the scientific publisher for African archaeology and related studies

Catalogue – Reports in African Archaeology


 

Radiocarbon Dates, Stone Tools and the Origin of Herding on the West Coast of South Africa

August 2014
Karim Sadr. ISBN: 978-3-937248-44-8.
EUR 39.80 (Softcover) + EUR 3.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: English, Release date: 12th August 2014, 89 pages, 26 B/W illustrations. Size/weight: 297x210x6 mm, ca.400 gramm.
Summary:
This monograph makes a significant contribution to answering some long standing questions in the Later Stone Age prehistory of southern Africa and to archaeological methods in general. The Vredenburg Peninsula Survey project originally set out to confirm that the first herders at the south-western Cape were immigrant Khoekhoe-speakers who had migrated from farther north about two thousand years ago. It failed to find evidence to support this hypothesis and instead ended up making a solid contribution to documenting the regional transition from formal, microlithic technology to the informal stone tool repertoire that marks the immediately Pre-Colonial period. It also throws light on another regional question concerning the rise and fall of stone adze technology. Its contribution to survey methodology is of worldwide importance and this is the first time an archaeologist has gambled on dating surface shell on a large scale and it has paid off handsomely. Coastal archaeologists on all continents should take note of this, and be rightly encouraged.

 
 
 

Le Roi et le Potier. Etude technologique de l’assemblage céramique de Koumbi Saleh, Mauritanie (5e/6e-17e siècles)

July 2014
Barbara van Doosselaere. ISBN: 978-3-937248-43-1.
EUR 89.80 (Softcover) + EUR 9.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: French, Release date: 1st July 2014, 271 pages, 167 B/W and colour illustrations. Size/weight: 297x210x14 mm, ca.900 gramm.
Summary: L’étude technologique présentée ici fut entreprise avec l’objectif de réinterroger cet étrange objet archéologique qu’est Koumbi Saleh (Mauritanie 5e/6e-17e siècles), fruit d’une lente et longue écriture, entre mythes et constructions historiques, où les caractéristiques formelles de l’assemblage céramique issu de ce site ont fondé l’hypothèse d’une stabilité et d’une homogénéité culturelles.
Or, les sources écrites et orales qui se rapportent à notre région d’étude viennent contredire cette continuité culturelle. Ces sources décrivent, entre les 8e et 17e siècles, l’apparition et le déploiement d’importantes formations politiques (Ghana, Mali et Songhay entres autres) engagées dans le commerce transsaharien, qui vont successivement tenter d’exercer leur hégémonie sur un vaste territoire, centré sur une zone comprise entre les bassins du Sénégal et du Niger. Conquêtes territoriales, résistances ou conversions religieuses, tensions économiques, recompositions identitaires … si l’on en croit les sources historiques, de multiples ruptures marquent le déploiement de ces puissances régionales.

Au terme de cette étude, un constat s’impose: l’assemblage céramique de Koumbi Saleh est, malgré les apparences, loin d’être stable et homogène. La reconstitution des différentes étapes de la « chaîne opératoire » de production de la poterie, de la sélection des matières premières au traitement des surfaces, entreprise au moyen de divers outils analytiques (microscopie optique, microscopie électronique à balayage, diffraction des rayons X, extraction phytolithique, radiographie) a révélé une forte variabilité. Les récipients constitutifs de cet assemblage sont, en effet, issus d’au moins cinq productions céramiques, locales et importées, bien différenciées techniquement et montrant toutes une temporalité propre.

Complexes et singulières, les dynamiques historiques qui sous-tendent les évolutions ici mises en évidence opèrent à une échelle qui dépasse largement le strict cadre de la production et la consommation céramiques. Ceci nous conduit à discuter et revisiter la relation très étroite et fondamentale qui existe entre production et consommation céramiques d’une part et histoire macro-régionale d’autre part. Celle-ci peut aisément se comprendre par le fait que ceux qui réalisent et manipulent les objets céramiques sont aussi, directement ou indirectement, les acteurs quotidiens de cette histoire à large échelle. A l’interface, se situent les objets eux-mêmes. Objets qui se révèlent, dans leur dimension technique et par les traditions qu’ils incarnent, particulièrement sensibles aux arythmies de l’histoire politique, économique et sociale.

 
 
 

Le Capsien de Hergla (Tunisie). Culture, environnement et économie

June 2013
Simone Mulazzani (ed.). ISBN: 978-3-937248-36-3.
EUR 89.80 (Softcover) + EUR 9.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: French/Italian, release date: May 2013, 436 pages, 349 illustrations, 147 tables, 47 plates. Size/weight: 298x210x20 mm, ca.1550 gramm.

