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A complete set of drawings of the pottery excavated from the Daima mound in 1966 is presented here for the first time. Previously only a small selection of these has been available in a published form. The drawings provide a visual guide to the ceramic sequence at this site from the first millennium BC to the early part of the second millennium AD. In general it can be seen that flat-based pots, three-legged pots, carved roulettes and nodular roulettes characterized the third phase of the site; the first appearance of twisted cord roulettes occurred in the second phase; and comb-stamping and comb-drawing were most common in the first and second phases. In addition there was a gradual change throughout the sequence from smaller vessels of fine ware to larger ones of coarser fabric. Overall, it is hoped that these illustrations will contribute to the growth of comparative ceramic studies of the last three millennia in the West African Sahel.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

One of the principal manifestations of African complex societies is urbanism. However, a concentration on the excavation of larger settlements built in long-lasting materials and on the excavation of elite structures within such settlements, means that the archaeology of African social complexity presents an unrepresentative picture. Archaeologically, some societies have a low visibility. There is a need to improve our methodology if this problem is to be overcome. A greater use should be made of aerial photography and satellite coverage to locate sites, and many known sites need detailed planning by these and other means. Regional surveys are also needed, in order to establish the settlement hierarchies of which the principal sites were a part. Such surveys should be followed by systematic surface collection and by both physical and electronic sub-surface prospection, use of the latter particularly needing development in the African context. Only then should excavation be resorted to but it is largescale open-area excavation guided by rigorous sampling procedures that will be necessary to obtain the most useful information about social organization in the past. In addition, relevant ethnoarchaeological investigations need to be undertaken wherever possible, and extensive use should be made of ethnohistorical documentation. It is concluded that, to improve the archaeological visibility of ancient African urbanism, we need either larger and internationally-funded research programmes or we need programmes that make up for modest funding by continuing over a number of years.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

New archaeological research in Borno by the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, has included the analysis of pottery excavated from several sites during the 1990s. This important investigation made us search through our old files for a statistical analysis of pottery from the same region, which although completed in 1981 was never published. The material came from approximately one hundred surface collections and seven excavated sites, spread over a wide area, and resulted from fieldwork in the 1960s and 1970s. Although old, the analysis remains relevant because it provides a broad geographical context for the more recent work, as well as a large body of independent data with which the new findings can be compared. It also indicates variations in both time and space that have implications for the human history of the area, hinting at the ongoing potential of broadscale pottery analysis in this part of West Africa and having wider implications of relevance to the study of archaeological pottery elsewhere.

In: Journal of African Archaeology