tigre, Begemender, Godjam,
p a r t of E r i t r e a , and of Wollo. Its physiographic s e t t i n g includes t h e
North-Central Massif, t h e Tigrean P l a t e a u , t h e Barka lowlands, t h e Anghrib
lowlands, t h e Coastal P l a i n s ; i t s e t h n i c a l composition shows a n indisput a b l e prevalence of people speaking Semitic languages ( ~ i g r ,e Tigrinya,
Amharic) on t h e highlands, of N i l o t i c people i n t h e lowlands along t h e
Sudanese border and of Cushitic people i n t h e Coastal P l a i n s of E r i t r e a .
I n s p i t e of t h e l a r g e amount of h i s t o r i c a l and, more r e c e n t l y ,
archaeological research i n t h i s region t h e knowledge we have of i t s cultural h i s t o r y i s f a r from being complete. Whilst we know something about

t h e Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite c u l t u r e s , we have almost no i d e a of t h e


o t h e r c u l t u r e s e x i s t i n g i n Northern Ethiopia before them o r were contemporary with them, Therefore i n t h i s paper I s h a l l attempt n o t only t o
describe t h e development of t h e Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite c u l t u r e s but
a l s o t o emphasize t h e o t h e r African ones which surrounded them geograp h i c a l l y and were c l o s e l y connected with them.

I.

Chronological framework.

Any attempt t o d r a w a chronological sequence of t h e i n d u s t r i e s


and c u l t u r e s found up t o now i n Northern E t h i o p i a must be regarded as
temporary and u n c e r t a i n as s t r a t i g r a p h i c t e s t s and C14 d a t e s a r e almost
completely lacking. A g r e a t p a r t of our evidence has been i n f a c t
simply c o l l e c t e d on t h e s u r f a c e , without any accurate digging, and many
m a t e r i a l s have been very badly described. Only t h e Pre-Aksumite and
Aksumite c u l t u r e s a r e s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l dated by archaeological and h i s t o r i c a l evidence. For t h i s reason I d i s c u s s first t h e chronological
sequence of t h e s e c u l t u r e s and afterwards I attempt t o d a t e t h e o t h e r
assemblages with reference t o i t .
a)

re-Aksumit e / ~ k s u m i t e sequence.

Anfray has divided t h e re-~ksumite/~ksumite sequence i n t o


t h r e e p r i n c i p a l periods:

..

Ethiopian-Sabean Period (500-300 B C ) ;


Intermediate Period (300 B .C - 100 A .D ) ;
Aksumite Period (100-1.000 A.D .)

I am of t h e opinion t h a t w e can p a r t i a l l y change t h i s p i c t u r e , i n


s o far t h a t t h e sequence i s more complex e x p e c i a l l y regarding t h e PreAksumite Culture.
If we compare t h e archaeological evidence r e c e n t l y found at Yeha,
Matara and Haoulti, t h r e e phases i n t h e development of Pre-Aksumite
c u l t u r e may be p r o v i s i o n a l l y recognized.

Phase I
documented a t Yeha and Matara, seems t o be c h a r a c t e r i sed by r e d orange, r e d orange o u t s i d e and black i n s i d e and cream p o t t e r y
at Yeha and by black topped, polished black and r e d brown p o t t e r y a t
Matara

Phase I1 i s documented i n almost a l l t h e Pre-Aksumite s i t e s . It


i s characterised by black topped, r e d s l i p p e d , pink, polished black and
painted p o t t e r y . Most of t h e a r c h i t e c t u r a l remains, i n c l u d i n g t h e temple
a t F i k i y a , t h e temple and ' p a l a c e ' a t Yeha may a l s o a p ~ r t a i nt o t h i s
period.

Phase I11 i s documented a t Yeha and H a o u l t i . Red orange and


b r i c k - l i k e r e d p o t t e r y a r e t h e main f e a t u r e s . During t h i s phase were
b u i l t t h e small temples at Haoulti and perhaps t h e temple at Melazo.
The exact d a t i n g of t h e s e phases i s s t i l l u n c e r t a i n . The e p i g r a p h i c a l evidence, u s u a l l y accepted as t h e b e s t means t o d a t e t h e PreAksumite Culture, i s not very u s e f u l because almost no i n s c r i p t i o n s have
been found i n s t r a t i g r a p h i c a l c o n t e x t . I n any c a s e , as t h e Pre-Aksumite
i n s c r i p t i o n s of E t h i o p i a belong t o t h e South Arabian A-,B-,C-palaeograp h i c d groups suggested by Pirenne, t h e y i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e Pre-Aksumite
Culture f l o u r i s h e d between t h e Vth and t h e IVth c e n t . B.C.
The a r c h a e o l o g i c a l evidence enabling u s t o d a t e t h e s e phases i s
very s c a n t y ,
Some b i g jars, with v e r t i c a l l u g s , which were found a t Matara
w i t h i n t h e first l e v e l , a r e comparable t o some p o t s found at Es Subr,
n e a r Aden, which have been dated by Albright t o t h e VIth c e n t . B.C.
Two Meroitic amulets, found i n t h e 'Southern Deposit' a t H a o u l t i ,
probably belonging t o Phase 11, may go back t o t h e VIth-Vth c e n t . B.C.
The pecked s t o n e s l a b s of t h e temple and ' p a l a c e ' a t Yeha, similar
t o t y p e s 3-4 i n t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of Van Beek f o r t h i s kind of masonry,
may be d a t e d from t h e end of t h e Vth t o t h e middle of t h e IVth c e n t . B.C.
Two i n s c r i p t i o n s found i n t h e temple a t Melazo may go back t o t h e I I I r d
c e n t . B.C.
On t h i s ground we can attempt t o d a t e Phase I a t about t h e VIth
c e n t . B . C . , Phase I1 at about t h e Vth-IVth c e n t . B.C. and Phase I11 from
t h e IIIrd c e n t . B.C.
The development of t h e Aksumite Culture may a l s o be divided i n t o
t h r e e phases.
Phase I (Aksumite 1 o r E a r l y ~ k s u m i t e )i s documented by t h e
e a r l i e s t Aksumite l e v e l s a t Adulis, Matara and Aksum. I t i s c h a r a c t e r i zed by t y p i c a l Aksumite b u i l d i n g s , s t e l e s , b l a c k , r e d and r e d orange
pottery,
Phase I1 (Aksumite 2 o r Middle Aksumite) i s documented by t h e
middle Aksumite l e v e l s at Matara and Aksum and by t h e upper l e v e l a t
Matara. To t h i s phase most of t h e Aksumite assemblages discovered up
t o now i n Northern E t h i o p i a a l s o belong.
Phase I11 (Aksumite 111 o r L a t e Aksumite) i s documented by t h e
uppermost Aksumite l e v e l s at Adulis, Aksum and Yeha. It i s n o t very
well known but seems t o be c h a r a c t e r i z e d by rough r e d p o t t e r y .
These phases can be dated by means of h i s t o r i c a l evidence
p r e c i s e l y . We can d a t e Phase I from 100 t o 350 A.D., Phase I1 from

350 A.D. t o t h e beginning of t h e I s l a m i c occupation of t h e African c o a s t


(VII-VIII
c e n t . A . R . ) , Phase 111 from t h e V I I I t h c e n t . t o t h e end of t h e
These d a t e s a r e a l s o confirmed by t h e a n a l y s i s
Kingdom ( c . 1000 A.D.)
of t h e obsidian specimens c o l l e c t e d i n 75 s i t e s between Aksum and Yeha,

F i n a l l y t h e study of t h e c o i n s has permitted u s t o r e c o n s t r u c t


t h e approximate l i s t of t h e Aksumite kings and has helped u s t o l e a r n
about t h e i n t e r n a l chronology of t h e kingdom.
The

re-Aksumite/Aksumite

sequence t h e r e f o r e seems t o be:

Pre-Aksumite 1, VIth c e n t . B.C.;


Pre-Aksumite 2, Vth-IVth c e n t . B.C.;
Pre-Aksumite 3, I I I r d c e n t . B.C. - 1st c e n t , A.D.;
Aksumite 1, 1st-IVth c e n t . A.D.;
Aksumite 2 , IVth-VIIth c e n t . A.D.;
Aksumite 3, VIIth-Xth c e n t . A.D.;
b)

Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages.

Most of t h e Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages a r e l i k e l y t o be o l d e r


than any o t h e r archaeological remains i n Northern Ethiopia, going back
perhaps t o t h e Middle Stone Age. A t Gobedra i n p a r t i c u l a r a l e v e l with
rough macrolithic f l i n t blades has been found under a L.S.A. l e v e l , which
i n t u r n i s covered by a t h i r d l e v e l with s c r a p e r s comparable t o t h e
Aksumite ones. This Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c l e v e l has been dated at about
10.000 B.C.
Nevertheless some Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages may have been
contemporary with t h e re-Aksumite/Aksumite c u l t u r e s .
The i n d u s t r y a t Mehrad T i e l , f o r example, seems t o be contemporary
with Wiltonian m i c r o l i t h s i n t h e same s i t e . On t h e o t h e r hand, round
s c r a p e r s l i k e t h e ones i n t h e U p e r P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages have been
c o l l e c t e d at Sefra- Abun ( ~ i g r a i t o g e t h e r with Pre-Aksumite sherds
Macrolithic t o o l s were a l s o found i n Aksumite l e v e l s a t Addi K i l t e (Aksum).

c)

L a t e r Stone Age assemblages.

The Elmenteita-like i n d u s t r y perhaps goes back t o t h e 1st o r I I n d


m i l l . B . C . , according t o t h e f i n d i n g s of t h i s i n d u s t r y i n Kenya.
Most of t h e assemblages with obsidian t o o l s , u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e d
t o t h e Milton Complex may be contemporary with t h e re-Aksumite/Aksumite
c u l t u r e s , Obsidian m i c r o l i t h s a r e i n f a c t frequent on t h e s u r f a c e of
almost a l l Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite s i t e s i n E r i t r e a and T i g r a i and a r e
often found t o g e t h e r with Mediterranean amphorae of l a t e r a n c i e n t age.
On one s i t e a t t h e mouth of A r s i l e River, t h e y were with p i e c e s of
historic glass.

Ths sane kind of tools have also been found in the earliest
I) layers at Matara, and in the Pre-Aksumite levels at
Yeha. Obsidian microlithic flakes were collected in the earliest level
at Adulis, together with so-called 'primitive pottery'. This level may
be dated from Chalcolithic to ?re-Aksumite/~arl~
Aksumite Periods,
because sherds like this 'primitive pottery' have been discovered in
the Aksumite I horizon at Matara,

re-~ksumite

An interesting group of assemblages is the 'Ona near Asmara,


where obsidian microliths were found with Aksumite-like pottery, amphorae
and celts, Probably this is a local cultural facies contemporary to the
Aksumite culture, but not necessarily included in it.
The other L.S.A. assemblages with flint tools cannot be dated.
Only the L.S.A. level at Gobedra may be earlier than the Pre-Aksumite
Culture.
d) Neolithic assemblages.
The neolithic sites in Begemender are contemporary with the PreAksumite Culture in Tigrai and Eritrea. The neolithic level at Lalibela
Cave has been dated at 2470 + 80 B.P., whereas the one at Natchabiet
Cave has been dated at 2030 7
- 80 B. P.
The neolithic objects in Eritrea cannot be dated at all.
e) Chalcolithic assemblages.
The Chalcolithic assemblages near Agordat, as they show some
affinities with the Nubian C-Group, may go back to the IInd mill. B.C.

f) Rock Art.
Naturalistic and seminaturalistic rock paintings may be older
than the Pre-Aksumite Culture and perhaps partly contemporary to it.
They always show cattle of Bos taurus spp., which I believe was employed
in Eritrea and Tigrai until the beginn&
of Aksumite Culture. PreAksumite representations of cattle in fact show Bos Taurus spp.,whereas
the Aksumite ones show humped cattle, its earliest representation being
the small statue found at Zeban Kutur, going back to Aksumite 1.
Schematic paintings may date to Aksumite times, because a bull
head similar to those depicted at Abba Kreisi appears in relief on an
Aksumite shed which was collected at Aratu and now is on display in the
Liceo Martini at Asmara.
Rock engravings may go back to Aksumite times or later, because
they usually show humped cattle, camels or horses which were common in
Northern Ethiopia from the 1st mill. A.D..
The reliefs at Da'aro Qaulos cannot be dated.

g)

Cemeteries.

Up t o now it i s very d i f f i c u l t t o d a t e c o r r e c t l y t h e cemeteries


discovered i n Northern Ethiopia. Bearing i n mind t h e d e s c r i p t i o n given
by Conti Rossini, we may attempt t o d a t e t h e tombs at Elghena t o
Aksumite times. Moreover t h e tumuli near Ham and Debra Damo may be compared t o those of Nubian C-Group, t h e r e f o r e d a t i n g t o t h e I I n d mil1.B.C..
But they may a l s o be a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e Bedja people, who i n t h e IXth
cent. A J , were already l i v i n g i n E r i t r e a . Only one of them w a s excavat e d near Debaroa which contained 2 bodies i n c o n t r a c t p o s i t i o n and two
non-typical p o t s .
11. Cultural Areas.
Looking a t t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e described assemblages, we can
recognize a geographical and an ecological p a t t e r n , which r e f l e c t t h e
e t h n i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n Northern Ethiopia during t h e two millennia under
discussion.

i.

Geographical p a t t e r n .

We can d i s t i n g u i s h f i v e p r i n c i p a l geographical regions:

Northern E r i t r e a ;
t h e t e r r i t o r i e s of Cheren and Agordat, Hamasien with Massawa
and Serae;
Akkele Guzai, Agame and Enderta;
t h e t e r r i t o r i e s of Adwa and Aksum, S c i r e ;
Wollo and Begemender.

o ore

a ) I n Northern E r i t r e a
p l a t e a u ) , between t h e 18' and t h e 16O
North l a t i t u d e s , t h e r e a r e very few Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite s i t e s .
Some t r a c e s have been found at Enzelal and at Rora Laba, whereas some
a r c h i t e c t u r a l remains and thrones were discovered at Rora Nacfa, Digdig,
and Rora Bacla which may be dated t o Aksumite times o r l a t e r .
The most common f i n d s i n t h i s region a r e rock engravings with
human, animal and symbolic f i g u r e s . They have been discovered i n t h e
Barca and F a l c a t Valleys ( ~ i n a e ,Cu1lite;UolqGan) and i n t h e Haggher and
Rore highlands. I n t h e F a l c a t Valley i s a l s o located t h e necropolis of
Elghena

Some rock paintings i n Ethiopian-Arabic s t y l e have a l s o been d i s covered a t Korora, on t h e Sudanese border.
b) I n t h e region including Cheren, Agordat , Hamasien, Massawa and
Serae t h e r e a r e Aksumite s i t e s at Aratu, near Cheren, and perhaps a t
Massawa. I n t h e same region rock-engravings have been discovered a t
Mumat 'Ezum near Ad Teclesan, Kortamit, Maji Malehess, Lamdrara, and
Dembe Wadi Mudui, as well as i s o l a t e d tombs near Cheren and Asmara; and
a cemetery at Addi Ugri,

The most i n t e r e s t i n g s i t e s of t h i s region a r e t h e 'Ona around


A s m a r a ( ~ a m a s i e n )which show both L .S .A. and Aksumite f e a t u r e s .
c) I n t h e Akkele Guzai, Agame and Enderta t h e r e a r e Pre-Aksumite
and Aksumite s e t t l e m e n t s , Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c and L.S.A. assemblages,
rock p a i n t i n g s and engravings and tumuli.

Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite s i t e s have been discovered along t h e


whole plateau and at Adulis on t h e c o a s t . The Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c and
L.S.A. assemblages a r e frequent around Mai A i n i , a t Mareb source. Rock
p a i n t i n g s and engraving a r e c l u s t e r e d i n two a r e a s , between Mai Aini and
Addi Caieh, and on t h e Akkele Guzai-Agame border. Tumuli a l s o seem t o
be frequent i n t h e Medri Senafe and near Debra Damo.
F i n a l l y , on t h e southern s i d e of Enderta, a t Quiha, were found
t r a c e s of Elmenteita-like industry.
d ) I n t h e t e r r i t o r i e s of Adua and Aksum and i n S c i r e Pre-Aksumite
and Aksumite s i t e s , Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c and L.S.A. assemblages have been
found

Whilst Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite s i t e s a r e frequent i n t h e whole


region, both Upper P a l a l e o l i t h i c and L.S.A.assemblages have been d i s covered only around Aksum.
e ) I n Wollo only t h r e e Aksumite-like monuments have been discover e d at Tchica Beret, near Kombolcha, Qeneda, near Dessie, and B i l b o l a
i n Lasta, whereas some L.S.A. assemblages were discovered around Dessie.
I n Begemender only L.S.A. and Neolithic assemblages have been
found c l u s t e r e d around Tana Lake.
2.

Ecological p a t t e r n .

I t i s emphasized by t h e e x i s t e n c e of t h r e e e c o l o g i c a l zones
determined by t h e a l t i t u d e : kwolla (up t o 1,800 m. ) with t r o p i c a l
m) with s u b t r o p i c a l climate; dega
(1.800
temperate climate.

It seems t h a t i n E r i t r e a most of t h e Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite


s e t t l e m e n t s a r e confined i n t h e upper woina dega, between 2,000 and
2.400 m.; Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c - L.S.A. assemblages and rock art c e n t e r s
a r e g e n e r a l l y l o c a t e d i n t h e lower f r i n g e of woina dega, under 2.000 m . ,
and o f t e n a r e a l s o i n kwolla.
I n Tigre Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c - L.S.A.
assemblages and Pre-Aksumite - Aksumite s i t e s seem t o be l o c a t e d i n
woina dega. I n Wollo and Begemender L.S.A. and N e o l i t h i c assemblages
a r e e q u a l l y l o c a t e d between upper kwolla and lower woina dega.
On t h i s b a s i s we can now attempt t o d r a w t h e boundaries of t h e
p r i n c i p a l c u l t u r a l a r e a s i n Northern Ethiopia.

The most evident i s t h e re-~ksumite/Aksumite a r e a . It i s


l o c a t e d i n E r i t r e a and T i g r a i and i n c l u d e s Akkele Guzai, Agame, Enderta,
Adwa, Aksum and S c i r e , with some o u t p o s t s i n Hamasien, Cheren, Rore
P l a t e a u and perhaps i n Wollo.
The e a r l i e s t nucleus of t h i s axea i s t h e Pre-Aksurnite C u l t u r a l
Area. I t extended along t h e caravan t r a c k from Adulis t o Aksum, with a
l a r g e r group of s i t e s between Yeha and Aksum. Some Pre-Aksumite t r a c e s
have been discovered a l s o n e w A s m a r a , a t 'Ona Hachel, and n e a r Rora
Nacfa, at Enzelal, F i n a l l y a Sabean i n s c r i p t i o n was found n e a r Amba
Alagi

I n t h e Aksumite c u l t u r a l a r e a moreover it i s p o s s i b l e t o d i s t i n guish two r e g i o n a l f a c i e s , t h e f i r s t one l o c a t e d i n Akkele Guzai and


Agame, t h e second i n Western T i g r a i . They a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by d i f f e r e n t
types of p o t t e r y and more frequent s t e l e s i n t h e Western region.
Another c u l t u r a l a r e a can be recognized i n Akkele Guzai and Agame.
It i s characterized by rock at and L.S.A. assemblages with Wilton-like
t o o l s . A l a t e r f a c i e s of t h i s a r e a i s perhaps represented by t h e ' o n a i n
Hamasien.
We know so l i t t l e about t h e archaeological remains i n Northern
E r i t r e a t h a t they cannot be grouped i n t o a c u l t u r a l a r e a . However t h e s e
seem t o be l a t e and may be connected t o t h e Bedja occupation of t h i s
a r e a i n Medieval times.
\

I n T i g r a i , a p a r t from t h e Pre-~ksumite/Aksumite s i t e s , we can


d i s t i n g u i s h a Northern a r e a characterized by Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c and
L.S.A. assemblages with f l i n t i n d u s t r i e s and a Southern a r e a with t h e
Elmenteita-like i n d u s t r y . The last a r e a goes as f a r a s Wollo.
F i n a l l y i n Begemender t h e r e i s a Neolithic f a c i e s , up t o now n o t
documented i n any o t h e r place of Northern Ethiopia.
111. C u l t u r a l Historx.

