An archaeological survey of the Linyanti and Liambezi marshlands in north-eastern Namibia revealed a number of hunting and fishing sites with first millennium AD farming community ceramics as well as evidence suggesting the adoption of ceramic technology by hunter-gatherers in this area during the second millennium AD. These finds have implications for the archaeology of recent southern African hunter-gatherers: they suggest both practical criteria for the recognition of ceramics obtained by trade during the spread of food production through southern Africa in the last two millennia, and point to a likely scenario for the appearance sui generis of ceramics associated with Khoe-speaking nomadic pastoralists.
The publication, largely by ethnoarchaeologists, of new data on the tamper and concave anvil technique of pot-forming (TCA) permits a reassessment of this uniquely African technique, its toolkit, and its culture history. A survey, inspired by the technologie culturelle school, of its varied expressions in the southern Saharan, Sahelian and northern Sudan zones from Mali to Sudan and extending north into Egypt emphasises the potential of the technique for the efficient production of spherical water jars of high volume to weight ratio, much appreciated in arid environments. The technique is demanding and therefore practised for the most part by specialists. The origins and diffusion of the technique are assessed in the light of the ethnological, archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence, and a four stage historical development is sketched.
Affad 23, situated in upper alluvial deposits related to a former channel of the Nile in the Affad District, Southern Dongola Reach, Sudan, is mainly known through its upper or surface level. The combined data concerning the position of the site, composition of the lithic assemblage, freshness, refittings and dispersion of the artefacts point to a late Middle Palaeolithic workshop used for short periods. It utilized discoid and levallois debitage of Hudi Chert collected from the palaeochannel during the lowwater season. The animal remains suggest opportunistic hunting of medium-sized antelopes, probably mainly kobs living near the site, some dorcas gazelles, occasionally hippopotamus and other big game, as well as small vertebrates, much less visible in the collected samples. A lower level, separated from the surface level by a deposit of some 30 cm, represents an earlier workshop. The easy access to chert in the palaeochannel may also explain the existence of other Paleolithic sites along the channel as workshops.
Africa is affected by climate change in multiple ways. Like other continents, its coastline is in danger of being flooded, and its islands are in danger of being inundated. Many people are forced by climate change to migrate, and this increases the flows of refugees moving both north towards the Mediterranean and south towards the Cape, seeking a viable homeland. It is in the interest of African countries to develop in ways that are climate-friendly. More electricity needs to be generated to enhance people’s quality of life, but this should be generated in environmentally friendly ways. Large schemes of tree-planting are also needed, to restore the forests of areas where they have been lost in civil conflicts (as in central and northern Ethiopia) and at the same time to sequestrate some of the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere. As well as mitigation, collaborative efforts are needed in the field of adaptation, so as to limit the impacts of climate change. Developing countries should assist such measures, but they should be adopted whether or not such assistance materialises.