Fieldwork on Iron Age sites of the Benoué Valley, Cameroon, in 2014

Author(s): Scott MacEachern; David Wright

Year: 2016


Iron Age settlements in the Benoué River Valley around Garoua in northern Cameroon were dispersed across the landscape, taking advantage of different eco-climatic zones to exploit a variety of natural resources. Fieldwork undertaken in 2014 located numerous mound sites in the area around Garoua, with occupation histories spanning multiple centuries. In particular, the site of Langui Tcheboua displays evidence for rapid accumulation of sediments approximately 700 years ago, which may have been a deliberate construction strategy that would have allowed the site inhabitants to plant both wetland and dryland crops. A mortuary feature and material culture suggest cultural influences from the Lake Chad Basin to the north. Settlement of a terraced agricultural site in the nearby Fali Mountain uplands occurs coeval to the occupation of Langui Tcheboua and potentially signifies agricultural diversification and intensification. The evolution of dozens of seemingly independent but inter-dependent sites along the Middle Benoué River region corresponds to similar political and social economies known elsewhere from pre-colonial western Africa.

Cite this Record

Fieldwork on Iron Age sites of the Benoué Valley, Cameroon, in 2014. Scott MacEachern, David Wright. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404187)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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