I n t h e attempt t o r e c o n s t r u c t t h e c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y of Northern
Ethiopia from t h e beginning of t h e 1st m i l l . B.C., I have divided it
i n t o t h r e e p r i n c i p a l periods:

t h e period preceding t h e beginning of t h e Pre-Aksumite Culture;


t h e Pre-Aksumite period;
t h e Aksumite period;

...

Northern Ethiopia before Pre-Aksumite Culture (1 ,000-600 B C )


This period i s p r a c t i c a l l y unknown.

The e a r l i e s t c u l t u r a l horizon i n E r i t r e a seems t o be represented by


t h e n a t u r a l i s t i c rock p a i n t i n g s and by some L.S.A. assemblages with Wilton-

l i k e i n d u s t r i e s . T h i s d a t a s u g g e s t s t h e e x i s t e n c e of c a t t l e b r e e d e r s ,
l i v i n g on t h e s l o p e s of t h e p l a t e a u i n lower woina dega.
There i s no
d e f i n i t e proof t h a t t h e y were a l s o f a r m e r s . A t Amba Focada i s a p a i n t i n g of a man ploughing w i t h two oxen of Bos p r i m i g e n i u s , b u t it may be
d a t e d t o a l a t e r a g e , f o r - a s we have seen - t h i s kind of oxen was
probably used u n t i l Aksumite t i m e s .
The o r i g i n of t h e s e people i s u n c e r t a i n . The rock art s u g g e s t s
some g e n e r i c l i n k s w i t h Nubian c u l t u r a l groups, e s p e c i a l l y C-Group. The
E t h i c i n d u s t r y i s u s u a l l y connected t o t h e Wilton I n d u s t r i a l Complex,
b u t it i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t it d e r i v e s from t h e m i c r o l i t h i c t r a d i t i o n
of t h e N i l e V a l l e y .
I n t h i s p e r i o d perhaps t h e E r i t r e a n people were a l r e a d y c a p a b l e
of c r o s s i n g t h e Red Sea, as i s suggested by t h e f i n d i n g of a Wiltonian
i n d u s t r y at Dahlak Kebir. The i n l a n d s i t u a t i o n i s more obscure.
I n Northern T i g r a i t h e r e i s j u s t one L.S.A. assemblage of uncert a i n age at Gobedra and Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages, which show
s u r v i v a l of t h e M.S.A. i n d u s t r i a l t r a d i t i o n up t o p r o t o - h i s t o r i c a l t i m e s .
The s u b s i s t e n c e economy of t h e s e people i s unknown, but t h e l a r g e amount
of s c r a p e r s i n t h e s e assemblages may i n d i c a t e t h a t animals were b e i n g
used.
I n Southern T i g r a i and Wollo were people w i t h an E l m e n t e i t a - l i k e
i n d u s t r y . It i s l i k e l y t h a t t h e y were l i n k e d t o t h e Capsian people of
t h e E t h i o p i a n R i f t V a l l e y . They were probably mixed f a r m e r s . I n
Begemender t h e o n l y evidence we have a r e L.S.A. remains n e a r Lake Tana,
and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e Wilton i n d u s t r y and p o t t e r y c o l l e c t e d a t Gorgora.
These remains s u g g e s t t h e presence of h u n t e r - g a t h e r e r s and perhaps
mixed f a r m e r s i n t h i s r e g i o n .
The c u l t u r a l s i t u a t i o n of Northern E t h i o p i a at t h e beginning of
t h e 1st m i l l . B.C. w a s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a m i c r o l i t h i c techno-complex,
s u g g e s t i n g a h u n t e r - g a t h e r e r s and mixed f a r m e r s way of l i f e .
2.

Pre-Aksumite P e r i o d ( c . 600 B . C

. - 100 A .D.) .

The o r i g i n s of t h e Pre-Aksumite C u l t u r e have u s u a l l y been r e l a t e d


t o South Arabian c o l o n i z e r s , who s e t t l e d on t h e Abyssinian p l a t e a u and
mixed w i t h t h e l o c a l people i n t r o d u c i n g t h e i r way of l i f e .
To-day both a r c h a e o l o g i c a l and e p i g r a p h i c a l evidence seems t o
s u g g e s t t h a t t h e Pre-Aksumite c u l t u r e w a s a n A f r i c a n one, s u b j e c t o n l y
t o South Arabian i n f l u e n c e . The a r c h a e o l o g i c a l remains show i n f a c t a
few d e f i n i t e South Arabian f e a t u r e s , i n c l u d i n g some a r c h i t e c t u r a l and
a r t i s t i c a l elements, seals, s m a l l altars and some t y p e s of p o t t e r y . On
t h e o t h e r hand most of t h e p o t t e r y shows A f r i c a n f e a t u r e s .

The e p i g r a p h i c a l evidence i n t u r n demonstrates t h a t a n independ e n t kingdom with Tigrean c h i e f s f l o u r i s h e d i n t h i s p e r i o d i n T i g r a i


and E a s t e r n E r i t r e a .
T h i s evidence t h e r e f o r e o f f e r s no support t o t h e hypothesis of
On t h e c o n t r a r y ,
a d i r e c t c o l o n i z a t i o n of E t h i o p i a by South Arabia.
a l l t h e i n d i s p u t a b l e South Arabian elements may d e r i v e from a c u l t u r a l
i n f l u e n c e , which h a r d l y changed t h e t r u e African component of t h e Ethiop i a n c u l t u r e s involved.
The development of Pre-Aksumite c i v i l i z a t i o n seems t o be charact e r i z e d by a progressive i n c r e a s i n g followed by a s u c c e s i v e d e c r e a s i n g
of Sabean elements.
I n Phase I we can recognize no d e f i n i t e Sabean element. I n t h e
lowest l a y e r s at Matara were found an obsidian m i c r o l i t h i c i n d u s t r y
a s s o c i a t e d with black topped, black p o l i s h e d , r e d brown, r e d s l i p p e d
and cream ware. The black p o l i s h e d , r e d brown and cream ware a r e a l s o
decorated with e n g r a v d g e o m e t r i c a l p a t t e r n s which a r e sometimes compara b l e t o t h o s e of J e b e l Moya. Moreover t h e engravings on t h e p o l i s h e d
black and cream ware a r e sometimes f i l l e d with a white p a s t e , l i k e
Nubian C-Group p o t t e r y . The e a r l i e s t p o t t e r y a t Yeha a l s o show no
t y p i c a l South Arabian f e a t u r e s and i s completely d i f f e r e n t from t h e
p o t t e r y at Matara, except f o r t h e r e d s l i p p e d ware. The most t y p i c a l
p o t t e r y a t Yeha a r e t h e r e d orange ware and t h e r e d and black one, both
of u n c e r t a i n o r i g i n .
Towards t h e end of t h i s phase some p o t s appear which a r e compara b l e t o South Arabian t y p e s , i . e . t h e jars with v e r t i c a l l u g s and a r i b
running p a r a l l e l t o t h e edge. I n Phase I1 Sabean f e a t u r e s become more
numerous and suggest c u l t u r a l i n f l u e n c e from t h e kingdom of Saba t h e n
at i t s peak. A t t h i s time t h e kingdom of D'MT f l o u r i s h e d and s t r e t c h e d
from Tokonda t o Southern Enderta, with a n u c l e a r a r e a between Aksum and
During t h i s phase i r o n was a l s o introduced i n E t h i o p i a . I n
Yeha.
Phase 111 t h e black-topped p o t t e r y , t y p i c a l of t h e previous two phases,
d i s a p p e a r s , Sabean elements become l e s s important whereas some M e r o i t i c
elements appear. Proof of Meroitic i n f l u e n c e might be t h e small temples
at H a o u l t i , t h e temple with an o u t s i d e w a l l a t Melazo, some elements of
t h e throne and s t a t u e s found a t H a o u l t i . Contacts with Meroe, i n Phase
1 1 , a r e documented by t h e amulets discovered a t Matara and H a o u l t i .

It i s a l s o p o s s i b l e t h a t during Phase 111 c o n t a c t s with Ptolemaic


Egypt s t a r t e d . The s t e l e of Ptolemy I1 copied by Cosmas I n d i c o p l e u s t e s
at Adulis i n d i c a t e s a Greek-Egyptian presence on t h e E r i t r e a n c o a s t i n
t h e I I I r d c e n t . B . C . , and it i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o observe t h a t t h e garment
on t h e s t a t u e s at H a o u l t i i s s i m i l a r t o t h e one on t h e s t a t u e of a
Ptolemaic queen e d ~ i b i t e di n t h e Museo E g i e i o , Turin ( l t a l y ) and d a t e d t o
about 250 B.C

Unfortunately t h e r e i s n o t y e t any evidence about t h e p o s s i b l e


mutual l i n k s between t h e Pre-Aksumite people and t h e o t h e r Ethiopian

p o p u l a t i o n s , except f o r t h e presence of many s c r a p e r s of Upper Palaeol i t h i c t r a d i t i o n mixed with Pre-Aksumite p o t t e r y a t S a f r a Abun n e a r Yeha.

3.

Aksumite P e r i o d (100

1.000 A . D . ) .

The exact o r i g i n s of t h e Aksumite C u l t u r e are still obscure.


I n s t u d y i n g t h e Aksumite 1 a r c h a e o l o g i c a l evidence, we can d i s t i n g u i s h
a Pre-Aksumite and an African t r a d i t i o n . The Pre-Aksumite t r a d i t i o n
can be recognized i n t h e a r c h i t e c t u r e , p o t t e r y and w r i t i n g .
The podium with s t e p s h a s a prototype both i n t h e ' p a l a c e ' and
t h e temple at Yeha, t h e 'monkey's heads' technique i s v i s i b l e i n t h e
s t r u c t u r e of t h e walls of t h e ' p a l a c e ' at Yeha and on a model of a
house found at H a o u l t i and t h e r e c t a n g u l a r p l a n of t h e farms i s s i m i l a r
t o Pre-Aksumite h u t s . The tombs w i t h s h a f t a r e e x a c t l y l i k e t h e PreAksumite ones. The r e d orange p o t t e r y , discovered i n P r e - C h r i s t i a n
assemblages a t Aksum, Haoulti and B i e t a Gyorghis i s comparable t o t h e
Pre-Aksumite one t y p i c a l of t h e Tigrean r e g i o n . F i n a l l y t h e w r i t i n g
d i r e c t l y d e r i v e s from t h e previous monumental i n s c r i p t i o n s .
The African t r a d i t i o n i s v i s i b l e i n t h e p o t t e r y and t h e l i t h i c
t o o l s . The t y p i c a l Aksumite g l o b u l a r v e s s e l s with corrugated o r
punctate
d e c o r a t i o n might belong t o a wide range of p o t t e r y going as
far as Kassala, whereas t h e l i t h i c t o o l s are of t h e same t y p e as t h e
Upper P a l a e o l i t h i c assemblages.
Besides t h e s e two t r a d i t i o n s , we can recognize i n t h e same cont e x t s some South Arabian, Meroitic and Mediterranean i n f l u e n c e s .
I n f l u e n c e of South Arabia may be s e e n i n t h e a l t e r n a t i v e l y p r o j e c t i n g
and r e c e s s e d walls and perhaps t h e s t e l e s . On t h e o t h e r hand a M e r o i t i c
o r i g i n h a s been suggested by Conti R o s s i n i i n connection with t h e tiara
of t h e Aksumite k i n g s and because of t h e i r custom t o t a k e a new name
when coming t o t h e t h r o n e . The Greek-Roman i n f l u e n c e i s e v i d e n t i n t h e
u s e of t h e Greek language i n t h e o f f i c i a l i n s c r i p t i o n s and f o r t h e
i n t r o d u c t i o n of c o i n s .
Therefore it i s l i k e l y t h a t t h e Aksumite C u l t u r e o r i g i n a t e d
through a cumulative p r o c e s s d u r i n g which t h e Pre-Aksumite nucleus
absorbed both l o c a l and e x t e r n a l t r a d i t i o n s and changed p r o g r e s s i v e l y
i t s c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n . Unfortunately t h e first s t e p s of t h i s p r o c e s s ,
going back t o Pre-Aksumite 3, a r e completely unknown. The subsequent
development of t h i s c u l t u r e w a s s t r o n g l y conditioned by t h e p o s i t i o n of
t h e kingdom i n t h e Red Sea commercial r o u t e .
I n Aksumite 1 t h e kingdom was a l r e a d y l i n k e d t o t h e Red Sea r o u t e
through Adulis. I n P e r i p l u s Maris E r y t r e i we l e a r n t h a t t r a d i n g w a s
c a r r i e d on with Roman Egypt and some f i n d s a t H a o u l t i and Debra Damo
show t h e e x i s t e n c e of c o n t a c t s with I n d i a . I n t h i s p e r i o d i r o n , t e x t i l e s
and v e s s e l s were imported. I v o r y , t o r t o i s e s h e l l s and s k i n s c o l l e c t e d i n
t h e Cyeneum, probably t h e r e g i o n n e a r Sennar as Kirwan p o i n t e d out were

exported. Perhaps r a i d s were a l s o made a g a i n s t t h e populations l i v i n g


i n t h e Northern lowlands i n order t o g e t s l a v e s , because t h e anthropomorphic p o t s , showing a head-dress l i k e t h e ones of B a r i a , Cunama and
o t h e r Cushitic peoples, might r e p r e s e n t C u s h i t i c s l a v e s .
The settlement p a t t e r n was a l s o influenced by t r a d e , as t h e
p r i n c i p a l towns were placed along t h e caravan t r a c k from Adulis t o Aksum,
Moreover each town w a s surrounded by smaller s e t t l e m e n t s of farmers and
probably w a s used as a market,
Aksumite 2 w a s characterized by t h e adoption of t h e C h r i s t i a n
r e l i g i o n . I n t h i s phase we can recognize some t r a c e s of Syrian i n f l u e n c e , due t o t h e missionary a c t i v i t y of Syrian monks, whose memory h a s
survived i n t h e legend of t h e Nine S a i n t s . The i n t r o d u c t i o n of C h r i s t i a n i t y probably a l s o modified t h e settlement p a t t e r n , t h e churches becomi n g c e n t e r s of a t t r a c t i o n f o r r u r a l people.
I n t h i s period t h e a r e a of t r a d e s h i f t e d southwards from Sudan t o
Begemender, Wollega and Somaliland, as at t h i s time gold and s p i c e s were
i n demand. On t h e o t h e r hand t h e numerous obsidian m i c r o l i t h s c o l l e c t e d
i n many Aksumite s i t e s , t h e source of which was t h e magma l y i n g i n t h e
R i f t Valley e a s t of Senaf6, i n d i c a t e c o n t a c t s with t h e Danakil people.
The Aksumite a r e l i k e l y t o have obtained salt from them i n o r d e r t o
exchange it f o r gold i n Begemender.
The c u l t u r a l s i t u a t i o n of Aksumite 3 i s very obscure. The archa e o l o g i c a l evidence i s scanty and t h e few t r a c e s we have seem t o i n d i c a t e
a progressive s h i f t i n g of t h e Aksumite c u l t u r a l a r e a southwards t o Wollo,
during t h e time when some Bedja kingdoms appear i n E r i t r e a . Perhaps t h e
c a p i t a l i t s e l f was no longer at Aksum.
IV

. Conclusion.

The c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y of Northern Ethiopia between t h e 1st m i l l .


B.C. and t h e 1st m i l l . A.D. was characterized by t h e development of a
complex s o c i e t y , which a r i s i n g from an a u t o c ~ n o u sAfrican background
evolved under many e x t e r n a l s t i m u l i i n t o t h e Aksumite c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n
which formed t h e foundation of Abyssinian c i v i l i z a t i o n .
The most important stimulus undoubtedly w a s t r a d e . Already i n t h e
middle of t h e I I n d m i l l . B.C.
Southern Sudan and perhaps Northern E r i t r e a
were involved i n t r a d e with Egypt, as suggested by t h e r e l i e f s of t h e
expedition t o Punt i n Hatshepsut's temple a t R e i r el-Bahalri.
I n t h e first h a l f of t h e 1st m i l l . B.C. t h e products of t h e s e
regions probably were a l s o requested by t h e Achemenids. The s t e l a of
Darius a t Suez mentions t h a t t r a v e l t o Punt had s t a r t e d again.
The
i n s c r i p t i o n at Naqs-i-Rustem (486-485) says t h a t payment w a s made by t h e
~ a u ( n ) t i y a ,t h e i n h a b i t a n t s of Punt. Moreover on t h e r e l i e f s of t h e
Apadana i n P e r s e p o l i s , t h r e e "Ethiopians" a r e represented o f f e r i n g one p o t ,
one i v o r y tusk and one okapi.

The i d e n t i t y of t h e peoples l i v i n g a t t h i s time i n Northern


E t h i o p i a Ls not well known. The i n h a b i t a n t s of E r i t r e a were l i k e l y k r d e r s
l i n k e d with t h e Sudanese people. Those of i n l a n d E t h i o p i a were mixed
farmers r e l a t e d t o t h e people of E a s t e r n A f r i c a .
About t h e VIth c e n t . B . C . c o n t a c t s with South Arabian t r a d e r s
s t a r t e d . They probably wished t o c o n t r o l t h e i v o r y t r a d e , because i n
t h e VIth - Vth c e n t . B.C. i v o r y w a s more and more i n demand by t h e
Greek world and Greek t r a d e r s were s u r e l y i n d i r e c t c o n t a c t with t h e
i n h a b i t a n t s of Southern Arabia.

A s a r e s u l t of t h e s e commercial exchanges a l o c a l kingdom i n


Northern E t h i o p i a came t o l i f e i n s o f a r t h a t autockthonous c h i e f s
wanted t o c o n t r o l t h e t r a d i n g a c t i v i t y . It i s p o s s i b l e a l s o t h a t t h e
South Arabian t r a d e r s themselves, a f t e r s e t t l i n g i n E t h i o p i a and i n t e r marrying with t h e n a t i v e s , gained p o l i t i c a l power and became t h e r u l i n g
c l a s s as t h e I s l a m i c t r a d e r s i n Wolloga i n t h e XVIIIth - XIXth c e n t .
I n t h e I I I r d c e n t . B.C. t h e l i n k s with South Arabia became l e s s
s t r o n g , perhaps due t o t h e p r e s s u r e of more d i r e c t c o n t a c t s with
Ptolemaic Egypt and of t h e contemporary f l o u r i s h i n g of t h e Meroitic
kingdom i n Sudan.
Contemporary t o t h e Pre-Aksumite c u l t u r e , mixed
farmers were l i v i n g i n Begemender as it i s t e s t i f i e d by t h e f i n d i n g s i n
L a l i b e l a and Natchabiet caves.
I n t h e 1st c e n t . A.D. appeared t h e kingdom of Aksum, because of
Mediterranean t r a d e . It a r o s e from t h e Pre-Aksumite s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l
background, but from t h e very beginning it showed a completely d i f f e r e n t
p a t t e r n , c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h e development of urban s e t t l e m e n t s . These,
however, were not t r u e towns but r a t h e r agglomerates of v i l l a e where t h e
r u l i n g c l a s s l i v e d and t r a d e d .
The d e c l i n e of Aksum s t a r t e d with t h e spreading of Islam along
t h e Mediterranean and Red Sea c o a s t s . A f t e r t h e V I I I t h c e n t . A.D. t h e
kingdom w a s p r o g r e s s i v e l y i s o l a t e d from t h e Red Sea t r a d i n g r o u t e and
extended southwards. The information given by t h e Arab geographers of
t h e IXth c e n t . seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e kingdom w a s s t i l l t r a d i n g with
Z e i l a . It w a s f i n a l l y destroyed by an i n v a s i o n of Sidama people, coming
from Godjam, i n t h e Xth c e n t . probably a f t e r becoming l e s s s t r o n g f o r
economical reasons.

'

The f o l l o w i n g r e p o r t comes from B.T. Gray a n d D.C. Johanson o f t h e

19

Cleveland Museum o f N a t u r a l H i s t o r y :
A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h of i n t e r e s t t o paleoanthropology and s e v e r a l r e l a t e d
s u b d i s c i p l i n e s w a s conducted a t Hadar, c e n t r a l A f a r , from mid-November,
t h r o u g h J a n u a r y , 1977.