Summary: Cet ouvrage constitue la monographie du site SHM-1 (Hergla, Tunisie), dont la fouille a été conduite de 1969 à 1971 et de 2002 à 2007. Le site témoigne du développement et de l’adaptation de groupes capsiens, entre le 7ème et 6ème millénaire avant notre ère, sur la façade méditerranéenne du Maghreb oriental. La trentaine de contributions réunies propose la description de l’environnement lagunaire dans lequel ces chasseurs-cueilleurs épipaléolithiques se sont installés, de l’organisation de l’habitat et de leurs sépultures. L’analyse de la culture matérielle et des aspects économiques des sept niveaux d’occupations identifiés à SHM-1 permet de retracer l’évolution des populations capsiennes locales à l’aube de la néolithisation de la région. Les prémices de cette transition majeure sont attestées à SHM-1 aux environs de 6000 avant notre ère. Elles fournissent des pistes de réflexion sur les modalités d’adoption d’une économie de production au Maghreb oriental.

 
 
 

Windows on the African Past. Current Approaches to African Archaeobotany

December 2011
Ahmed G. Fahmy, S. Kahlheber & A.C. D'Andrea (eds.). ISBN: 978-3-937248-32-5.
EUR 49.80 (Softcover) + EUR 7.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: English, release date 26 December 2011, 242 pages, 73 illustrations, 62 tables. Size/weight: 298x210x8 mm, 800 gramm.

Description: Archaeobotany has significantly increased our knowledge of the relationships between humans and plants throughout the ages. As is amply illustrated in this volume, botanical remains preserved in archaeological contexts have great potential to inform us about past environments and the various methods used by ancient peoples to exploit and cultivate plants.
This volume presents the proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on African Archaeobotany (IWAA) held at Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt, on 13–15 June 2009. Studies presented herein clearly illustrate that African archaeobotany is a dynamic field, with many advances in techniques and important case studies presented since the first meeting of IWAA held in 1994. Authors have employed classical and new archaeobotanical techniques, in addition to linguistics and ethnoarchaeology to increase our knowledge about the role of plants in ancient African societies.
This book covers a wide range of African countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Canary Islands. It is of interest to archaeobotanists, archaeologists, historians, linguists, agronomists, and plant ecologists.

Contents:
Participants
Preface

C. Sievers: Sedges from Sibudu, South Africa: Evidence for their Use    

G. Bigga & S. Kahlheber: From Gathering to Agricultural Intensification: Archaeobotanical Remains from Mege, Chad Basin, NE Nigeria

J. Morales, J.F. Navarro-Mederos & A. Rodríguez-Rodríguez: Plant Offerings to the Gods: Seed Remains from a Pre-Hispanic Sacrificial Altar in La Gomera Island (Canary Islands, Spain)    

U. Thanheiser: Island of the Blessed: 8000 Years of Plant Exploitation in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt   

A.G. Fahmy, R. Friedman & M.A. Fadl: Economy and Ecology of Predynastic Hierakonpolis, Egypt: Archaeobotanical Evidence from a Trash Mound at HK11C    

E. Marinova, G.J.M. van Loon, M. De Meyer & H. Willems: Plant Economy and Land Use in Middle Egypt during the Late Antique/Early Islamic Period: Archaeobotanical Analysis of Mud Bricks and Mud Plasters from the Area of Dayr al-Barsha  

R. Hamdy & N.M.N. El Hadidi: Identification of Plant Materials used in the Coiled Basketry Collection at the Agricultural Museum (Giza, Egypt) 

K.U. Radomski & K. Neumann: Grasses and Grinding Stones: Inflorescence Phytoliths from Modern West African Poaceae and Archaeological Stone Artefacts     

H.R. Oliveira, D.L. Lister & M.K. Jones: Phylogeography of Cereal Landraces and the Spread of Agriculture in Northwest Africa: Review and Prospects 

L. Olmi, A.M. Mercuri, M.T.P. Gilbert, S. Biagetti, S. Fordyce, E. Cappellini, I. Massamba N’siala & S. di Lernia: Morphological and Genetic Analyses of Early and Mid Holocene Wild Cereals from the Takarkori Rockshelter (Central Sahara, Libya): First Results and Prospects

C. Ehret: A Linguistic History of Cultivation and Herding in Northeastern Africa 

B. Ricquier & K. Bostoen: Stirring up the Porridge: How Early Bantu Speakers Prepared their Cereals 

A. Catherine D’Andrea & Pamela Wadge: T’ef (Eragrostis tef): A Legacy of Pastoralism? 


 
 
 

People and Animals in Holocene Africa. Recent Advances in Archaeozoology

October 2011
Jousse & Lesur (eds.). ISBN: 978-3-937248-27-1.
EUR 49.80 (Softcover) + EUR 7.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: English, release date: 15 October 2011, 144 pages, 59 illustrations, 44 tables. Size/weight: 298x210x8 mm, 500 gramm.

