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  • Author or Editor: Hamady Bocoum x
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This paper addresses a number of connected issues revolving around mortuary practices in the Senegambian megalithic traditions, through the lenses of the intriguing double-monolith-circle #27 of Sine-Ngayene, also known as Diallombere. Despite more than a century of archaeological investigation, the diversity of Senegambian megalithic features is still very poorly understood. Most of the cases investigated so far have been claimed to feature single or multiple simultaneous primary burials. The presence of incomplete skeletons is generally explained by poor preservation due to soils’ corrosive effects. Monument #27, located at the center of the Sine- Ngayene cemetery, presents an unexpectedly long uselife, characterized by shifting ways of arranging humans’ skeletal remains — mortuary codes switching — as well as their associated ritual use of material culture, within the general context of secondary burial practices. Four distinct and successive cycles, spanning over ca 700 years (AD 700 – AD 1350), have been identified and the construction sequence of this complex monument deciphered.

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In: Journal of African Archaeology

Among the many characteristics of the Senegalese and Gambian megalithic phenomenon, the deposition of pottery on the eastern edge of funerary structures is a recurrent practice present throughout the excavated sites. In the western part of the megalithic area, ceramics are generally located between the standing stone-circles and one or more frontal stones erected east of monuments. With the exception of morphological and decorative aspects, no technological studies have ever been conducted on the pottery from these deposits. Such an approach has now been taken to the analysis of around forty ceramics from deposits at the site of Wanar — about as many as are available from the deposits of all other Senegambian megalithic sites. The results demonstrate the range of technical choices mobilized in the shaping process. The high degree of finish on the vessels also suggests an important added value to the material culture which participated in the monuments’ ritual function.

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In: Journal of African Archaeology