1976

T h i s was t h e f o u r t h i n t e n s i v e campaign of t h e I n t e r n a -

t i o n a l Afar Research E x p e d i t i o n (I. A. R. E . ) .

Seventeen s c i e n t i s t s and

c o l l a b o r a t o r s were i n v o l v e d , t o g e t h e r w i t h between 1 9 and 26 a s s i s t a n t s h i r e d


from t h e l o c a l p o p u l a t i o n .

R e s u l t s were a g a i n q u i t e rewarding and l a r g e l y

confirm c o n c l u s i o n s based on p r e v i o u s f i n d i n g s .

Research w a s c o n c e n t r a t e d

on t h r e e primary f o c i .
Geological Studies:

A 1:10,000 g e o l o g i c a l map of t h e marker h o r i z o n s and s e v e r a l o t h e r major


l i t h o s t r a t i g r a p h i c u n i t s was completed.

I n t h e c o u r s e of t h i s work t h e

t o t a l t h i c k n e s s of Hadar Formation sediments was extended t o ca. 200 m.


by t h e d i s c o v e r y of a d d i t i o n a l d e p o s i t s a t t h e t o p and bottom of t h e
p r e v i o u s l y known s e r i e s .
F u r t h e r d e t a i l e d s t r a t i g r a p h i c s t u d i e s were conducted t o enhance o u r
u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e n a t u r e and r e l a t i o n s h i p s of sedimentary environments
i n t h e formation.
Sampling of t h e s e v e r a l v o l c a n i c h o r i z o n s i n t h e sequence w a s c a r r i e d
out f o r continued geochronological a n a l y s i s , including f i v e previously
unknown t u f f u n i t s .

Paleomagnetic s t u d i e s were c o n t i n u e d , p r o v i d i n g

a second complete s e r i e s of samples t h a t a l s o covered t h e newly d i s c o v e r ed sediments a t t h e t o p and bottom of t h e sequence.

Several shorter

sample s e r i e s were a l s o c o l l e c t e d , c o v e r i n g p a r t i c u l a r s e c t i o n s i n g r e a t er detail.


Geochronological s t u d i e s were extended i n t o n e i g h b o r i n g r e g i o n a s w e l l ,
i n a n e f f o r t t o l o c a t e p o s s i b l e s o u r c e a r e a ( s ) f o r t h e v o l c a n i c u n i t s and

t o f u r t h e r d e l i n e a t e t h e s t r u c t u r a l c o n t e x t and chronology of t h e west


c e n t r a l Afar sedimentary b a s i n .
P a l e o n t o l o g i c a l S t u d i e s ( i n c l u d i n g hominids):
P a l e o n t o l o g i c a l c o l l e c t i o n was r e l a t i v e l y r e s t r i c t e d t h i s s e a s o n , due
p r i m a r i l y t o t h e reduced number of workers devoted t o such a c t i v i t i e s .
I n general, t h e discoveries tend

t o confirm p r e v i o u s o b s e r v a t i o n s on

t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e d i s t r i b u t i o n of v a r i o u s t a x a s i g n i f i c a n t f o r paleoenvironmental s t u d i e s .

B i o s t r a t i g r a p h i c a s p e c t s of t h e b u l k of t h e Hadar For-

mation fauna a l s o c o n t i n u e t o s u p p o r t t h e g e o c h r o n o l o g i c a l and paleo-

magnetic e v i d e n c e concerning t h e a g e of t h e d e p o s i t s .
I n s p i t e of t h e fewer number of c o l l e c t o r s i n v o l v e d , s e v e r a l v e r y
important hominid remains were r e c o v e r e d .

An a d d i t i o n a l 64 specimens

were l o c a t e d , bringiflg t h e t o t a l number of i n d i v i d u a l s now known from


Hadar t o a minimum of 30.
1)

Some of t h e more s i g n i f i c a n t d i s c o v e r i e s i n c l u d e :

s e v e r a l f i n d s made a t A.L.

128-129, t h e l o c a l i t i e s where a homined

knee j o i n t ( l a c k i n g t h e p a t e l l a ) w a s r e c o v e r e d i n 1973; a fragment of


a n ischium and a r i g h t mandibular fragment c o n t a i n i n g f i v e t e e t h were
found h e r e , b o t h showing s t r i k i n g resemblances t o A.L.

288-1 ("Lucy").

Both specimens a p p e a r t o have d e r i v e d from t h e s a m e g e o l o g i c a l h o r i z o n

as t h e knee j o i n t , and t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e geographic d i s t r i b u t i o n s s u g g e s t


t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t a l l may have belonged t o one i n d i v i d u a l .

2)

A mandible h a l f w i t h s e v e r a l t e e t h was brought i n t o t h e camp by a

young boy from a l o c a l v i l l a g e ; t h e geographic p o s i t i o n of t h e l o c a l i t y

was confirmed by d i s c o v e r y of t h e o p p o s i t e s i d e of t h e mandible when


t h e boy l e d r e s e a r c h e r s t o t h e s p o t .
preserves a l l t e e t h save t h e R I

1'

The complete mandibular body

and b e a r s s t r o n g resemblances t o

A.L. 266-1) which have been r e f e r r e d

o t h e r specimens from Hadar (e.g.,


t o Homo s p .
3)

A.L.

333, t h e l o c a l i t y which p r e v i o u s l y y i e l d e d remains of a t l e a s t

f i v e t o seven i n d i v i d u a l s , was a g a i n a major f o c u s of a c t i v i t y .

Dry

s c r e e n i n g of l o o s e sediment from t h e s l o p e s of t h e l o c a l i t y w a s c o n t i n u e d ,
p r o v i d i n g numerous a d d i t i o n a l specimens, i n c l u d i n g many hand bones and
A small e x c a v a t i o n was a l s o opened, from which

s e v e r a l t e e t h and jaws.

1 8 i n d i v i d u a l bones, bone fragments and t e e t h were d e r i v e d , l o c a l i z e d


i n a ca. 50 cm. t h i c k h o r i z o n .

With t h i s new m a t e r i a l , a t o t a l of some

190 specimens r e p r e s e n t i n g a t l e a s t 1 0 t o 11 i n d i v i d u a l s have now been


recovered from A.L. 333.
Archaeological Studies:
P r e v i o u s l y i n s t i t u t e d a r c h a e o l o g i c a l s u r v e y was c o n t i n u e d d u r i n g t h e
1976-77 f i e l d season.

Some a t t e n t i o n was p a i d t o f u r t h e r examination

of known Acheulean l o c a l i t i e s and s e a r c h f o r a d d i t i o n a l o c c u r r e n c e s .


However, c o n s i d e r a b l e e f f o r t was a l s o devoted t o i n t e n s i v e e x p l o r a t i o n
o f t h e ~ l i o / ~ l e i s t o c e nsediments.
e

The i n i t i a l d i s c o v e r y of "chopper/

core" and f l a k e t o o l s i n a conglomeratic channel f i l l d e f i n i t e l y w i t h i n


t h e Hadar Formation was made by Helene Roche.

J . W. K. H a r r i s subsequent-

l y l o c a t e d s u r f a c e o c c u r r e n c e s of a r t i f a c t s i n l a t e r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t ,
f i n e r - g r a i n e d d e p o s i t s , t e n t a t i v e l y i n t e r p r e t e d a s a n over-bank s i t u a t i o n .
The provenience was confirmed by a t e s t - t r e n c h which c o n t a i n e d s i m i l a r
material i n situ.

The a r t i f a c t - b e a r i n g d e p o s i t s a r e q u i t e h i g h i n t h e

sequence, much h i g h e r t h a n most of t h e f o s s i l i f e r o u s l o c a l i t i e s , a l t h o u g h


t h e i r e x a c t s t r a t i g r a p h i c placement i n t h e Hadar Formation i s u n c e r t a i n
due t o t h e geographic s e p a r a t i o n of t h e a r t i f a c t s i t e ( s ) from t h e main

Hadar a r e a .

The r e l e v a n t d e p o s i t s between t h e two a r e a s have been removed

by e r o s i o n , p r e c l u d i n g p h y s i c a l c o r r e l a t i o n .

We t h e r e f o r e p r e f e r t o

r e s e r v e judgement concerning t h e a g e of t h e s e a r t i f a c t s .
W e g r a t e f u l l y acknowledge D r . Maurice Taieb, who f i r s t recognized t h e

p o t e n t i a l of Hadar, and who, a s c o - d i r e c t o r of t h e I. A . R. E . ,


a n important r o l e i n t h i s r e s e a r c h .
e d i t o r i a l assistance.

h a s played

Thanks are a l s o d u e t o B i l l Kimbel f o r

Kenya

D r . Rolland of University of V i c t o r i a r e p o r t s :
My plans at t h e present a r e involved i n preparing a submission
f o r f i e l d i n v e s t i g a t i o n on t h e Late Stone Age i n East Africa, more part i c u l a r l y i n t h e a r e a s of t h e Central ( ~ r e ~ o r yR )i f t Valley i n Kenya,
with emphasis on p r e h i s t o r i c land-use and human-animal r e l a t i o n s h i p s
during terminal Pleistocene and e a r l y Holocene. A t t h e present time,
t h e s e a r e s t r i c t l y i n a s t a g e of formulation, modifying what was conceived as a p i l o t - p r o j e c t i n t o a r e g u l a r self-contained one.

M r . H. Sassoon of Fort J e s u s , P.O. Box 82412, Mombasa, Kenya


Republic has s e n t copies of t h e f i r s t and second i n t e r i m r e p o r t s on t h e
Mombasa Wreck Excavation. Since t h e s e a r e d i s t r i b u t e d t o those i n t e r e s t ed ( w r i t e t o M r . Sassoon i f you want t o be on t h e mailing l i s t ) they
w i l l not be reproduced i n Nyame A k u m a but a summary i s given.
Some years ago scuba d i v e r s found o b j e c t s from t h e Portuguese
f r i g a t e , Santo Antonio de Tanna, which was sunk i n f r o n t of Fort J e s u s
i n 1697. Owing t o t h e sinking of t h e boat which served as a diving
platform i n 1971 t h e work was not continued at t h a t time. Now a new
p r o j e c t has been s t a r t e d by t h e National Museums of Kenya with collabor a t i o n from many sources including t h e Kenya Navy, B r i t i s h Services,
Portuguese organisations, t h e American I n s t i t u t e of Nautical Archaeology and o t h e r s .
Diving and excavation with apparently e x c e l l e n t and i n t e r e s t i n g
r e s u l t s has gone on s i n c e January 1977, and much information about t h e
s h i p and h e r contents has been obtained.

Tanzania
The following r e p o r t has been received from M r . Mturi, t h e D i r e c t o r of
Antiquities:

1. Conferences
(i)

The research f i n d i n g s on Lake Ndutu and West Kilimanjaro


were used f o r two papers - "Lake Ndutu Stone Age S i t e
i n Tanzania" and "Food production and t h e T r a n s i t i o n
from t h e Terminal Stone Age t o t h e I r o n Age i n Tanzania"

r e s p e c t i v e l y which were p r e s e n t e d d u r i n g t h e IXth Congress


of t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Union of P r e - h i s t o r i c and Protoh i s t o r i c S c i e n c e s h e l d i n Nice, France from 3 r d - 1 8 t h
September, 1976.
( i i ) Another paper on "Terminal Stone Age occurrences of West
K i l i m a n j a r o , Tanzania" i s i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e f o r t h coming Pan-African Congress of P r e - h i s t o r y and Q u a r t e r n a r y
Studies.

2.

Current Research P r o j e c t s

( i ) Nasera is is) Rock M r . Michael Melham continued with h i s


r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t . He resumed e x c a v a t i o n s i n A p r i l and
t h e s e were concluded i n J u l y , 1976. From J u l y , he h a s
been u n d e r t a k i n g a n a l y s i s of t h e f i n d s . H e r e p o r t s t o have
recovered assemblages of LSA w i t h p o t t e r y , LSA of t h e
"Wilton" t y p e and an MSA assemblage. The "Wilton" assemblage r e p r e s e n t s an accumulation of 6,000 y e a r s o r more and
t h e LSA w i t h p o t t e r y h a s t h r e e phases t h e e a r l i e s t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Kantsyore w a r e , t h e second w i t h Nurosura ware and
t h e last phase with Akira (TIP) ware.
(ii)

Iron

Age r e s e a r c h i n West Lake r e g i o n

D r . P e t e r Schmidt of Brown U n i v e r s i t y , resumed h i s r e s e a r c h


i n t o t h e Iron-Age of t h e West Lake r e g i o n i n J u n e , 1976.
During t h e p e r i o d June, 1976 - March 1977, he undertook e x c a v a t i o n i n Katuruka a r e a where he o b t a i n e d f u r t h e r
d a t a on t h e s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e e a r l y I r o n Age
I n d u s t r i a l complex. He a l s o excavated f u r n a c e s and waste p i t s .
He a l s o undertook r e s c u e e x c a v a t i o n s of E a r l y I r o n Age
S i t e s i n t h e a r e a of Kemondo which were r e v e a l e d d u r i n g
r o a d c o n s t r u c t i o n works. I n one of t h e Kemondo s i t e s , a
major E a r l y I r o n Age i n d u s t r i a l production c e n t r e was found
which c o n s i s t e d of 13 i n s i t u E a r l y I r o n Age f u r n a c e s . The
t e c h n o l o g i c a l d a t a r e c o v e r e d i n d i c a t e s t h a t t e m p e r a t u r e s up
t o 1,600C were achieved by i n s e r t i n g t u y e r e s i n s i d e t h e
f u r n a c e . The t u y e r e s r e c o v e r e d are reduced, v i t r i f i e d o r
s l a g covered which i n d i c a t e s t h a t p r e h e a t i n g w a s p r a c t i s e d
2,000 y e a s ago i n Tanzania. The a n a l y s i s of i r o n bloom
shows t h a t a medium grade caxbon s t e e l can be produced i n
these furnaces.
I n t h e Kemondo s i t e s burned s e e d s were a l s o r e c o v e r e d
i n s e a l e d r e f u s e p i t s and on t h e f l o o r of a n E a r l y I r o n Age
house b u i l t of mud and w a t t l e and d e s t r o y e d by f i r e . The
s e e d s a p p e a r t o be of Sorghum.
Survey work h a s a l s o r e s u l t e d i n t h e l o c a t i o n of s e v e r a l
E a r l y I r o n Age v i l l a g e s w i t h i n which t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l E a r l y
I r o n Age occurrences.

3.

Proposed Research Projects:


(i)

'

Lake NCtutu and West Kilimanjaro

The Antiquities ?$vision intends to resume excavations at Lake Ndutu and'inWest Kilimanjaro during
September, 1977 and February 1978 respectively.
(ii) Prehistoric Cultures of the Serengeti Plain, Taneania.
Dr. John R.F. Bower of Iowa State University and the
Division are preparing a joint research project aimed at
an intensive archaeological investigation of the Serengeti
National Park. The objective is (1) to determine the range
of prehistoric Cultures represented, (2) to map their
Spatial distribution vis 2 vis such environmental factors
as land surfaces, rainfall and ,Vegetation,and (3) to test
excavate a small sample of sites discovered. The project
is expected to start in June, 1977.
(iii) Rock Art.
Dr.F.T. Masao, The Curator of the National Museum of
Tanzania will continue with his research on the Rock Art of
Central Tanzania, beginning June, 1977. He will concentrate
on the Kondoa and Isanzu area.
(iv) Lake Eyasi.

Prof. H. Muller Beck and R.R.R. Protsch of the


University of Tubingen are planning an expedition to reinvestigate the Lake Eyasi area previously visited by KohlLarsen. The expedition will concentrate on Later Stone Age
occurrences,
(v) Olduvai Materials.

A number of Students and experts have indicated an


interest in undertaking specific analysis of the Olduvai
materials. Mr. Gunter Schneck a Student of palaeoathropology at the University of ~rankfurt/~ain
is interested in examining the functional morphology of the premolars
of African hominids. Mr. Charles R. Peters of the University of Massachussets is interested in the study of the
Olduvai Theropithecus fossil remains.

D r . R.F. Bower of Iowa S t a t e University r e p o r t s :

I plan t o conduct a p r e l h i n a r y archaeological survey of t h e


Serengeti National Pazk, Tanzania, during t h e summer of 1977. The work
w i l l be l a r g e l y concerned with gaining some understanding of t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of s i t e s ( e s p e c i a l l y LSA s i t e s ) r e l a t i v e t o environment -vegetation zones, topography, l a r g e m a m m a l migration r o u t e s , e t c .
Another research t a r g e t w i l l be t o develop a c u l t u r e - h i s t o r i c a l framework f o r t h e Park. If t h e r e s u l t s show promise, I hope t o expand t h e
research next year and, u l t i m a t e l y , t o e s t a b l i s h it as an ongoing e n t e r p r i s e of t h e Serengeti Research I n s t i t u t e .

D r . Masao, D i r e c t o r of t h e National Museum r e p o r t s :


T h i s summer I am going back t o Central Tanzania t o continue with
t h e s t u d i e s of t h e L a t e r Stone Age and t h e Rock P a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n .
Copies of my Ph.D t h e s i s "The L a t e r Stone Age and t h e Rock P a i n t i n g s of
Central Tanzania" may be obtained from t h e Library, Simon F r a s e r University.

D r . R.M. Gramly of S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook sends t h i s r e p o r t :


I would l i k e t o r e p o r t t h a t i n t h e months of August and September
I w i l l be conducting an archaeological reconnaissance on t h e coast of
Tanzania, s p e c i f i c a l l y at t h e mouth of t h e Pangani River, which flows
down t o t h e Ocean opposite from Pemba-Zanzibar.
The reconnaissance i s being performed with t h e cooperation of
t h e Department of H i s t o r y , University of Dares Salaam. The o b j e c t i v e
i s t o seek remains of 9 t h century o r e a r l i e r d a t e , hopefully remains
of Rhapta, which i s reputed t o have e x i s t e d i n t h e s e p a r t s i n t h e 1st
century A.D.
The exact l o c a t i o n of Rhapta ( i f it e x i s t e d at a l l ) i s a
matter of conjecture, b u t , then, no concerted e f f o r t has ever been made
t o f i n d it and t h e Pangani a r e a i s a l i k e l y place t o start.

Uganda

Mr, Paul Tdamala, ~ o n s e r v a t o r / ~ u r a t oof


r t h e Department of
A n t i q u i t i e s and Museums has s e n t a l e t t e r of which t h e following i s
t h e main p a r t :
The Department has suffered a l o t as a r e s u l t of l a c k of q u a l i f i e d personnel and t h i s forced u s i n t o being a maintenance Department
i n s t e a d of embarking on archaeological surveys.
No archaeological
team has ever considered t o v i s i t Uganda though as you very well know
Uganda i s p o t e n t i a l l y a promising archaeological zone. You can consider
t h e Earth-works of Western Uganda, ( ~ t u s i ,and ~ i g o )Karamoja and its
l a t e Stone Age, t h e I s l a n d s of Lake V i c t o r i a e t c . a r e a l l p o t e n t i a l archaeological a r e a s .
However, new developments a r e t a k i n g place t h a t t h e Department of
A n t i q u i t i e s i s being amalgamated i n t o t h e Uganda Museum and I am charged
with t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of seeing t h e two f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d . I hope t h i s
would remove t h e present d u p l i c a t i o n of s e r v i c e s and manpower. I have
j u s t signed a c o n t r a c t with t h e Ministry of Education, Science and Cult u r e of Japan as a co-researcher i n t h e "Study f o r t h e Establishment and
Development of P a l a e o l i t h i c c u l t u r e i n East Africa". We should expect a
team of archaeologists from Japan t o m i v e i n Uganda i n t h e second h a l f
of 1977. And a l s o i n J u l y 1977, D r . Krommenhoek, of Holland w i l l be
conducting Palaeontological f i e l d work i n t h e Kazinga a r e a .
My problems at t h e moment a r e t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l encroachments and
modern developments i n t h e country; it i s c l e a r t h a t archaeological
s i t e s are very much threatened and u n l e s s those of you who a r e concerned
with African Archaeology take up helping us immediately, we a r e l i k e l y
t o l o s e t h i s valuable information.

