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Ceramic petrography, historical linguistics and the Bantu expansion: tracking the arrival of the first pottery-using peoples in northern Botswana

Author(s): Edwin Wilmsen ; David Killick

Year: 2015

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Summary

It may seem counterintuitive that colonists travelling substantial distances on foot into new territory should have carried ceramic vessels with them, but in some cases the evidence from ceramic petrography shows that they did. This case study examines the movements of the first pottery-using migrants into northern Botswana between the first and the fourth centuries CE. Southern Africa was the terminus of the long expansion of Bantu languages from their region of origin in present eastern Nigeria, and we will tentatively suggest that the petrographic and stylistic analysis of pottery may provide material evidence for the convergence in Botswana of the Western and Eastern streams of the Bantu languages. We will also present our current thoughts on the status of Bambata pottery, which some archaeologists have argued was brought into this region by a separate and slightly earlier migration of sheep and cattle pastoralists.

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Ceramic petrography, historical linguistics and the Bantu expansion: tracking the arrival of the first pottery-using peoples in northern Botswana. David Killick, Edwin Wilmsen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397055)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America