Recent Archaeological Research at Toteng, Botswana: Early Domesticated Livestock in the Kalahari

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Dept. of Anthropology, Michigan Stage University
  • 2 Crocodile Pools
  • 3 Kalamazoo Valley Community College
  • 4 Dept. of Geography, University of Georgia
  • 5 Dept. of Geography, University of Georgia
  • 6 Dept. of Geology, University of Georgia
  • 7 Sedimentology Group, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
  • 8 National Museum of Botswana
  • 9 Dept. of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive

This paper presents the first combined use of OSL and AMS dating to address the problem of the advent of livestock in southern Africa. Excavations at Toteng, at the eastern end of the Lake Ngami basin, have revealed bones of wetland and domesticated animals dating to around 2 ka. There is also Bambata pottery and microliths. Between 2.1–1.5 ka the lake level increased to ca 934 m asl but declined rapidly to less than 930 m asl by 1.2 ka. People lived close to the shore of Lake Ngami but as the lake waters receded occupation was probably seasonal in the winter months; during the summer low-flow months they may have moved west to be near a smaller Lake Ngami or northeast to the Okavango Delta.

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