EGYPT
D r . Haynes, University of Arizona r e p o r t s :
Last February and March I continued t o work with Fred Wendorf
on Nabta Playa and associated Neolithic s i t e s i n t h e Nubian Desert and
continued with D r . Rushdi Seid and t h e Egyptian Geological Survey t o
f i n d and map Holocene Playa d e p o s i t s i n t h e western Desert. This work
w i l l be continued next year. Some r e s u l t s were reported at t h e New
Orleans meeting of SAAAM.

It i s not t h e normal p o l i c y t o publish m a t e r i a l d e a l i n g with


Pharaonic Egypt i n Nyame Akuma s i n c e Professor L e c l a n t ' s annual
review i n O r i e n t a l i a provides very good information,but t h i s r e p o r t
from D r . Strouhal of t h e Ngprstek Museum i n Prague i s published here
s i n c e d e t a i l s on physical anthropological work i n Egypt a r e rare and
may be of i n t e r e s t t o our r e a d e r s h i p with t h e i r predominantly prehistoric interests. D r . S t r o u h a l r e p o r t s as follows:
I n October and November 1976 I w a s working i n Egypt on t h e
excavation of a r e c e n t l y discovered Mastaba of P r i n c e s s Khekeretnebti
i n Abusir. The research i s conducted by t h e Czechoslovak I n s t i t u t e of
Egyptology, Charles University, i n cooperation with ~ g p r s t e kMuseum,
s e c t i o n of t h e National Museum i n Prague. I n t h e main b u r i a l chamber
of t h e tomb, remains of t h e mummy of P r i n c e s s Khekeretnebti were found,
belonging t o a 25-35 y e a r s o l d woman. I n an a d d i t i o n a l l y b u i l t second
b u r i a l chanber were s c a t t e r e d remains of another woman c a l l e d T i s e t h o r ,
whose age was determined as 17-18 y e a r s only. Except f o r t e e t h pathology
no o t h e r pathological changes were observed.
F u r t h e r secondary b u r i a l s
were found i n superposition i n d i f f e r e n t a r e a s of t h e Mastaba.
Following t h e i n v i t a t i o n of t h e Egypt Exploration Society and t h e
Egyptian Antiquity Organisation, I examined on t h e same occasion t h e
Late period anthropological m a t e r i a l found during t h e w i n t e r season 1976
i n t h e tomb of t h e King Horemhab by G. Martin from t h e University College
i n London. These were mass b u r i a l s mixed up t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t no
i n d i v i d u a l s k e l e t o n s could be r e c o n s t r u c t e d and t h e m a t e r i a l had t o be
s t u d i e d by means o f t h e anatomical method, v i z . s k u l l s and i n d i v i d u a l
p o s t c r a n i a l bones s e p a r a t e l y . I t r i e d only t o match l e f t and r i g h t bones
t o g e t h e r . About 200 i n d i v i d u a l s were found t o be represented i n t h e
m a t e r i a l . The paleopathology c o n s i s t s of u s u a l f i n d i n g s of traumative,
degenerative and inflammatory o r i g i n , which w i l l be e l a b o r a t e d statistic a l l y . Furthermore, two i n t e r e s t i n g cases of o s t e o l y t i c tumorous
metastases were d e t e c t e d by combining t h e d e s c r i p t i v e study and t h e X-ray
examination.

The following i s a r e p o r t on r e c e n t a c t i v i t i e s by t h e Ghana


Museums and Monuments B o d :

New Appointments:
The c u r a t o r i a l staff of t h e Museum has been strengthened with t h e
appointment t h i s year of t h e following as A s s i s t a n t Keepers:

M r . G i l b e r t Arnegatcher - (Art)
N i i h a t e Dagadu - ( ~ i o l o ~ ~ )

Mr. James Buachie Ansah - ( ~ r c h a e o l o g ~and


)
Mr. Y .X, Effah - i is tor^).
Other s e n i o r appointments made were:
Mr. D. J . Vondey - (schools Service o f f i c e r )
Mr. K . Kwakye-Adams - ( ~ o r t i c u l t u r i s t )and
Mr. J .E Allotey-Pappoe - ( ~ u b l i c a t i o n sand P u b l i c
Relations o f f i c e r )

Transfers:

M r . E.K. Agorsah,
Volta Regional Museum at
Accra. D r . I .N. Debrah,
Museum i n Accra succeeds
June, t h i s year.

formerly A s s i s t a n t Keeper (Archaeology) a t t h e


Ho i s on t r a n s f e r t o t h e C e n t r a l Museum i n
A s s i s t a n t Keeper (Archaeology) a t t h e C e n t r a l
Mr.Agorsah at Ho. The t r a n s f e r s were made i n

M r . Y.K. Effah, who joined t h e c u r a t o r i a l staff i n J u l y as Assist a n t Keeper i is tor^) i s on p o s t i n g t o t h e West African H i s t o r i c a l
Museum at Cape Coast i n t h e C e n t r a l Region.
Send-off f o r P r o f e s s o r Posnansky:
Professor Posnansky, Head of t h e Department of Archaeology a t t h e
University of Ghana and a member of t h e Board of T r u s t e e s of t h e Ghana
Museums and Monuments Board l e f t Ghana last J u l y f o r good.
Before h i s d e p a r t u r e , t h e Museum h e l d a send-off p a r t y f o r him i n
a p p r e c i a t i o n of h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o archaeological and museum work.
Professor Posnansky has taken up a new appointment with t h e
Department of History of t h e University of C a l i f o r n i a , Los Angeles.
Fieldwork:
( a ) Agogo Rockshelter:
On 2nd March 1976, t h e Acting D i r e c t o r , Mr.K .A. Myles,
and D r . 1 .N. Debrah ( ~ s s i s t a n t~ e e ~ e took
r ) a t r i p t o Agogo i n
t h e Ashanti Region f o r a preliminary study of t h e Agogo Rockshelter.
Nork done included t h e study of t h e g e o l o g i c a l h i s t o r y
of t h e s i t e and of t h e o r a l t r a d i t i o n s of t h e area. The geol o g i c a l work revealed a s t r a t i g r a p h y of t h r e e 1ayers:Sandstones h a l e - sandstone, Oral t r a d i t i o n c o l l e c t e d gave a reasonable
i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e f e a t u r e s of t h e Rockshelter as w e l l as
information on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e people of Agogo
and t h e i r neighbours.

I t i s intended t h a t when a l l information has been


c o l l e c t e d , t h e Rockshelter would be preserved, and a l l
arrangements f o r i t s d e c l a r a t i o n as a n a t i o n a l monument made,
(b)

Ada Asafotufiam F e s t i v a l :

7 t h , t h e people of Ada i n t h e Eastern


From August 5 t h
Region of Ghana celebrated t h e i r annual f e s t i v a l , "Asafotufiam".
This i s a colourful f e s t i v a l celebrated amid drumming, dancing
and t h e f i r i n g of musketry i n remembrance of t h e Adas who
fought g a l l a n t l y and v i c t o r i o u s l y a g a i n s t o t h e r t r i b e s during
t h e 18th century,
A six-man Museum team l e d by Mrs. Theresa Awuku-Kwatia,
Assistant Museums and Monuments Education O f f i c e r , attended
the festival.

Others were M r .G.Amegatcher ( ~ s s i s t a n tKeeper - ~ r) ,t


M r . D J . Vondey (school Service o f f i c e r ) , Mr.P .K. Gyimah
( ~ u i d e~ e c t u r e r )and M r .A .K. Yamoah and C .M.Bonsu ( ~ e c h n i c i a n s )

M r . J . Anquandah send t h i s r e p o r t :

De,partment

of Archaeology, University

of

Ghana,

Legon

1976-77.

A t t h e end of t h e last academic year, Professor Merrick Posnansky


l e f t t h e Department t o take up t h e post of Professor of History a t t h e
Department of History, U.C.L.A. Los Angeles. A t t h e same time Miss Signe
Nygaard l e f t t h e s e r v i c e of t h e University while Mr.L,B. Crossland was
granted a two-year study leave t o read f o r h i s Ph.D at Arizona University,
U.S.A.

D r . John Sutton of t h e Centre of Nigerian C u l t u r a l Studies, Ahmadu


Bello University, Nigeria who has been appointed t o t h e c h a i r of Archaeology a t Legon w i l l be t a k i n g up h i s post i n September 1977. With t h e
winding up of t h e West African Trade P r o j e c t a t t h e end of t h e l a s t
academic year, t h e department has had t o look t o o t h e r sources of
f i n a n c i a l support f o r i t s research. Effah Gyamfi,Lecturer i n Archaeologs
obtained a small grant from Legon which enabled him t o continue h i s
excavations q t Bono Manso, i n December 1976. During t h e course of t h e
y e a r , t h e East B e r l i n Academy of Sciences r e l e a s e d a number of radiocarbon d a t e s obtained from samples c o l l e c t e d d u r i n g Effah Gyamfi's
summer excavation a t Bono Manso i n 1976.

The d a t e s a r e as follows:
BLN 1730 400

40 A.D.

(charcoal from a s l a g mound at Bono

ans so)

BLN 1728 1430

+ 40 A.D.

BLN 1729 1510

40 A.D.

BLN 1731 1760 *- 40 A.D.

(charcoal from a Bono phase I mound)


(Charcoal from Bono Manso phase 2
mound)
(Charcoal from Bono Manso Late I r o n
Age s i t e )

During E a s t e r 1977, JamesAnquandah c a r r i e d out a reconnaissance


of aschaeological s i t e s as well as an ethnographic survey of a number
of towns and v i l l a g e s which w e within 30 mile r a d i u s of Kumase.
Studies were c a r r i e d out at c e n t r e s of t r a d i t i o n a l Akan pot-making,
bead-making, brass-casting, i r o n working, and Kente and Adinkra t e x t i l e
f a c t o r i e s as well as t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t s h r i n e s . The survey is p a r t of a
l a r g e r "Asante Genesis" research p r o j e c t . D r . J . C . Dombrowski a l s o
c a r r i e d out during t h e E a s t e r Vacation a small-scale excavation of s h e l l
mounds on t h e Volta Aluminium Company s i t e a t Kpone near Tema. It w i l l
be most i n t e r e s t i n g t o know how t h e m a t e r i a l c u l t u r e , subsistence,
economy and d a t e of t h e Kpone s i t e s compare with those of o t h e r s h e l l
mounds which have already been excavated along t h e Sene-gambian l i t t o r a l .

Preliminary Note On Excavations A t A S h e l l Midden Near Tema, ~ h a n a l


During geological i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of t h e c o a s t a l a r e a s of t h e
Accra P l a i n s i n 1974-6, D r . M . T a l b o t , formerly of t h e Geology Department, Legon, discovered a s h e l l midden on t h e banks of Gao Lagoon
(540'20"N, 0 ~ 2 ' 3 0 " ~ ) .Gao Lagoon i s s i t u a t e d e a s t of Tema, within t h e
western boundaries of t h e Kpone t r a d i t i o n a l a r e a , Preliminary examinat i o n and surface survey was conducted by M r . Talbot, S . Nygaard and
J . Dombrowski i n April 1976, and t h e midden yielded small q u a r t z t o o l s
and f l a k e s , and numbers of s h e l l s , but no p o t t e r y .
Middens have been i n v e s t i g a t e d i n Senegal and Ivory Coast but as
none have been excavated i n Ghana, it w a s decided t o apply f o r funds t o
excavate.
Moreover, nothing i s known of t h e L a t e r Stone Age of t h e
Accra P l a i n s .
Excavati.ons were c a r r i e d out during t h e t h r e e weeks of E a s t e r
Vacation, 1977, using volunteers from Legon. The sequence and e x t e n t
of t h e s i t e turned out t o be r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t from what surface f i n d s
had suggested. Five p i t s each measuring 1 . 5 0 x 1.50 metres, and one
1 x 1 metre, were excavated.
East of t h e present day road which c u t s t h e midden i n h a l f (and
i n whose viaduct over t h e lagoon t h e god of t h e lagoon now r e s i d e s ) ,

T e s t P i t A revealed a n a t u r a l l y accumulated sequence of value i n checki n g t h e a r t i f i c i a l sequences observed elsewhere. The s h e l l accumulat i o n i t s e l f was dug i n 5 cm, l e v e l s f o r t h e purpose of a n a l y s i s s i n c e
no i n t e r n a l s t r a t i g r a p h y w a s apparent. Test P i t B contained t h e followi n g sequence. The t o p s o i l contained occasional s h e l l s , q u a r t z f l a k e s
and one piece of p o t t e r y . Layer 2 consisted of l e v e l s 2-7 ( ~ e v e l2
r e p r e s e n t s t h e beginning of t h e s h e l l c o n c e n t r a t i o n ) . The s h e l l was
very densely packed i n t h e upper l e v e l s . Both t h e s i z e and d e n s i t y of
t h e s h e l l s decreased with depth. The upper l e v e l s of t h e midden cont a i n e d numerous f l a k e s , a n d some p o t t e r y ; t h e lower l e v e l s contained
fewer f l a k e s but s i m i l a r numbers of sherds (each 5 cm. l e v e l contained
from 3-6 s h e r d s ) . Level 7 represented t h e bottom of t h e s h e l l l a y e r
( t h u s g i v i n g t h e midden an o v e r a l l t h i c k n e s s of some 30 cm. ) , and l e v e l s
5 , 6, and 7 contained i n c r e a s i n g numbers of small pebbles, s t o n e s and
g r a v e l . Underneath t h e s h e l l midden w a s a c l a y d e p o s i t which seems t o
r e p r e s e n t t h e s t e r i l e s u b s o i l ; a few s h e l l s , probably n a t u r a l l y deposit e d , were found i n t h i s l a y e r , as w e l l as one sherd. The p i t was
continued on down t o bedrock i n one corner, but no c u l t u r a l m a t e r i a l was
found below l e v e l 8. The c l a y l a y e r continued t o g e t s t i c k e r and muckier
u n t i l it became decomposed bedrock and then bedrock with no apparent
break.
So t h e s i t e , although Late Stone Age, d i d contain p o t t e r y ,
However, p o t t e r y i n Ghana, according t o A . Smith's re-excavation of
Bosumpra Cave (1975) appeared around 3000 B C (3420
100 B C )
So,
awaiting radiocarbon d a t e s on t h e s h e l l materia1,we can only say t h e
s i t e may d a t e sometime between t h e 3 r d millennium B.C. and t h e 1st
millennium A .I).

..

...

West of t h e road it appeared from s u r f a c e i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t t h e


midden continued, but excavations revealed t h a t it seemed t o l e n s o u t
after about 7 metres. The sequence from P i t D , about 25 metres west of
t h e road, revealed s c a t t e r e d s h e l l throughout but no compacted s h e l l
midden. The c u l t u r a l m a t e r i a l from t h i s a r e a w a s a l s o very water-worn,
i n d i c a t i n g p o s s i b l e waterborne re-deposition of t h e m a t e r i a l r a t h e r than
i n s i t u d e p o s i t i o n . However, t h e frequency of t h e sherds recovered
increased i n P i t s C and D down t o t h e lowest sandy l a y e r . Underneath
t h e sandy l a y e r s s t e r i l e c l a y grading i n t o waterlogged c l a y was encountered.
Some of t h e p o t t e r y from both s i d e s of t h e road w a s tempered with
t h e l o c a l l y found Tema g a r n e t , which i s no longer used i n t h e a r e a .
Indeed, p o t t e r y i t s e l f i s not made any c l o s e r than t h e Shai T r a d i t i o n a l
Area, about 15 miles away i n a d i f f e r e n t though c l o s e l y r e l a t e d l i n g u i s t i c and e t h n i c a r e a . The p o t t e r y found does not resemble modern Shai
ware i n body shape, d e c o r a t i o n , o r p a s t e , though i n h a b i t a n t s of Kpone
s a i d t h a t t h e p o t t e r y they u s e had been imported from t h e r e as far back
as o r a l t r a d i t i o n s went. The l o c a l i n h a b i t a n t s a l s o had no memory of
t h e s i t e , and maintained t h a t no-one would have l i v e d t h e r e because of
t h e lagoon god.

Analysis of t h e c u l t u r a l material, s h e l l s , s o i l s , e t c . i s i n
hand.
Ethnographic information about present day l o c a l u t i l i s a t i o n of
s h e l l s was c o l l e c t e d during t h e E a s t e r vacation by t h e s t u d e n t s and t h e
r e s u l t s of t h i s w i l l be c o r r e l a t e d with r e s u l t s from t h e midden t o
y i e l d some i d e a of s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s between present and p a s t
e x p l o i t a t i o n of lagoonal faunal resources,
On t h e dune between t h e e a s t e r n p a s t of t h e lagoon and t h e s e a ,
before t h e town of Kpone i s reached, t h e r e i s an extensive ceramic s i t e
eroding out of t h e sand c l i f f above t h e rocky beach. Surface collect i o n s were made and one t e s t p i t was excavated, This s i t e contained
numerous f a i r l y l a r g e potsherds, some of which a r e q u i t e e l a b o r a t e l y
decorated. The decorative techniques, p a s t e and body shape again have
no connection with any modern o r pre-modern Shai ware. Some of t h e
sherds have garnet tempering.
Other c u l t u r a l material from t h i s s i t e included worked bone awls,
a flaked bone scraper, some grinding stones and a probable bead p o l i s h e r ,
a few l o c a l l y made stone and s h e l l beads, one p o t t e r y d i s c , one oblong
sherd with indentations along one s h o r t s i d e (possibly a comb f o r decor a t i n g p o t t e r y ombr brow ski and Priddy, n.d. ) ) ; no smoking pipes o r o t h e r
European imports were found. Metal o b j e c t s were non-existent although
one piece of s l a g w a s found eroding out of t h e c l i f f . This s i t e cont a i n e d numerous small faunal remains consisting mainly of s h e l l s , f i s h bones, and a few small mammal and b i r d bones. One d i s i n t e g r a t i n g j a w
was t e n t a t i v e l y i d e n t i f i e d as a small antelope. One piece of carbonised
palm nut w a s eroding out of t h e c l i f f but no o t h e r carbonised m a t e r i a l
was encountered. One imported cowrie was a surface f i n d on t h e c l i f f
T. Gasrard suggested t h a t s i n c e t h e back of t h e cowrie i s unbroken
top.
it was never strung and i s probably of European r a t h e r than northern
o r i g i n . A complete i n v e r t e d c l a y pot was found eroding out of t h e c l i f f ;
t h i s contained a fragment of presumed mammalian r i b bone, possibly an
offering

The t e s t p i t , although y i e l d i n g over 400 sherds, concentrated


between 50 and 75 crns. deep, had no s t r a t i g r a p h y but consisted of a
uniform brown sand which w a s replaced a t 90 - 100 crns. by a clean s t e r i l e
yellow sand, suggesting a s i n g l e continous occupation. The p i t i t s e l f
contained no faunal remains a p a r t from a few cockle s h e l l s .
The s i t e can s c a r c e l y be l a t e r than 1600 A . D . and perhags d a t e s
from about t h e time of t h e first European contact with t h i s p a r t of t h e
c o a s t , although it may be e a r l i e r , s i n c e t h e s i n g l e l i n e of evidence
( t h e unbroken imported cowrie) i n d i c a t i n g European contact was a s u r f a c e
find,

1, The work and a n a l y s i s have been generously financed by t h e


Valco T r u s t Fund. The excavation w a s c a r r i e d out with a
permit issued under Section 8 of t h e Ghana Museums and
Monuments Governing Decree (NLCD 387 of 1969).

2.

B. Priddy and T. Garrard, graduate s t u d e n t s of t h e


Department of Archaeology, p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e excavation
and t h e w r i t i n g af t h e preliminary r e p o r t . Undergraduate
help was a l s o used. The t e c h n i c a l s t a f f of t h e Department
of Archaeology, Legon, p a r t i c u l a r l y Messrs. Quansah and
Murrey, helped g r e a t l y i n t h e surveying and excavation.

Dombrowaki, J . and Priddy, B . n.d. "Pottery decorating Tools of t h e


Kintampo Industry" submitted t o
W.A.J.A.
Smith, A.

1975

"Radiocarbon Dates from Bosumpra Cave, A b e t i f i ,


Ghana" Proc. Preh. Society, v.41 pp. 179-182.

--

Joanne Dombrowski
Department of Archaeology
Legon.
Ghana.

The following r e p o r t i s from Dr.M.R.