Summary: Archaeological research in Africa is particularly wide-ranging due to the richness of its cultural and natural resources. Because of drastic climatic changes during the recent Quaternary, the development of human cultures and techniques on the continent is strongly linked with the ecological background. Especially zooarchaeological studies have to deal with a highly diverse fauna that occupied many ecological niches from the very dry desert to the tropical forest, and with greatly complex regional patterning that to some extent includes endemism. Following the “Archaeozoology of Holocene Africa” session held at the 2010 meeting of the International Council of Archaeozoology (ICAZ) in Paris, this volume presents the results of recent research conducted in this field across the continent. Nine contributions grouped into two main thematic sections are assembled here. Papers from the first tackle themes such as domesticates morphology, symbolic use, migration routes, and herding practices. Those from the second section essentially discuss how past subsistence strategies of human populations were connected with the deep changes in the environment through time and with strong seasonal regimes, without losing sight of their relations to tradition and socio-cultural aspects

The editors: Helene Jousse is a PhD geologist and archaeozoologist, currently post-doctorating at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France). Specialised in the analyses of Holocene vertebrate African fauna, her main research focuses on the relation between human subsistence patterns, paleoenvironmental changes and past history of fauna (size, distribution). Josephine Lesur is a PhD archaeozoologist, Maitre de Conferences at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France) and member of the UMR 7209 – Archeozoologie, Archeobotanique : Societes, Pratiques et Environnements. Her research interests mainly concern the origin and diffusion of herding in the Horn of Africa and in Egypt as well as the exploitation of animal resources by humans during the Holocene in the same regions.

Contents:
Forewords
Editorial Board
Preface

Part I – Herding in Africa: New Data on its Development and Diffusion
L. Chaix: A Review of the History of Cattle in the Sudan throughout the Holocene
D. Gifford-Gonzalez: East African Pastoralism: Routes, Outcomes, Questions
M. Prendergast: Hunters and herders at the periphery: the spread of herding in eastern Africa
J. Lesur, F. Briois, B. Midant-Reynes & M. Wuttmann: Domesticates and wild game in the Egyptian Western Desert at the end of the 5th millennium BC: the fauna from KS 43, Kharga Oasis
K. Manning: The first herders of the West African Sahel: inter-site comparative analysis of zooarchaeological data from the Lower Tilemsi Valley, Mali

Part II – Exploiting the faunal diversity in Africa since the last glacial Maximum
N. Pöllath: Surviving in a profoundly changing landscape: The mid-Holocene archaeofaunal record from Abu Tabari (NW-Sudan)
G. Avery: Holocene avian remains, human behaviour and seasonality on the South African coast
S. Merzoug: Faunal remains from Medjez II (Epipalaeolithic, Algeria): Evidence of ostrich consumption and interpretation of capsian subsistence behaviors
H. Jousse: African mammals over the last 18 000 years: Sharing data on their distribution, identification and biometry


 
 
 

Les styles céramiques de Kobadi. Analyse comparative et implications chronoculturelles au Néolithique récent du Sahel malien

July 2011
Annabelle Gallin. ISBN: 978-3-937248-24-0.
EUR 49.80 (Softcover) + EUR 9.00 Shipping (Worldwide)

Info: Language: French, release date: 15 July 2011, 320 pages, 409 illustrations, 130 tables, 77 plates. Size/weight: 298x210x15 mm, 1049 gramm.

Summary: Le site de Kobadi (Mali) se place chronologiquement a la transition Sahara-Sahel a la fin du Neolithique (2500 – 1500 BC). Son etude apporte un nouvel eclairage sur les mecanismes du peuplement de la boucle du Niger au Mali. La recherche doctorale presentee ici porte sur les traditions ceramiques neolithiques de Kobadi et du Mema. La definition des styles ceramiques grace a une methodologie innovante, combinant approche technologique et grammaire des decors, contribue a la connaissance des processus de peuplement du Sahel. Elle permet en effet de montrer l’existence de plusieurs groups contemporains dans le Delta interieur du Niger et leurs contacts avec le Sahara et la partie orientale de la boucle du fleuve.