Leeds :

Talbot of t h e University of

Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana

I have r e c e n t l y received from D r . G . D e l i b r i a s , of t h e Gif-surYvette l a b , a f u r t h e r e i g h t C14 age determinations on m a t e r i a l c o l l e c t e d


from l a c u s t r i n e sediments exposed around t h e shores of Lake Bosumtwi
With t h e s e d a t e s , p l u s a few h i s t o r i c a l r e p o r t s
( s e e Nyame Akuma no. 8)
and d a t a from t h e l a k e gauge a t Apewu, it has been p o s s i b l e t o t r a c e t h e
f l u c t u a t i o n s i n l e v e l of Bosumtwi from t h e beginning of t h e Holocene t o
t h e present day, there3y providing t h e first r e l i a b l y dated Quaternary
palaeoclimatic information from t h e f o r e s t zone of West Africa. B r i e f l y ,
t h e l a k e has shown t h e following v a r i a t i o n s .

Very high l e v e l s prevailed during t h e e a r l y Holocene, t h e l a k e


surface standing at l e a s t 40 m above i t s present l e v e l . Although t h e
l a k e was very high, t h e f l o r a represented by t h e superb l e a f impressions
preserved i n t h e l a c u s t r i n e silts suggests t h a t at t h a t time t h e l a k e
was surrounded by f o r e s t of e s s e n t i a l l y s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r t o t h a t growi n g i n and around t h e c r a t e r today
Obviously precipitation/evapotrans p i r a t i o n r a t i o s during t h e e a r l y Holocene cannot have d i f f e r e d r a d i c a l l y from modern values.

One f e a t u r e of d i r e c t archaeological i n t e r e s t t o emerge from t h e


l e a f study i s t h e abundant preservation of Canarium schweinfurthii l e a v e s .
This t r e e , although widely d i s t r i b u t e d i n modern f o r e s t s , i s nowhere
common - i t cannot regenerate under f o r e s t shade and seems unable t o
compete e f f e c t i v e l y with t h e more vigourous secondary f o r e s t s p e c i e s .

Since t h e r e seems no reason t o suspect p r e f e r e n t i a l preservation of


Canaxium l e a v e s , t h e i r abundance i n t h e e a r l y Holocene sediments presumably r e f l e c t s t h e presence of r e l a t i v e l y l a r g e numbers of t h e t r e e
around t h e l a k e shore. Discovery of Canarium pyrenes i n a number of
LSA rock s h e l t e r s i t e s i n West Africa i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h i s f r u i t may
formerly have been an important food source. Thus t h e r e e x i s t s t h e
i n t r i g u i n g p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t growth and wide d i s t r i b u t i o n of Canarium
may have been encouraged by e a r l y Holocene i n h a b i t a n t s of t h e Lake
Bosumtwi basin. ( ~ o h nH a l l , Mike Swaine and myself have r e c e n t l y submitted a d e t a i l e d account of t h e l e a f f l o r a f o r p u b l i c a t i o n ) .
The high l a k e l e v e l s of t h e e a r l y Holocene were terminated by a
regression, Exactly when t h i s began i s not y e t known, but t h e l a k e
f e l l t o a t l e a s t as low as i t s r e s e n t l e v e l . Around 4000 B.P., however, a p o s i t i v e p r e c i p i t a t i o n evaporation balance w a s re-established
and t h e l a k e began t o r i s e , reaching a maximum of 25 m above present
l e v e l by about 2000 B.P.
Conditions then appear t o have remained
f a i r l y s t a b l e u n t i l j u s t a f t e r 700 B.P., when a n abrupt and profound
regression commenced. This l a t e Mediaeval regression, from which t h e
l a k e i s evidently s t i l l recovering, i s perhaps t h e most s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e
t o emerge from t h i s study, t h e lake f a l l i n g from its previous high l e v e l
t o at l e a s t 25 m below t h e present surface. Oral t r a d i t i o n s and h i s t o r i c a l r e p o r t s suggest, however, t h a t the regression was of r a t h e r
b r i e f duration. Certainly by t h e e a r l y 19th century (and probably
before t h i s ) t h e water seems once again t o have been r i s i n g . Regression
probably r e s u l t e d from t h e combined e f f e c t s of a s l i g h t decrease i n prec i p i t a t i o n and a r i s e i n temperature, r a t h e r than simply a dramatic
decline i n r a i n f a l l . Such a change of climate would nevertheless have
had an adverse e f f e c t on a g r i c u l t u r e and some domestic water supplies.
I should be most i n t e r e s t e d t o h e a r from anybody who may have h i s t o r i c a l
o r archaeological evidence f o r a marked change of climate i n t h e humid
t r o p i c s ( f o r e s t and southern savanna) during l a t e Mediaeval times.

Mike Talbot,
Department of Earth Sciences,
University of Leeds ,
Leeds, LS2 9JT.
England

D r . Livingstone of Duke University r e p o r t s :


There i s l i t t l e t o r e p o r t at t h e moment. John Melack and I
spent last summer coring Lake Bosumtwi i n cooperation with t h e Univers i t y of Ghana, Legon, and t h e Geological Survey of Ghana. We r a i s e d a
s u i t e of s i x Kullenberg cores along a t r a n s e c t from Abonu t o t h e c e n t e r
of t h e l a k e . The longest had a length of eighteen meters, and t h e
material looks very promising - a b e a u t i f u l s o f t , dark, moist and highly
organic diatomite. Cores from shallower s t a t i o n s i n d i c a t e d a consider-

a b l e f a l l i n lake l e v e l , but t h e c e n t r a l p a r t of t h e basin seems t o have


held water continuously during t h e period represented by our cores.
I ' l l be on leave during t h e coming year, and plan t o r e s i s t t h e
l u r e of f i e l d work and s t a y i n t h e laboratory, t o analyze t h e pollen of
our t r o p i c a l African surface samples and our 55,000-year old core from
Lake Manyara i n Tanzania, A t t h e beginning of t h e new year D r . Jean
Maley from Montpellier w i l l be joining me t o c a r r y out t h e pollen analysis of t h e Bosumtwi cores.

Excavation and survey i n and near ~ j g n n 6 ,M a l i .


I n January of 1977, Roderick and Susan McIntosh ( u n i v e r s i t y of
Cambridge and University of C a l i f o r n i a a t Santa Barbara, r e s p e c t i v e l y )
w i l l commence a p r o j e c t of research i n t h e Inland Niger Delta. I n as
much as i s possible, t h e objective i s t o provide an i n i t i a l , i n t e n s i v e
and unbiased i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e town of D j&n6 and of a d i v e r s i f i e d
cross-section of h e r r u r a l h i n t e r l a n d . This region has long been
recognized by h i s t o r i a n s as p i v o t a l t o t h e economic and p o l i t i c a l development of t h e Western Sudan (an assessment underscored by archaeologic a l researches a t Begho i n ~ h a n a ,) but as y e t remains t e r r a incognita.
The basic aims a r e first t o e s t a b l i s h a chronological sequence
anchored i n absolute time by radiocarbon determinations and, secondly,
t h e construction of a typology of v i s i b l e s i t e s , based primarily on
settlement p a t t e r n a n a l y s i s . The region under i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s t h a t
roughly delineated by Kouakourou (NE) , ~ j 6 n n 6(SE) , S i (SW), and
DiafaraG (NW). S i x months i n t h e f i e l d w i l l be devoted t o t h e following a c t i v i t i e s :

1. A regional surface survey of all a r e a s not s u b j e c t t o seasonal


flooding and a l l u v i a t i o n . These survey a r e a s w i l l be divided
i n t o f o u r sampling s t r a b on t h e b a s i s of s o i l type and microtopography, and a 1% random s a m p l ~taken of each strata,
Surface c o l l e c t i o n s w i l l be taken, again on an e x p l i c i t sampling basis.
2, Analysis and s e r i a t i o n of surface c o l l e c t i o n s ( f o r t h e purpose
of i n f e r r i n g chronology) i n order t o provide feedback f o r t h e
next phase,

3 , I n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e nature of subsurface d e p o s i t s , with


emphasis on s t r a t i g r a p h y . This phase includes inspection of
s t r a t i f i e d s e c t i o n s exposed by water erosion, and t h e l i m i t e d

excavation of s e v e r a l sites s e l e c t e d from t h o s e mapped during


survey.
I n t e g r a t i o n and a n a l y s i s of t h e d a t a produced i n order t o
construct: a) a gross r e g i o n a l chronological sequence; and
b) a preliminary typology of archaeological s i t e s within t h e
region i n terms of l o c a t i o n a l , technological and o t h e r v a r i a bles.
Archaeological research i n t h e Inland Niger Delta has been s o r e l y
neglected t o d a t e , with t h e obvious exception of work i n t h e Mopti/
While
Dj6nn6 region by D r . R,M,A, Bedaux ( c f . , Nyame Akuma 6 , p. 4).
Djgnn6 plays a q u i t e a c t i v e r o l e i n t h e a r a b accounts of commercial and
p o l i t i c a l events of t h e 'medieval' period, we a r e confronted by f u l l y
two dark millennia p r i o r t o t h e c i t y ' s emergence. The presumed midt h i r t e e n t h century foundation of D jgnng w i l l be i n v e s t i g a t e d , as w i l l
t h e nature of i t s r e l a t i o n s with its a g r i c u l t u r a l h i n t e r l a n d . S e t t l e ment p a t t e r n a n a l y s i s w i l l hopefully shed l i g h t upon t h e development of
f u l l y urban centres along t h e Niger, a phenomenon not f u l l y explained
by current t r a d e hypotheses.
Roderick J . McIntosh
Susan K . McIntosh

MOZAMBIQUE
D r . Morais of Eduardo Mondlane University has s e n t t h e following
letter:
Manykeni, Not Manekweni
Dear S i r ,
Names of archaeological s i t e s must be w r i t t e n according t o t h e
r i g h t s p e l l i n g of t h e words i n t h e l o c a l language.
Therefore it i s wrong t o use t h e name of menekweni f o r a r e c e n t l y
excavated Zimbabwe s i t e i n Moqambique known i n Chitsua ( t h e l o c a l language) as Manykeni.
Manykeni i n Chitsua means a supernatural phenomenon which produces
f e e l i n g s impossible t o understand, as noises which disappear as soon as
people come nearby, o r engravings on Limestone impossible t o l o c a l i z e
again when one t r i e s t o look f o r them sometime a f t e r .
This Zimbabwe s i t e is being studied by our Pre-Colonial History
Section, Center f o r African S t u d i e s , Eduardo Mondlane University, i n
a s s o c i a t i o n with M r . P,eter Garlake.
A s the name Manekweni i n s i s t s t o appear i n some r e c e n t p u b l i c a t i o n s
-Nyame Akuma, 1976, 9 , 5; Antiquity, 1976, 50 (198) , 146 - 148 - t h i s must
a s soon as possible be corrected t o avoid f u r t u r e misunderstandings,
Many thanks, Yours Sincerely,

J O " ~

Morais

NIGERIA

M r . Jemkur, a c t i n g Head of t h e Archaeology Division of t h e


Federal Department of Antiquities has s e n t t h i s report:
With t h e establishment of t h e Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Decree
1976, it became necessary t o make provision f o r some archaeological
surveys of t h e T e r r i t o r y t o be c a r r i e d o u t . By t h i s decree some 8,000
sq. kms. of c e n t r a l Nigeria a r e t o be transformed i n t o a modern c a p i t a l
city.

It i s already known t h a t t h i s T e r r i t o r y falls within t h e a r e a


where Nok Culture material i s commonly found. There a r e i n a d d i t i o n
stone age s i t e s of importance i n t h e a r e a . A d e t a i l e d survey, covering
each square km. of t h e a r e a , has however not been c a r r i e d o u t , and would
be advisable under t h e new circumstances.
I n view of t h i s , t h e Federal
a meeting i n March t h i s year of t h e
ments of Archaeology, I n s t i t u t e s of
r e l a t e d d i s c i p l i n e s t o work out t h e
the Territory.

Department of A n t i q u i t i e s convened
Nigerian U n i v e r s i t i e s , t h e i r DepartAfrican Studies and i n d i v i d u a l s of
framework f o r rescue operations i n

A s t h e r e s u l t of t h e meeting, t h e Federal Department of Antiquit i e s i s t o make fundsavailable f o r any researcher who wishes t o make
i n i t i a l surveys i n t h e T e r r i t o r y . There a r e t o be f o u r u n i t s of d i s c i p l i n e s working i n t h e T e r r i t o r y , namely; Archaeology and History, Ling u i s t i c s , Ethnography, Architecture and A r t History and l a s t l y t h e Performing Arts.

The Archaeological a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e T e r r i t o r y a r e t o be i n t h r e e
phases. Phase I w i l l involve extensive survey of t h e a r e a and t h e locat i o n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a l l archaeological s i t e s v i s i b l e without
excavation. Phase I1 w i l l involve t h e a c t u a l excavation of s e l e c t e d
s i t e s . Phase I11 w i l l c o n s i s t of salvage operations during t h e a c t u a l
constructions i n t h e T e r r i t o r y .
There would be a permanent archaeolog i c a l t a s k f o r c e i n t h e T e r r i t o r y t o salvage information t h a t would be
unearthed by t h e bull-dozers. Phase I i s t o be s t a r t e d t h i s May by t h e
archaeologists of t h e Federal Department of A n t i q u i t i e s . They w i l l be
joined l a t e r by Archaeologists from other I n s t i t u t i o n s .
I n t e r e s t e d volunteers of any of t h e above d i s c i p l i n e s wishing t o
p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e T e r r i t o r y should please contact t h e
above Division f o r f u r t h e r information.
Elovements of people:
The p r i n c i p a l Archaeologist and Head of t h i s Division Mr.R.N. York
.resigned h i s appointment i n A p r i l , 1976. He i s now l i v i n g i n t h e United
Kingdom.

Mrs. A. Rackham (n6e Angela ~ a g g )a l s o resigned h e r appointment


as an archaeologist with t h i s Division i n September 1976.
I n September, 1976 two Nigerian a.rchaeologists who graduated
from Europe joined t h e s e r v i c e s of t h i s Department. They a r e p r e s e n t l y
based i n t h e J o s Museum. They a r e ;

M r . M .O Fabunmi and
M r . B.E. Bassey-Duke

RHODESIA

M r . C.K. Cooke, now of t h e U m t a l i Museum r e p o r t s :


I have r e c e n t l y completed t h e research on t h e Late Stone Age

s i t e known as Diana's Vow.

The paper on t h e Redcliff Limeworks i s i n

t h e printers' hands and t h e Stone Age survey of Botswana has been submitted t o t h e r e f e r e e s .

No f u r t h e r fieldwork i s envisaged at t h e moment

as I s h a l l be away on long leave.

SOUTH AF'RICA
The following has been received from M r . G . Avery:

I include t h e following information concerning t h e a c t i v i t i e s of


t h e Department of Archaeology at t h e South African Museum, Cape Town.
F.R. Schweitzer i s c u r r e n t l y engaged i n s o r t i n g and analysing t h e
LSA sample excavated at Byneskranskop, southern Cape i n ~ovember/~ecember
1976. The sample included sheep and potsherds from l a y e r s not preserved
i n previously excavated a r e a s . It w a s t h e r e f o r e decided not t o publish
a prelimfnary r e p o r t but t o combine t h e r e s u l t s of t h e 1974 and 1976
f i e l d seasons.

Microfaunal remains w i l l be analysed by D .M .Avery (SAM), Bird


remains by G . Avery (SAM), Mammal and T o r t o i s e remains by Professor R .G
Klein, University of Chicago, Fish remains by C.Poggenpoe1, University
of Cape Town, P l a n t remains by Dr.H.J. Deacon, University of Stellenbosch.

Now t h a t we have observations from c o a s t a l ( ~ i e elders) and near


c o a s t a l caves (BNK)it i s hoped t o f i n d an i n l a n d s i t e of comparable age
during t h e coming winter months.
Graham Avery has been concentrating on Archaeological Data Recordi n g Centre r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s which have involved s i t e reconnaissances t o
determine t h e archaeological p o t e n t i a l of two a r e a s s h o r t l y t o become
a c c e s s i b l e t o members of t h e public. A s a r e s u l t a number of new s i t e s
has been l o c a t e d and added t o t h e Centre records. I n t h e very near
f u t u r e he w i l l be devoting more time t o h i s p r o j e c t on t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n
of b i r d remains from archaeological s i t e s . The f i r s t r e s u l t s of t h i s
p r o j e c t a r e i n p r e s s i n t h e form of a r e p o r t on t h e marine b i r d remains
from t h e P a t e r n o s t e r Midden l o c a t e d on t h e west coast and excavated by
P. Robertshaw based at t h e University of Cape Town. Information on
s e a s o n a l i t y i s described.

A s reported i n Nyame Akuma 9 h i s M.A. t h e s i s e n t i t l e d 'A Systemat i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n of open s t a t i o n s h e l l midden s i t e s along t h e southwestern Cape coast'was completed and accepted by t h e University of Cape
Town. The manuscript has been submitted f o r publication i n t h e Annals
of t h e South African Museum.
Margaret Avery has f i n i s h e d most of t h e b a s i c s o r t i n g , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and counting of micromammalian m a t e r i a l from southern Cape s i t e s .
A q u a n t i t y of comparative modern owl p e l l e t s and bulk samples (decomposed
p e l l e t s ) has received s i m i 1 a . r treatment. This preliminary work has produced, en passant, some i n t e r e s t i n g information on t h e p a s t and p r e s e n t
d i s t r i b u t i o n of various s p e c i e s and a paper on t h i s has been submitted t o
. t h e Annals of t h e South African Museum. Work i s now under way t o analyze
d i f f e r e n c e s between population samples which can be i n t e r p r e t e d i n t e r n s
of changes i n p a s t environments.

Mr. M.L. Wilson of the South African Museum reports:


Having completed a B.A. Honours course in Archaeology under
Dr. Hilary Deacon at the University of Stellenbosch, I am now back at
the South African Museum in Cape Town, where I am assisting Frank
Schueitzer in the analysis of the material from the 1976 excavation at
Byeneskranskop (see Frank Schweitzer's note in NYAME AKUMA No .9,and
also for the next edition), in which I took part.
My own research is into the early history of the Khoisan and to
the more recent prehistory of the Cape, with special reference to the
introduction of herding and pottery, as well as to the identity of the
herders. No publications to date, although I have completed, as undergraduate and postgraduate projects, analyses of pottery from five excavated sites in the southern and southwestern Cape, to which will be
added the pottery from Byeneskranskop.

I would also mention the formation, in 1976, of an informal


postgraduate study group in Cape Town, initiated by Pete Robertshaw of
Cambridge University, at present at the University of Cape Town, The
group meets monthly to discuss a topic presented by one of the members,
who are all postgraduate students or junior staff members of the Archaeology Departments of the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch
and the S.A. Museum. The 1977 group is about 17 strong, and benefits
from the presence of overseas visitors such as Pete Robertshaw (cambridge)
and Tom Volman (chicago)

H .J. Deacon
Department of Archaeology, University of Stellenbosch
South Africa.
Excavations at Boomplaas Cave in the southern Cape are continuing
and the upper 2 m of a 5 sequence have been removed over 110 m2 in the
upper metre and over 20 m5 in the lover horizons so far. In previous
years of excavation (from 1974), culture stratigraphic units relating to
an ancestral Hottentot herder occupation at the top, dated to 1700 years
B P, to a series of Milton occupations dated to between 2000 and 64.00
B P below this, and occurrences referred to the Albany Industry of
terminal Pleistocene age in the BRL Ethological unit have been excavated.
The analysis of the material from the herder occupation is nearing completion and will be published in the South African Archaeological Bulletin. Reports on further stages of the work will be submitted to the
same Journal.
In the June 1976 and ~anuar~/~ebruary
1977 field seasons the
underlying CL Ethological unit with a basal date of 14,200 B.P was
excavated. It is comprised of a series of humified and carbonized
organic-rich layers with intercalated ash lenses developed to a thick-

ness of some 0.3 m. A s such it r e p r e s e n t s a more i n t e n s e phase of


occupation r e l a t i v e t o t h e overlying BRL u n i t . D i s c r e t e occupation
s u r f a c e s have been mapped and sampled and it i s considered t h a t t h e
temporal d i f f e r e n c e between t h e t o p and bottom of t h e u n i t w i l l not be
r e s o l v a b l e by radiocarbon d a t i n g . The d i s c r e t e occupation s u r f a c e s do
not appear t o be simple ones i n t h a t towards t h e mouth of t h e cave
where t h e r e i s a build-up of ash l e n s e s , t h e content of a r t e f a c t s and
fauna i s low but it i n c r e a s e s towards t h e r e a r where t h e r e has been some
minor wash-out e f f e c t causing g r e a t e r l a g concentrations of m a t e r i a l s
under roof d r i p s f e d by minor f i s s u r e s . The l a t t e r has l e d t o a very
impressive s c a t t e r s of f a u n a l remains i n t h e base of CL a t t h e rear of
t h e cave.
The stone a r t e f a c t sample from CL has been placed i n t h e Robberg
I n d u s t r y and i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h e occurrence of micro-bladelets with
a s i z e range between 10 and 20 mm, few of which show any retouch.
A
range of l a r g e r a r t e f a c t s u s u a l l y i n c o a r s e r grained raw m a t e r i a l s a r e ,
however, an important component and t h e r e i s f a i r l y high v a r i a b i l i t y
between s t r a t i g r a p h i c a l l y separated samples and indeed within d i f f e r e n t
a r e a s on t h e same s u r f a c e . T o r t o i s e s h e l l bowls and decorated o s t r i c h
eggshell c o n t a i n e r s a r e a s s o c i a t e d with t h e a r t e f a c t s .
P l a n t m a t e r i a l s a r e preserved i n CL and although t h e o r i g i n a l
p l a n t organic content of t h e u n i t w a s high, much of t h e m a t e r i a l i s
very f r a g i l e and incomplete. T h i s may prove a l i m i t a t i o n on t h e i n f o r mation y i e l d , l e s s from t h e aspect of t h e palaeoenvironmental conditions
than from t h e aspect of t h e range of p l a n t s of economic importance.
For example, t h e kinds of macroscopic p l a n t s t h a t a r e preserved a r e
b r a s s bases and seed cases but not t h e remains of e d i b l e p l a n t s found i n
t h e more r e c e n t l e v e l s . Bulk and f l o t a t i o n samples have been c o l l e c t e d
f o r a n a l y s i s . The fauna i n CL i s very c l e a r l y dominated by wildebeest
and zebra i n d i r e c t c o n t r a s t t o t h e overlying Upper BRL and Holocene
l e v e l s . The grazing fauna r e f l e c t s palaeoenvironmental conditions
dominated by open grassveld i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e bushier fynbos i n t h e
v i c i n i t y at p r e s e n t . The a n a l y s i s of t h e fauna i s being done by R . G.
Klein

It i s planned t o spend a longer f i e l d season a t t h e s i t e t h i s


year i n t h e hopes of reaching bedrock i n t h e not t o o d i s t a n t f u t u r e .

D r . 0. Davies of t h e Natal Museum sends t h i s :


D r . T, Maggs r e p o r t s : "After s e v e r a l years of concentration on
t h e l a t e r iron-age i n t h e Orange Free S t a t e and subsequently i n Natal,
t h e r e s u l t s of much of t h i s work appeared a t t h e end of 1976 as a book
e n t i t l e d I r o n Age Communities of t h e southern Highveld ( p u b l a Natal
~ u s e u m ) . My present r e s e a r c h - i n t e r e s t has turned t o t h e E a r l y I r o n Aae
i n Natal, on which a s e r i e s of excavations i s i n progress.
he f i r s t

of t h e s e s i t e s , Ntshekane, w a s published i n t h e Annals of t h e Natal


Museum; it produced evidence f o r domestic c a t t l e , sheep and probably
dogs i n a v i l l a g e of t h e n i n t h century A.D.; it appears t o r e p r e s e n t
a l a t e phase of t h e Early I r o n Age."

M r . M. H a l l joined t h e Natal Museum as ethnoarchaeologist i n

1975. He has been engaged i n research on h i s t o r i c a l and iron-age

s o c i e t i e s i n Zululand, and has excavated at F o r t Louis i n t h e i n t e r i o r


and at F i r s t Rocks on t h e coast.

D r . 0.Davies has been busy w r i t i n g up outstanding m a t e r i a l , and


has during t h e last year had l i t t l e time f o r field-work.
The upsurge of archaeology i n Natal i s demonstrated by t h e much
l a r g e r place t h a t it has taken i n t h e Annals of t h e Natal ~ u s e u m , v o l . 22
iii , pub1 i n November 1976:

Hall, Dendrochronology R a i n f a l l and Human Adaptation i n t h e


l a t e r I r o n Age of Natal and Zululand, pp. 693-703;
Maggs & Michael, Ntshekane , pp ,705-40 ;
Davies ,

The

' Sangoan '

i n d u s t r i e s , pp ,883-911,

The Proceedings of t h e 1975 conference of t h e South African


Society f o r Quaternary Research were published i n 1976 as vo1.71 of t h e
Annals of t h e South African Museum. Three papers a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned with Quaternary work i n Natal:
Davies, The o l d e r c o a s t a l dunes i n Natal and Zululand and
t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o former s h o r e l i n e s , pp.19-32
Orme,

Late Pleistocene channels and Flandrian sediments


beneath Natal e s t u a r i e s , pp.77-85;

Hobday, Quaternary sedimentation and development of t h e


lagoonal complex, Lake St.Lucia, pp.93-113
Advanced planning i s under way f o r t h e South African Association
of Archaeologists conference i n t h e N a t a l Museum on May 26-28, 1977.
This conference w i l l be followed by a conference of t h e South African
Society f o r Quaternary Research on May 30-31.

M r . Abbas Mohammed of t h e University of Khartoum and Cambridge


sends t h i s r e p o r t :
During t h e winter of 1975/76 t h e Department of Archaeology of
t h e University of Khartoum conducted archaeological surveys f o r preh i s t o r i c s i t e s i n two regions i n t h e Sudan. The first of t h e s e w a s i n
t h e a r e a between Wadi Sayidna and Sorourab, north of Omdurman on t h e
west bank of t h e Nile. The o t h e r w a s i n t h e Upper Wadi H a w a r Basin i n
Northern Darfur. The work was meant t o answer c e r t a i n questions with
reg& t o t h e Sudanese ' N e o l i t h i c ' , and t o shed l i g h t on t h e NiloSaharan 'Neolithic' connections. The m a t e r i a l was s t u d i e d a t t h e Department of Archaeology, Cambridge, under t h e supervision of D r . J . Alexander.
1 ) Wadi Sayidna-Sorourab concession:
I n t h i s region a number of 'Neolithic' s i t e s y i e l d i n g Early
Khartoum and Shaheinab m a t e r i a l were located. One of which, SRB-1, a
w e l l - s t r a t i f i e d s i t e located at Sorourab v i l l a g e on t h e eroded sandstone
formation of t h e west bank of t h e N i l e , w a s examined. It yielded evidence f o r i n c i s e d wavy l i n e and d o t t e d wavy l i n e p o t t e r y , t o g e t h e r with
quartz and r h y o l i t e l i t h i c a r t e f a c t s . Animal bones and fragments of
f i s h bones were i n evidence. A v a r i e t y of s h e l l fragment, and p l a n t
remains were recorded. The a n a l y s i s of t h e s e m a t e r i a l s undertaken by
various l a b o r a t o r i e s t o g e t h e r with t h e r e s u l t s of t h e radiocarbon
samples, pollen a n a l y s i s , and p l a n t impressions on sherds a r e showing
i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s and supplying f u r t h e r information on t h e chronology,
t h e i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s , and t h e economy of those communities,
2) Upper Wadi H a w a r concession:
F'urther west i n northern Darfur, t h i s first Archaeological survey
t o t a k e place anywhere west of t h e N i l e , i n t h e Sudan, t o t h e SudaneseChadian f r o n t i e r s h a s r e s u l t e d i n t h e discovery of a number of s i t e s
ranging from t h e 'Neolithic' t o t h e ' I r o n Age'. Three Neolithic s i t e s
UMB-3, UMB-4, and uMB-5) , l o c a t e d on t h r e e adjacent sand dunes
Kordofan QOZ)were s e l e c t e d f o r t e s t i n g . Quartz a r t e f a c t s , pot sherds ,
and grinding implements were i n evidence. Animal bone fragments were i n
a s s o c i a t i o n with t h e m a t e r i a l c u l t u r e . A cemetery of contracted b u r i a l s
a s s o c i a t e d with UMB-4 w a s found. The r e s u l t s of t h e C-14 d a t e s , a n a l y s i s
of animal bones and human remains are of i n t e r e s t .
A number of rock p a i n t i n g s t a t i o n s l o c a t e d on t h e w a l l s of a
complex of rock s h e l t e r s and caves was discovered. The p a i n t i n g s a r e
mainly of long horned humpless c a t t l e showing c l o s e r a f f i n i t i e s with t h e
c e n t r a l Sahara.
Two ' I r o n Age' ( ~ e r o i t i c ? )s i t e s , a l a r g e settlement and a
cemetery with over 300 mounds, were a l s o l o c a t e d .

I am most
Further d e t a i l s on t h i s work w i l l soon appear.
g r a t e f u l f o r t h e continuous help I am receiving from Dr.J.Alexander.
I am a l s o indebted t o a l l those who have kindly joined me i n t h e f i e l d
both at Sorourab and Nadi Hawax. My g r a t i t u d e f o r those who examined
and analysed t h e samples submitted t o t h e i r l a b o r a t o r i e s .

M r . Yusef a1 Amin of Cambridge University wrltes:

"

I intend t o send a r e p o r t t o Nyame A h a no.11 on f o u r middle


p a l a e o l i t h i c s i t e s from t h e Dongola reach i n t h e Sudan. I have undertaken an a t t r i b u t e a n a l y s i s of t h e s e s i t e s and i n conjunction with t h e
Nubian Mousterian and Khormusan during my s t a y at SMU i n t h e p a s t few
months. Three of t h e Dongola s i t e s have been reported b r i e f l y and t h e
excavators have authorised me t o publish a r e p o r t on t h e s e s i t e s " .

The following has been received from D r . Krzyianiak of t h e


Poznan Museum:
Polish hccavations a t Kadero
The s i x t h season of excavations at Kadero took place i n November
and December, 1976. Altogether, 168 square metres of t h e s i t e were
excavated t h i s season, which brings t h e t o t a l excavated a r e a , a f t e r s i x
seasons, t o 1,602 square metres.

.-

The exploration was concentrated i n t h e Neolithic settlement.


Two separate settlement d e p o s i t s , northern and southern, were f u r t h e r
excavated. The p i t s and trenches yielded archaeological m a t e r i a l of
t y p i c a l Central Sudanese Neolithic ("~hartoum~ e o l i t h i c " f) e a t u r e s .
The
r e s u l t s of t h e sampling seem t o point t o t h e existence of s p e c i a l a c t i v i t y a r e a s within t h i s Neolithic settlement. This is i n d i c a t e d by
changing frequencies of potsherds, s k e l e t a l remains of animals, grindstones and o t h e r stone implements occuring i n d i f f e r e n t portions of t h e
excavated settlement deposit.
Studies pursued by D r . Randi Haaland of t h e University of Bergen
i n Norway, member of t h e expedition, on t h e frequency of d i f f e r e n t stone
implements i n t h i s Neolithic settlement i n d i c a t e t h a t i n t h e northwestern p a r t of t h e settlement s e p a r a t e concentrations of grindstones and
convex scrapers occur. High frequency of f l a k e d stone s c r a p e r s i s probably r e l a t e d t o i n t e n s i v e working on hides from domestic animals such
as c a t t l e . ( I n view of Kadero problems D r . Haaland has r e c e n t l y made
comparative ethnographical f i e l d s t u d i e s i n Ethiopia on ways of working
with stone scrapers on hides). A s regards t h e whole Neolithic settlement,

s c r a p e r s , borers and groovers a r e most frequent i n t h e f l a k e d t o o l s , and


r h y o l i t e gouges a r e most numerous i n ground t o o l s .
More s k e l e t a l remains of domestic animals were found l a s t season
i n t h e Neolithic s e t t l e m e n t a t ~ a d e r o ( c f .Nyame Akuma, No.9 (1976) , p . 4 1 ) .
Two eroded N e o l i t h i c inhumations were discovered i n t h e t r e n c h
excavated i n t h e northern s e t t l e m e n t d e p o s i t . The s k e l e t o n s were h e a v i l y
contracted and one of t h e s e graves w a s furnished with a ground r h y o l i t e
gouge. One grave of probably C h r i s t i a n d a t e was a l s o discovered i n t h i s
p a r t of t h e s i t e . I t was 1 . 9 metre deep and contained a n extended
skeleton without any grave goods.
Two radiocarbon d a t e s have r e c e n t l y been obtained f o r t h e Neolit h i c Kadero at Trondheim, Norway. no he c o s t of t h e processing was
covered by t h e Norwegian Research Council supporting t h e s t u d i e s of
D r . ~ a a l a n d ) . The samples c o n s i s t e d of r i v e r s h e l l s (bivalves) found i n
t h e Neolithic settlement d e p o s i t . The following d a t e s were obtained:
5260 b.p. t 90 (T-2188) and 5030 b.p. 2 70 (T-2189). A f t e r c o r r e c t i o n ,
t h e s e d a t e s a r e about 4100 B.C. and 3800 B.C., r e s p e c t i v e l y .

It seems a l s o worthwhile t o inform t h e r e a d e r s of Nyame Akuma


t h a t t h e author of t h i s r e p o r t obtained some p a r t s of t h e skeleton of
present day c a t t l e of t h e Nuer people from t h e southern Sudan. T h i s i s
a d i a g n o s t i c sample of a longhorn ox, t y p i c a l of t h e N i l o t i c breed i n
t h i s p a r t of t h e Sudan. The ox o r i g i n a t e d from t h e a r e a of Bentiu but
was obtained at t h e market i n Malakal. The sample i s lodged and i s
being s t u d i e d at t h e I n s t i t u t e of Anatomy of Animals, Academy of A g r i c u l t u r e i n ~ o z n d ,Poland. Preliminary examination of t h e s e bones show
s i m i l a r i t i e s of t h e bones of domestic c a t t l e excavated from t h e N e o l i t h i c
s e t t l e m e n t at Kadero.

Professor J . Leclant of t h e Sorbonne sends t h i s note:


Soleb

Sedeinga

Apr& v i n g t annges o; ce s o n t rQguli&ement poursuivies l e s


longues campagnes de f o u i l l e s e t de recherches, Mme M.S, Giorgini a
dQcidQde mettre f i n aux travaux s u r l e t e r r a i n 2 Soleb e t de s e
consacrer enti&ement % l a p u b l i c a t i o n du grand temple j u b i l a i r e
d'Am6nophis 111, de s e s v e s t i g e s a r c h i t e c t u r a u x , de s e s r e l i e f s . Aux
deux volumes6d6j2 p a r u s , viendront s 'a j o u t e r q u a t r e a u t r e s volumes.
Dans c e t t e t a c h e de p u b l i c a t i o n , Mme M.S. Giorgini continuera % r e c e v o i r
l e concours de MM. ~ l g m e n tRobichon e t Jean Leclant

Sur l e s i t e v o i s i n de Sedeinga, l e s travaux s e r o n t r e p r i s p a r

M. Jean L e c l a n t , en p a r t ~ c u l i e rdans l a v a s t e n6cropole mQro'itique d Q j 5


mise en gvidence, % l a t e t e d'une mission patronnee p a r l a Commission
d e s Recherches Arch6ologiques 5 1' Q t r a n g e r du ~ i n i s t & ef r a n p a i s d e s
A f f a i r e s Etrang&es.

This note l i e s outside t h e normal scope of Nyame Akuma, but i s


included f o r i t s s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t t o t h e e d i t o r , and, it i s hoped o t h e r s .
New Lights On Medieval Nubia

A l i Osman, University of Khartoum.


I have been given permission by P r 0 f . J . Martin Plumley of t h e
Faculty of M e n t a l Studies, University of Cambridge, t o study a number
of Medieval Nubian documents which he discovered i n h i s excavations a t
Qasr Ibrim i n Lower Nubia. Most important among t h e s e a r e a number of
land c h a r t e r s and corn d i s t r i b u t i o n r e g i s t e r s discovered i n t h e season
of 1974, and two business l e t t e r s discovered i n 1966.
The land c h a r t e r documents i n v a r i a b l y begin with t h e following
C h r i s t i a n formula:-" i n t h e name of t h e Father and t h e Son and t h e Holy
Ghost t h i s have been written." This i s followed by t h e d a t e which i s
u s u a l l y w r i t t e n i n t h e following order:- t h e month, t h e day of t h e moon,
and t h e year according t o t h e Era of t h e M a r t y r s . I n some cases only
t h e month and t h e day a r e given. After t h e d a t e comes a l i s t of o f f i c e s
with t h e names of t h e o f f i c e r s who hold them, beginning with t h e King,
t h e keeper of t h e g r a n a r i e s , i f he i s mentioned, and t h e queen mother.
The s u b j e c t matter of t h e document follows t h e l i s t of o f f i c e s and
always begins with t h e first person s i n g u l a r pronoun, I , followed by a
name. The document then ends with a list of names of witnesses and t h a t
of t h e w r i t e r of t h e document himself a s s e r t i n g t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y of t h e
document.
I n a l l these documents t h e Kings a r e given simple t i t l e s such as
"King Basil t h e King of Dotawo," o r "King George t h e r u l i n g King of
Dotawo. " A r a t h e r elaborate r o y a l t i t l e appears i n document no .Q.I .74/14
which seems t o be a r o y a l decree. It begins:- I Moses George t h e r u l i n g
King of Dotawo, t h e nephew of King David who w a s t h e King, t h e one who
was born t o become a king, t h e s o n o j of t h e wise and t h e courageous."
This s t y l e of royal t i t l e , as well as t h e l a r g e number of o f f i c e r s servi n g t h e King, i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e Nubian Kings, although they might have
been absolute Kings, delegated o f f i c i a l s t o c a r r y out t h e day t o day
a s s e r t i o n of t h e i r a u t h o r i t y . The highest number of o f f i c e s recorded i n
a s i n g l e document beside t h a t of t h e King i s nineteen. This i s an i n d i c a t i o n of t h e complexity of t h e Christian Nubian administration. It i s
noticeable a l s o t h a t some o f f i c e s were divided i n t o higher and lower
dawo
ranks. I n such cases, t h e highest rank w a s q u a l i f i e d by t h e word which means "great. "
Many of t h e s e t i t l e s a r e comprehensible i n t h e l i g h t of t h e
modern Nubian language and t h e modern Nubian administration. Some of
them a r e known t o have e x i s t e d i n t h e royal organisation of t h e Kinglet
of Koaka who was r u l i n g a p a r t of t h e Mahas region when Mohammed A l i ' s
armies invaded t h e Sudan i n 1822, The following i s an a l p h a b e t i c a l list

of a l l t b t i t l e s which a r e recorded i n t h e documents with t h e meanings


of t h o s e which have p a r a l l e l s i n t h e modern Nubian language and/or t h e
modern Nubian a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , o r were known i n t h e r o y a l establishment
of t h e Kinglet of Koaka.

Gottamet

2-

Goush

3-

Irt
-

4-

Dauwkatti

5-

Mig-in
The word Q ,
which i s t h e r o o t of t h i s t i t l e
Migit-in
i s not preserved i n modern Nubian language.
Migit-in-goul However t o judge from t h e s e documents, it seems
t o have been a very important i n s t i t u t i o n . It
appears v e r y f r e q u e n t l y i n t h e Medieval Nubian
documents. It i s always w r i t t e n i n t h e p l u r a l
form. It h a s its own Sonoj, i t s own bishop,
i t s own Gottamet, and i t s own Nesh. So what was
t h i s important i n s t i t u t i o n ? Unfortunately we
do not know as y e t .

6-

7-

Ouro
Od2od
-

8-

Papasa

The o f f i c e r i n charge of t h e r i v e r t r a f f i c .
Irt o r Ird which means
Compare modern Nubian 'hippopotamus', but more f r e q u e n t l y used t o
d e s c r i b e t h e person i n charge of r i v e r t r a f f i c .
This i s most probably from dawo 'great'. It i s
known i n p r e s e n t day Nubia, though not as a n
a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s t . It means " t h e w i s e one.''
This i s t h e person who guards t h e r i g h t of t h e
family o r t h e c l a n . Therefore i f any i n j u s t i c e
falls on one o r more of a family o r a c l a n , t h e
dauwkatti i s t h e person who r e p r e s e n t s and
defends them i n f r o n t of t h e a u t h o r i t i e s .

King.

Compare modern Nubian ouro.

--

This t i t l e occurs i n s e v e r a l forms. It i s


w r i t t e n e i t h e r OdBod, Edfior, o r Erfiod. It i s
most probably from t h e v e r b a l r o o t IrP1 meaning
' t o w a i t . ' Perhaps t h e word meant ' c o u r t i e r '
during t h e Medieval p e r i o d . D i f f e r e n t k i n d s
of c o u r t i e r s a r e recorded i n t h e documents.
'The great c o u r t i e r ' , ' t h e c o u r t i e r of t h e
b r e a s t ' , ' t h e c o u r t i e r of t h e l o c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e King', ' t h e c o u r t i e r of t h e l a n d
t a x c o l l e c t o r ' , and j u s t ' t h e c o u r t i e r ' .
Bishop. The most important among t h e s e seem
t o have been ' t h e bishop of S i l i m ' , S i l i m
being a name of a p l a c e , most p o s s i b l y modern
S i l e i m i n t h e Dongola reach. So, w a s S i l i m t h e

o r i g i n a l name of t h e c a p i t a l of t h e northern
C h r i s t i a n Kingdom i . e . Old Dongola? One
i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t t h a t comes o u t from t h e s t u d y
of t h e s e documents i s t h a t Dotawo could n o t
have been s p l i n t e r s t a t e founded by t h e former
Eparchs of Lower Nubia, around Gebel Adda, as
a response t o t h e d e c l i n e of Makouria. It i s
now known t h a t Dotawo w a s i n e x i s t e n c e as e a r l y
as t h e 1 2 t h century, Some of t h e o f f i c i a l s
s e r v i n g under t h e Kings of Dotawo a r e connected
with regions o u t s i d e t h e geographical l i m i t s of
Lower Nubia. There i s a 'bishop of Kourti' who
i s mentioned as a witness i n one of t h e l a n d
c h a r t e r s . Was t h i s K o u r t i , t h e same as modern
K o r t i which i s i n t h e v i c i n i t y of modern Merowe?
It p o s s i b l y was. I n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r l a n d
c h a r t e r , t h e buyer of t h e land c a l l s himself:Also
'I t h e b r o t h e r of Marry of S i l i m . . . . . . . '
among t h e t i t l e s mentioned i n t h e r o y a l decree
Irt of Sikkot.'
mentioned above is:- ' t h e Sikkot is a d i s t r i c t name i n p r e s e n t day Nubia
and it a p p l i e s t o t h e region south of Batn-a1
Hagar and north of Mahas.
Foukongikoa
Samet

The o f f i c e r i n charge of t h e l a n d t a x c o l l e c tion.

Sonoj

The l o c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e King.

Sount ouye

The s c r i b e .

Shoun

The o f f i c e r i n charge of t h e g r a n a r i e s . The


holder of t h i s o f f i c e i s always e i t h e r t h e
King himself o r a b r o t h e r of t h e King.

Sort
-

Priest.

Sirn
-

Nash
-

Nesh
Nonnen

Queen Mother

No j e r
The above l i s t of t i t l e s have been compiled from l e g a l documents.
There a r e o t h e r t i t l e s which a r e not recorded i n t h e s e documents y e t
appear f r e q u e n t l y i n l e t t e r s , a l s o discovered at Qasr Ibrim. There a r e
two of them, Eparch and Gourti.
It i s curious t h a t t h e Eparch i s not
mentioned i n t h e l e g a l documents, s i n c e it i s believed t h a t it meant
'deputy King,' It i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e t i t l e Eparch, being Greek, had
a Nubian equivalent. If so we a r e s t i l l unable t o d e f i n e i t . The t i t l e

Gourti means, i n terms of modern Nubian a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , t h e c h i e f of a


group of v i l l a g e s which c o n s t i t u t e an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e u n i t c a l l e d
Mashaikha. I n two of t h e l e t t e r s from Ibrim t h e Gourti i s named as
Mashourla. The same name appears i n a number of t h e l e g a l documents as
holding d i f f e r e n t p o s t s . 1f t h i s i s t h e same person, t h e n it would
seem t h a t t h e r e was a system i n C h r i s t i a n Nubian Kingdom, by which
o f f i c e r s were promoted and/or degraded t o d i f f e r e n t p o s t s

TUNISIA
Survey of B u r i a l Tumuli i n t h e Gafsa-Kebili Region, November

1976

D r . Joseph #. Michels, P r o f e s s o r of Anthropology a t Pennsylvania


S t a t e University,undertook a b r i e f survey i n t h e v i c i n i t y of Gafsa and
along t h e highway between E l Hamma and K e b i l i i n o r d e r t o v e r i f y t h e
e x i s t e n c e and l o c a t i o n of b u r i a l twnuli p l o t t e d on t h e Tunis 1:200,000
s e r i e s maps published i n t h e 1920's by Le S e r v i c e Geographique de
l'ArmSe, France. The maps were found t o be a c c u r a t e .
D r . Michels observed t h a t t h e tumuli tended t o occur i n groups
and t h a t t h e s e aggregates seemed t o occur i n s i m i l a r physiographic
s e t t i n g s . The p a t t e r n i n g of c l o s e t o 400 tumuli, once p l o t t e d , s t r o n g l y
suggested r e a l e c o l o g i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s .
Current e f f o r t s t o develop run-off i r r i g a t i o n systems f o r t h e
c u l t i v a t i o n of orchards and animal fodder i n Southern T u n i s i a t e n d t o
co-occur with tumuli aggregates, and suggest t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e
p r i n c i p a l e c o l o g i c a l v a r i a b l e s a f f e c t i n g t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of tumuli are
t h o s e t h a t promote a g r i c u l t u r a l production. Since an adequate r a i n f a l l
regime f o r such purposes i s now estimated t o have ended i n t h e Sahara
around 2000 B . C . , it is p o s s i b l e t h a t many of t h e tumuli of t h e Fezzan
a r e Late N e o l i t h i c i n d a t e .

D r . Michels p l a n s t o explore t h e s e hypotheses, e s p e c i a l l y as t h e y


r e l a t e t o p a s t o r a l i s m , through fieldwork i n t h e n e a r f u t u r e .

ZAIRE

No excavations were possible in Z a h e in 1976. However, the


Prehistory-Archaeology Sections of the Mus6e Royal de llAfrique
Centrale at Tervuren and of the Institut des Mus6es Nationaux
du Z a h e have continued the study of the excavations from the
previous years.
The Matupi Cave deposit has now been systematically dated.
The lowest levels, still fully microlithic, are dated c.32,000
240,700 BP. This raises the question of the meaning of the
Late Stone Age term. See preliminary report : F. Van Noten,
Excavations at Matupi Cave, Antiquity, LI, 1977, pp 35-40.
The material found in the cemeteries excavated in the Upemba
Depression in Shaba by P. de Maret and Kanimba Misago is under
study. It will allow the establishment of the complete Iron Age
sequence from c. 1,400 BP to modern times. This has wide
implications on the Early Iron Age as well as on the ethnohistory
of the Savanna's kingdoms. See : P. de Maret, Sanga, New Excavations, More Data and Some Related Problems, Journal of African
History, XVIII, 3 (1977) forthcoming.
Muya Kamwanga is currently studying the Stone Age of Shaba
for his Ph.D. thesis for Catholic University, Leuven. In the
meantime, P. de Maret has been re-examining critically the Urewe
pottery from Kasai.
In Lower ~ a h eit has been possible to obtain four convergent
datations c. 2,100 BP for a pottery associated with polished axes:
P. de Maret, PremiSres datations pour des h3ches polies associ6es
2 de la c6ramique au as-~ayre, Actes du XI^ CongrSs de 1'Union
internationale des Sciences Prghistoriques et Protohistoriques,
Nice, forthcoming.

New excavations will be conducted in all those regions in


the near future and M.K. Eggert from J. Gutenberg Universitst
is planning field work in the Equator Region.
All existing West Central Africa datations have been com-

P. de Maret, F. Van Noten,


D. Cahen, Radiocarbon Dates for West Central Africa: A Critical
Synthesis, Journal of African History, forthcoming.
piled and will be published soon:

Kanimba Misago has been working on the archaeological showroom of the MusGe de Lwbumbashi which recently reopened; archaeological material will also be on display in the Museum in
Kinshasa. The renovation of the archaeology hall in Tervuren
was completed last fall.

Two short research reports are presented here :


Research program on subsurface movements of stones buried
in homogeneous sediments : the Gombe Point case.

During 1973 and 1974, D. Cahen undertook archaeological excavations at the Gombe Point (formerly Kalina point), Kinshasa, ZaYre,
In studying the material, he observed that strictly contemporaneous
stone artefacts had been excavated scattered at different depths,
but within an homogeneous mantle of redistributed Kalahari sands,
Subsequent experimental research by J. Moeyersons indicates
that such a vertical dispersion results from differential subsurface
movements of these stone artefacts. Indeed, these movements are
induced by a permanent consolidation of the sediment in reaction to
a never ceasing biogenic termites especially by upworking,

53
This leads to the conclusion that the prehistoric industries found
at Gombe are nothing more than heterogeneous assemblages, whereas
it was thought that there were several prehistoric industries in
stratigraphy present.
This process of postsedimentary wartical redistribution of
stone artefacts seems to have disturbed most of the prehistoric
open air sites known in the southern part of the Zagre river basin.
This is perhaps the reason why there is still no satisfactory nomenclature and chronology for the prehistoric industries of central
Africa,
In addition, the experiments provide an alternative explanation
for the formation of certain types of stone-lines. The general descending movement, observed during the vertical dispersion of worked
and unworked stones can finally lead to their concentration upon a
solid bedrock. This explanation can modify the paleogeographical
interpretation of some soil profiles.
More detailed information can be found in the following publications r
CAHEN (D,) , 1976, Nouvelles fouilles & la pointe de la Gombe (expointe de ~alina),Kinshasa, ZaPre. LIAnthropologie,t. 80,
pp. 573-602,
CAHEN (D.), Vers une rdvision de la nomenclature des industriea pr6-

historiques de llAfrique centrale. ~'Anthropologie(sous presse)

CAHEN (D. ) and MOEYERSONS (3, ) , 1977. Subsurface movements of stone


artefacts and their implication for the Prehistory of Central
Africa.
Nature, vole 266, p. 812-815,
MOEYERSONS (J, ). The behaviour of stones and stone implements buried
in consolidating and dreeping Kalahari sands. Earth Surface
Processes (in the ~ress).

Palaeogeographical and phytosociolo~icalevolution in Central


Africa during Upper Pleistocene times. Evaluation of aeomorphological, botanical and palynological data.
Palpologist E. Roche and geomorphologist J. Moeyersons studied
most of the existing litterature concerning the evolution of the environment in Central Africa. They observe the actual tendency to
correglate dry periods in Central Africa with glaciation periods in
Europe and in the East African highlands,
Paat Climatic oscillations in Africa appear to be spread uncs4venlye They are easily recorded in the mount@~ous areas as a result of
the vertical shifting of vegeCation belts,

The last important dry period (+ 50.000


20.000 B.P. ), as recorded in Western ZaPre and in Shaba, coincides greatly with the WtZrmglaciation in Europe. It led to an appreciable change of the landscape,
with ablation on the hill-slopes, widening of valley floors and an
invasion of savannah and open woodland vegetation in areas, formerly
occupied by the equatorial rain forest. A general humidification at
about 10.000 B.P. introduced an opposite shifting direction of the
vegetation belts. The actual retreat of the equatorial rain forest is
generally thought to be due to human activities.
E. Roche has established an original phytosociological map of
ZaYre.
More detailed information, together with an important list of
gemorphological studies of Zagre and surroundings can be found in :
J. Moeyersons et E. Roche : "Evolution pal6ogdographique et phytoso-

oiologique en Afrique centrale durant le ple'istocbne supe'rieur.


Interprdtations des donndes gdomorphologiques, botaniqnes et
palynologiquesn, Etudes dthistoireAfricaine, vole UI, 1977.
(1n peparation)

ZAMBIA

Mr. J .H. Robertson (M.A. ~algary)is taking up the appointment


of ~ecretary/~ns~ector
for the Zambia National Monuments Commission
and will arrive in Zambia in June. His address will be:

John H Robertson
~ecretar~/lns~ector
National Monuments Commission
P .O Box 124
Livingstone
Zambia.

Notices of Recent and Forthcoming Publications


British Institute in Eastern Africa.
Vol.XI (1976) of Azania contains the following main articles:
D,V. Phillipson, 'The Early Iron Age in eastern and southern Africa:
a critical re-appraisal'
Peter Garlake, 'An investigation of Manekweni, Mozambique'
Laurel Phillipson, 'Survey of the Stone Age archaeology of the Upper
Zambezi Valley: 11, Excavations at Kandanda'
Robert Soper, 'Archaeological sites in the Chyulu Hills, Kenya'
Neville Chittick, 'An archaeological reconnaissance in the Horn: the
British-Somali Expedition, 1975'
Pierre Vgrin, 'The African element in Madagascar'

Vol .XI1 (1977) will be a special number devoted to the Late Stone Age
of eastern Africa, and is edited by D.W. Phillipson.
Memoir No .6 of the Institute, The Prehistory of Eastern Zambia by
D.W. Phillipson, is now published. (~istributedby Messrs. Thanes &
Hudson, London; obtainable by members of the Institute at 33% discount
from Box 30710, Nairobi, Kenya.) ISBN 0 500 97003 3 Price 9.50
(K ~ h ,140
s ; $17.50)

Robin Derricourt's book "Prehistoric Man in the Ciskei and Transkei"


(cape Town, Struik, R18.00) is due out in May. This is a discussion
of k n l y late prehistoric varkbility and change in the area, based
on my 1971-73 fieldwork.

Dr.Lech Krzyianiak (~uzeumArcheologiczne , ul Wodna 27, 61-781~ozna6,


poland) informs me that his book ?!Early Farming Cultures on the Lower
Nile. The Predynastic Period in Egypt" (169 pages) has just been published in Warsaw by ~&stwowe trydawnictwo Naukowe as 21st volume of
Travaux du Centre d1Arch6010gieMgditerrangenne de l'~cad6mie Polonaise
des Sciences.

Dr.F. Hinkel of t h e Academy of Sciences of t h e G.D.R. has asked


me t o d r a w a t t e n t i o n t o t h e forthcoming Archaeological Map of t h e Sudan
and adds t h a t both t h e Guide and F a s c i c l e I1 have been prepared with
t h e co-operation of M r . A . J . M i l l s of t h e Royal Ontario Museum and t h a t
both Dr.W.Y. Adams and D r . A . J . Arkell have made contributions.

Z e n t r a l i n s t i t u t fiir Alte Geschichte und ArchYologie


der Akademie d e r Kissenschaften der DDQ

The Archaeological Map of t h e Sudan


by Friedrich W. Hinkel

The air. of t h e Archaeoloaical Map of t h e Sudan i s ' t o g a t h e r


t q e t z k e r i n one place a l l t h e information concerning each of t h e
L i w m archaeological s i t e s i n t h e Democratic Republic of t h e Sudan.
The i c f c ~ a t i o nhas been compiled from a l l t h e a v a i l a b l e published
sources and from unpublished m a t e r i a l contained i n t h e arc!ives
ant2 catalogues of t h e Sudan A n t i q u i t i e s Service i n Khartoum and
o t h e r unpublished manuscripts i n many places.
The ir.50,mation f o r each s i t e is assembled and presented i n a form
which q'aickly allows t h e researcher t o grap t h e l o c a t i o n , and b a s i c
d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e elements of each s i t e , and then p r e s e n t s him
with a f u l l s e t of references about t h a t s i t e . A system of s i t e
nunbering, f l e x i b l e enough t o be applied anywhere i n t h e world and
-6kich precludes any confusion between s i t e s , has been adopted. The
s i t e s a r e located on a map, whenever possible, and i l l u s t r a t i o n s
a r e gis-en of much m a t e r i a l t h a t is d i f f i c u l t of access. Completion
of t h e >.rchaeoloqical Map of t h e Sudan w i l l s e e a complete b i b l i o graphy of works r e l a t i n g t o t h e archaeology of t h a t country and a
s e r i e s or' indices designed t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e accumulation of d a t a
on zany subjects.

The whole i s an enormous work which w i l l t a k e s e v e r a l years t o com21ete a d it has, t h e r e f o r e , been designed t o appear i n a s e r i e s
of ter? f z s c i c l e s . The f i r s t of these f a s c i c l e s w i l l contain much
in?zrociuctory and general matter and w i l l be t h e l a s t t o appear..

It i s replaced, f o r t h e moment, with a Guide t o t h e use of and


e;cr;ls.?+=icn
of t h e Archaeoloqical Yap a f t h e SuZan. Each of
f a s c i c l e s I1 t o X w i l l be devoted t o a s p e c i f i c a r e a within t h e
Suean.
:he f i r s t , which appears now with t h e Guide, i s F a s c i c l e 11,
m.
ine - 3 e a of t h e South Libyan Desert.

1977. About 240 pages

24 u n i t s a p s

.,he whole s e t w i l l c o n s i s t o f :

I.

General Guide

11.

The Area of t h e South Libyan D e s e r t

111.

The Area of t h e A i l e V a l l e y North of t h e T h i r d


C a t a r a c t and Adjacent Nubian Desert

IV.

The Area of t h e N i l e V a l l e y between B e r b e r and


t h e T h i r d C a t a r a c t and A d j a c e n t D e s e r t s
The A r e a of t h e N i l e V a l l e y between t h e S i x t h

Cataract and B e r b e r and t h e A d j a c e n t Bayuda


and Butana D e s e r t s
The Area of t h e Red Sea Coast and Northern
Ethiopian F r o n t i e r
VII.

The Area of D a r f u r and Western Kordofan

VIII.

The Area between N o r t h - e a s t

Kordofan and K a s s a l a ,

i n c l u d i n g t h e Confluence of t h e two N i l e s
IX.

The A r e a from E l Obeid Eastward t o t h e E t h i o p i a n


Frontier

X.

The Area of t h e S o u t h e r n Sudan, South o f t h e


Twelfth P a r a l l e l

and supplements,
T h i s w i l l b e a s t a n d a r d r e f e r e n c e work f o r a r c h a e o l o g y i n n o r t h -

east A f r i c a . It w i l l b e i m p o r t a n t n o t o n l y t o s c h o l a r s i n t e r e s t e d
i n Sudan c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y and change, b u t a l s o t o a much w i d e r
r a n g e of A f r i c a n i s t s .
P o t e n t i a l r e a d e r s : A r c h a e o l o g i s t s , ~ g ~ p t o l o g i s t sM, e r o i t i s t s ,
Nubiologists, Africanists, antiquaries,
prehistorians, historians.
O r d e r s s h o u l d be p l a c e d by a b o o k s e l l e r .
AKADEMIE

VERLAG

'

BERLIN

German Democratic R e p u b l i c

D r . Hinkel a l s o w r i t e s t h a t h i s new i l l u s t r a t e d volume on Sudanese


Nubia and under t h e t i t l e "Auszug a u s Nubia" is with t h e p r i n t e r . It
i s expected t o come out i n June next year, It w i l l c o n s i s t of about
100 pages t e x t , 65 i l l u s t r a t i o n s and 175 mostly f u l l s c a l e photographs
of which 24 a r e i n colour, The volume w i l l cover t h e s t o r y of t h e r e settlement of t h e population of Sudanese Nubia, t h e removal of t h e
monuments t h e r e , t h e i r re-erection i n Khartoum, and t h e work on const r u c t i n g and f i n i s h i n g t h e Sudan National Museum. The p u b l i s h e r i s t h e
Akademie-Verlag.

D r . Sutton of Ahmadu Bello University, Z a r i a , Nigeria has asked


t h a t t h e existence of Zaria Archaeology Papers be mentioned. These a r e
cyclostyled working research papers which a r e made a v a i l a b l e t o i n t e r e s t ed i n s t i t u t i o n s . The e d i t o r of Nyame Akuma has received copies of numb e r s 1 through 13.
Those i n t e r e s t e d should g e t i n touch with Dr.Sutton who w i l l
s h o r t l y be leaving Z a r i a on appointment t o t h e Chair of Archaeology a t
t h e University of Ghana where he w i l l succeed Professor Posnansky, now
a t t h e University of C a l i f o r n i a , Los Angeles.
The t i t l e s of t h e first t h i r t e e n papers are:
Aspects of f i e l d archaeology i n Hausaland

Ade Obayemi

A note on t e s t excavations at Maleh and Soro, Sokoto Province


- Ade Obayemi

Old Cham settlements (and o t h e r r e s u l t s of fieldwork i n 1974-5 i n


Tangale-Wa ja ~ i v i s i o n )
- C.D. Bala

The t e r r a c o t t a f i g u r i n e s of Cham
Kebbi Valley: preliminary survey 1975

C.D. Bala

J.E.G.

Sutton

Application of t h e Aqua Package t o t h e Kebbi Valley s u r f a c e


- S.G.H. Daniels
collections
Handaxes and o t h e r Stone Age f i n d s from Samaru

J.E.G.

Sutton

Iron-working around Z d a (with a preliminary account of t h e


excavations a t Samaru west)
- J.E.G. Sutton
Preliminary r e p o r t on archaeological work i n t h e Wushishi a r e a ,
- Thurstan Shaw
e a r l y 1976
Ulera mound by K a i n j i l a k e i n Yawuri
The walls of Z a r i a and Kufena
T e r r a c o t t a f i g u r i n e s from Zaria
The Niger-Benue confluence region

Mahdi Adamu and J.E.G.Sutton


J .E .G. Sutton
J .E.G. Sutton

Ade Obayemi

FORTtlCOMlNG P U B L I C A T I O N

WHERE HUNTERS GATHERED


A study of Holocene Stone Age people in the Eastern Cape

The South A f r i c a n Archaeological Society Monograph S e r i e s No. I

T h i s study summarizes the r e s u l t s of excavations at two sites in the


E a s t e r n Cape: Melkhoutboorn Cave and High1ands Rock Shelter. They
a r e situated in two contrasting environments
Mountahs and the Karoo-Cape Midlands

- the Cape Folded

and the preservation of

plant and animal remains at both sites has led to a deeper understanding
of the adaptations of Stone Age people in the region over the last

15 000 years.

Copies of this f i r s t volume in a n e w Monograph S e r i e s to be published


at i r r e g u l a r intervals b y the South A f r i c a n Archaeological Society w i l l
b e available towards the end of 1976.

The book w i l l be the same s i z e

as the South A f r i c a n Archaeologicat Bulletin, i s produced b y off-set


' l i t h o and i s a paper-back edition.

T h e r e a r e 184 text pages, 68


P r i c e : R7,50

figures and 51 tab1es.

Postage extra

10 cents i n South Africa


50 cents overseas

The second edition of the Department of Archaeology,


University of Ghana's journal Sankofa, was published in December
1976. The contents are as follows:Articles
Fort Ruychaver rediscovered by M. Posnansky and A. Van Dantzig
A newly discovered site for the Kintampo culture by L.E. Newton
and S.R.J. Woodell.
The rise of Civilisation in the West African Sudan by J.Anquandah
Gold Mining in Akyem Abuakwa by R. Addo-Fening.
Museums and Research by K.A. Myles.
Finding lost walls on Archaeological sites by R.J. McIntosh.
Nananom Pow of the Fante by J.K. Fynn.
New Radiocarbon dates from Ghana by M. Posnansky.
Mumute and Bonoase - Two Kintampo sites by J. Dombrowski.
The Archaeologist and the Ghanaian Hunter by E. Effah-Gyamfi.
The Maroons of Jamaica by R. Ebanks.

News From The Field

Excavations at the Nyarko and Dwinfour quarters of Begho 1975


by L.B. Crossland.
Archaeological Research in the Bono Manso area by E. Effah-Gyamfi.
Archaeological and historical research in the Birim Valley by
D Kiyaga-Mulindwa
Boyasi Hill - A Kintampo culture site by J. Anquandah.

D r . Inge Hofmann r e p o r t s " Concerning my research : i n June o r J u l y


.my h o k 'Beit&ge zur meroitischen Chronologie' w i l l appear published
by Ststdia I n s t i t u t i Anthropos. An extensive study of t h e Meroitic
Pantheon i s i n preparation, s t u d i e s on t h e same subject have already
appeared as a r t i c l e s o r a r e i n t h e press",

The following l e t t e r s have a l s o heen received from

D r . B r i g i t t e Menzel
B i s m r c k s t r a s s e 57
4150 Kregeld
Gemany.
"If you would do me t h e favour and put a note i n t o t h e Newsletter
t h a t I would l i k e t o g e t i n touch with people i n t e r e s t e d i n beads used
i n Africa I should be very g r a t e f u l . I have l o t s of m a t e r i a l already
and would l i k e t o g e t a grant f o r 1978 t o enable me t o go out t o West
Africa again t o f i l l i n t h e gaps i n my research m a t e r i a l and t o allow
me t o concentrate on w r i t i n g up t h e stuff t o publish i t . G l a s s beads
a r e a s u r p r i s i n g l y neglected item which y i e l d s much information about
many a s p e c t s of c u l t u r e .
Before I w i l l be a b l e t o d e a l with t h i s subject thoroughly I
want t o f i n i s h my introduction t o t h e catalogue of West African t e x t i l e s
i n t h e Museum fiir V'dlkerkunde B e r l i n (3 vols, have been published s i n c e
1972/73, but they are j u s t t h e d e s c r i p t i v e p a r t s and need t h e t e x t t o
be u s e f u l ) . For t h i s p a r t of my work it would be good t o be i n contact
with people i n t e r e s t e d i n t e x t i l e s , e s p e c i a l l y those with knowledge of
archaeological f i n d s of f a b r i c s ( l i k e t h e ones made by Prof. Huizinga
in ~ a l i )

."

and from Professeur Raymond Mauny


1 Rue Victor Hugo
37500 CHINON. France
By t h e way, I am t o r e t i r e from t h e Sorbonne at t h e end of t h i s
u n i v e r s i t y year 1976-77, but s h a l l remain i n contact with t h e A f r i c a n i s t
world, and s p e c i a l l y archaeologists. My address i s always t h e same i n
Chinon, where I have a l o t t o do with l o c a l h i s t o r y and Arts e t Tradit i o n s populaires,
The news i s not very good from Mauritania, where f i e l d work i s
p r a c t i c a l l y impossible with t h e POLISARO r a i d s : t h e l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s
a r e more than r e l u c t a n t t o give permission t o t h e a r c h a e o l o g i s t s , i n
f e a r of a new "Claustre" affair.

Devisse and h i s students are doing good work i n Ivory Coast, and
Very good perspectives
Descamps and Thilmans and Ravise i n Sgn6gal.
i n Niger where Gouletquer, a f t e r having worked i n Azelik (1bn B a t t u t a ' s
~ a k e d d a )i s now f i n d i n g o l d e r copper mines and furnaces, probably BC,
a f t e r t h e d a t e s obtained by C-14 (-90 BC and an i n c r e d i b l e - f o r me -,
1360 BC). ~ r 6 b & a r d is a l s o looking f o r p r i m i t i v e i r o n s i t e s i n t h e
I n Gall-Marendet escarpment ( ~ i ~ e r which
),
would confirm t h e r e s u l t s
obtained by Qu6chon & Roset i n Termitb a r e a ( ~ i g e r )

STOP

P R E S S

This may be too l a t e f o r Nyame Akuma, but I can expand it f o r


t h e Nov. i s s u e .

I have received a grant from Trent Univ. t o gather a d d i t i o n a l


d a t a on two promising s i t e s i n Botswana with a long term p r o j e c t i n
view. I w i l l be doing d e t a i l e d mapping and possibly some surface
c o l l e c t i n g and excavating during August enroute t o t h e Pan African
Congress. A s I indicated i n my previous l e t t e r , I would l i k e t o h e a r
from anyone who has a similm i n t e r e s t i n Botswana with a view t o
planning a j o i n t i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y p r o j e c t .
Morgan Tamplin
Trent University.

FURTHER STOP PRESS


ALGERIA
P r a h i s t o r i c Cultural Ecology of Capsian Escargotilres
Preliminary r e p o r t on t h e 1976 f i e l d season
David Lubell
Department of Anthropology
University of Toronto
This e h o r t note is a s l i g h t l y revised version of a paper p r e ~ e n t e d
t o t h e SAAAM Meetings i n New Orleans, April 1977.

During July and August 1976, we continued research on t h e preh i s t o r i c c u l t u r a l ecology of Capsian escargoti6res i n t h e region of
Chbria, southwest of TGbessa, Algeria.

The previous (1972 and 1973)

f i e l d seasons hare been b r i e f l y reported i n Science (Lubell et. a l .


1976) and a more d e t a i l e d treatment is forthcoming i n Libyca (Lubell

et. a l . i n press).
Personnel f o r 1976 were David Lubell (University of Toronto:
archaeology), Ian Campbell (University of Alberta:
Achilles Gautier (Rijksuniversiteit-Gent:

geomorphology) and

zooarchaeology).

W
e were

a s s i s t e d by John Archer, Peter Bobrowsky, David Gay, Elizabeth Henrickson,


Robert Henrickson, Barbara Hodgson, Joan Story and Pamela Willoughby.
Financial support was provided by a research grant from t h e Canada
Council t o David Lubell.

The cooperation of t h e Centre de Recherche8

Anthropologiques, Pr6historiques e t Ethnographiques and the Organisme


blsrtional de l a Recherche Scientifique, both i n Algiers, is g r a t e f u l l y
acknowledged.
Our research w a s divided into two complementary parts:

further

study of l o c a l and regibnal geomorphology, e s p e c i a l l y i n Wadi Mezeraa,

and continued excavation a t A i n Misteheyia with test excavations a t


s e v e r a l o t h e r Capsian sites i n t h e TdlidjOne Valley.
Geomorphological work i n Wadt Mezeraa proved impossible because
completely unexpected and heavy r a i n s throughout t h e spring and w e l l
i n t o July prevented access t o t h e area.

Therefore, geomorphological

work was concentrated around Ain Misteheyia, where Campbell and Archer
mapped t h e wadi gradients and t e r r a c e s and logged and sampled a11 t h e
s e c t i o n s examined by Hassan i n 1973.

Their very preliminary r e s u l t s

suggest no major modifications of published material, but t h e f a r


g r e a t e r d e t a i l t h i s work provides w i l l be of g r e a t help i n recons t r u c t i n g t h e nature and degree of environmental change during t h e
e a r l y and middle Holocene i n t h e region.
Archaeological investigations were concentrated a t Ain Misteheyia
where twelve a d d i t i o n a l cubic meters were excavated.

Our primary

concerns were t o t r y and t r a c e t h e occupation surface found a t -50cm


i n 1973, and t o obtain a d d i t i o n a l p r o f i l e s and bulk column samples i n
order t o study s i t e s t r u c t u r e and test f u r t h e r t h e apparent c o r r e l a t i o n
between a change in climate and changes i n t h e a r t i f a c t assemblage and
subsistence pattern.

W
e a l s o c o l l e c t e d nine a d d i t i o n a l samples f o r

radiocarbon dating (see Table 1).


Analyses of t h i s material a r e s t i l l i n progress and no d e t a i l e d
r e s u l t s a r e available.

Field observations suggest t h a t t h e change i n

subsistence can be confirmed:

t h e frequency of s n a i l s h e l l is f a r

g r e a t e r i n t h e upper than t h e lower l e v e l s of the s i t e and bone appears

t o be mote frequent i n t h e lower l e v e l s .


t h e occupation surface.

It proved impossible t o t r a c e

Post-depositional processes i n t h e open-air

sites seem t o destroy microstratigraphic markers and such surfaces can


only be traced when s t r u c t u r e s (e.g.
we found

hearths) a r e present.

Unforunately,

no f u r t h e r c l e a r evidence f o r such s t r u c t u r e s .

The r t r a t i g r a p h y a d t h e a d d i t i o n a l radiocarbon dates now suggest


t h a t t h e r e a r e a minimum of t h r e e major occupation periods a t t h i s site.
The f i r s t of these appears t o d a t e between ca. 9800 and 9400 B.P.,
second between ca. 9400 aad 7700 B.P.,

least 7200 B.P.

the

and t h e t h i r d l a s t s u n t i l a t

The d a t e s f o r the f i r s t period i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e Capsian

i n t h i s region began considerably earlier than has been supposed,


approaching the terminal dates f o r t h e Iberomaurusian along t h e coast
(cf. Camps et. al. 1973).
A robust a d u l t male skeleton was uncovered, i n t e r r e d i n a shallow
p i t dug i n t o Unit 1 (Soltanian 1 ) s u b s t r a t e and buried beneath two
enormous and s e v e r a l smaller boulders.

The s k u l l , upper t o r s o and

p e l v i s were heavily stained with red ochre but no c l e a r l y demonstrable


grave goods were found.
91302150 B.P.

A radiocarbon d a t e on associated s h e l l of

makes t h i s perhaps t h e o l d e s t known Capsian skeleton.

sample of r i b bone has a l s o been submitted f o r radiocarbon analysis.


Test excavations were conducted a t two other sites which a r e l i s t e d
i n ~ r 6 b h a t t ' s (1976) gazeteer f o r the region:

Oued Tblidj2ne A and

K e f Zoura D.

Oued T b l i d j h e A is a small open-air e s c a r g o t i s r e on t h e north bank

of t h e wadi i n t h e center of t h e T6lidJSne v a l l e y and about 5km d i s t a n t


from A h Misteheyia.

The s i t e has been p a r t i a l l y destroyed by sub-

sequent Roman occupation and t h e r e are remains of a Roman s t r u c t u r e

s t i l l i n place.

A t least 75cm of deposit have been removed o r

irrevocably disturbed but t h e deposits from 75 t o 160cm below present


surface a r e i n t a c t .

The radiocarbon d a t e f o r t h e middle of these

deposits (120-125cm) of 72802120 B.P.


f o r Ain Misteheyia.

is i d e n t i c a l t o t h e uppermost d a t e

The land s n a i l assemblage is f a r more character-

i s t i c of a v a l l e y bottom/plain h a b i t a t than t h e footslope/midslope


assemblage a t Ain Misteheyia.

This suggests t h a t s n a i l c o l l e c t i o n was

q u i t e localized and a l s o seems t o confirm our hypothesis t h a t sites

were occupied i n t e r m i t t e n t l y by a small number of groups.


Kef Zoura D is a rockshelter in t h e escarpment which forms t h e
southwestern end of t h e TGlidjEne Valley,

The s h e l t e r is continuous

f o r approximately 100 meters but only 30 meters of i n s i t u deposit a r e


preserved.

The remainder appears t o have been eroded downslope.

The

position of t h e bedrock which is v i s i b l e t o e i t h e r s i d e of t h i s 30m


s e c t i o n suggests a depth of deposit between 2 and 3 meters.
1.5m test trench plumbed only t h e top meter.

Our 1 x

A t t h a t depth walls began

t o collapse and w e had n e i t h e r the equipment nor t h e time t o shore


them up.

Furthermore, a t t h a t depth w e found an adolescent skeleton

buried beneath several l a r g e boulders,

It was not possible t o remove

t h e skeleton safely.
The unconsolidated nature of t h e Kef Zoura D deposits i s most

impressive.

They a r e powdery and s o f t .

M i c r o s t r a t i g r a p h y ( a s h and

c h a r c o a l l e n s e s , t h i n bands of s h e l l , s u b t l e g r a d a t i o n s i n t e x t u r e and
c o l o r ) i s p r e s e r v e d t o an e x t e n t w e have n e v e r observed i n a n open-air
escargotiGre.

Furthermore, abundant carbonized p l a n t remains are

p r e s e n t and bone is i n a n e x c e l l e n t s t a t e of p r e s e r v a t i o n .

The s n a i l

assemblage is a p p a r e n t l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a m i d s l o p e / t o p s l o p e h a b i t a t ,
which s u g g e s t s q u i t e l o c a l i z e d c o l l e c t i n g .
The r a d i o c a r b o n

d a t e s (Table 1 ) i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e t o p meter of

t h i s s i t e f a l l s w i t h i n a t i m e r a n g e r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e t r a n s i t i o n from

--

t h e Capsian sensu l a t o t o t h e " N e o l i t h i c " of Capsian T r a d i t i o n .

Taken

t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e o t h e r evidence, t h e s e d a t e s s u g g e s t t h e s i t e may w e l l
prove t o b e of c o n s i d e r a b l e importance t o o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Holocene
subsistence i n t h e region.

F u r t h e r e x c a v a t i o n s a r e planned f o r 1978,

and I would a p p r e c i a t e a d v i c e from any r e a d e r s who laws e x p e r i e n c e w i t h


s i m i l a r d r y cave a n d / o r r o c k s h e l t e r d e p o s i t s .
The two new r a d i o c a r b o n d a t e s from Wadi Mezeraa s u g g e s t c h a t a t
leastmembers 2 through 4 (and p o s s i b l y member 1 ) of t h e ChEria f o r m a t i o n
( c f . Ballais i n Lube11 e t a l . i n p r e s s ) are post-Capsian i n age.

This

r e s o l v e s what we thought was a c o n f l i c t i n t h e age and environmental


i n t e r p r e t a t i o n between t h e Wadi Mezeraa and Ain N l s t e h e y i a sequences.

It is now c l e a r t h a t t h e l a t t e r p r e d a t e s t h e former a l t h o u g h t h e r e m y
be some o v e r l a p f o r t h e b a s e of t h e Wadi Mezeraa sequence and the t o p
of t h e Ain Misteheyia sequence.

I f and when t h e two can be f i t t e d

t o g e t h e r w e s h a l l have a n e a r l y complete Holocene paleoenvironmental

sequence f o r t h e region which should be useful t o both p r e h i s t o r i c


and h i s t o r i c archaeologiatcr.

Bibliography
Camps, G., G. Delibrias and J. Thommeret
1973 Chronologie des c i v i l i s a t i o n s prehistoriques du nord de
llAfrique d1apr5s l e radiocarbone. Libyca 21: 65-89.
Gr6b6nart, D.
1976 Le Capsien des R6gions de Ti5bessa e t dlOuled Djellal,
Alg6rie. Etudes Mediterrangenes 1. Editions de
11Universit6 de Provenee, Aix-en-Provence.
Lubell, D., F.A. Hassan, A. Gautier and J.-L. B a l l a i s
1976 The Capsian escargotisres. Science 191: 910-920.
Lubell, D., J.-L. Ballais, A. Gautier and F.A. Hassan
The p r e h i s t o r i c c u l t u r a l ecology of Capsian e s c a r g o t i e r e s
in
p r e s s I: r e p o r t of t h e 1972 and 1973 seasons. Libyca 23.

Table 1
Radiocarbon Dates f o r ChBria/TBlidjtne Region
-

Locale

Lab. NO.

Provenience

Material

BP (Tlp5568)

1-9833

10m upstream
typesection &
2. lm below Roman
deposits.
Member 2, 2501~
downstream type
section
Member 2 a t type
section

Shell

2270280

shell

4685295

shell

5830295

1-9832

120-125cm

shell

7280t120

1-9835
1-9836
1-9837
1-9838

90-95cm
125-13Ocm
145-150a
165-170cm

Charcoal
charcoal
charcoal
charcoal

59652115
64852125
65052125
65752170

J 9 40-45cm
L9N 48-55cm
KlOW 50-60J 9 80-9Ocm
M8E/N 90-100cm
LllN 95-105cm
J 9 125-135cm
MlOS 130-140cm
K9 140-145cm
K8 ( b u r i a l )
140-150K12 145-15Ocm
KlON 150-155m

shell
shell
shell
shell
shell
shell
shell
shell
shell
shell

Wadi
1-9834
Mezeraa
I-7693a

Otred

- -

Tblidjhe A
Kef
aura D

Aia
Mistsheyia

1-9783
1-9784a
1-7691
1-9785
1-9786
1-9826

shell
shell

%ate c o l l e c t e d and processed i n 1973.


b ~ a t ec o l l e c t e d and processed i n 1973, apparently from a disturbed zone
n o t recognized a t t h e time.
apparent anomaly with regard t o 1-9825 is n o t y e t s a t i s f a c t o r i l y
explained but may be due t o d i f f e r e n t occupations. Sample 1-9824 is
perhaps too old but i t i s too e a r l y t o make a f i n a l assessment.

%he

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