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Revisiting the Ancient Ona Culture of Eritrea: What Previous Research from the Asmara Plateau Might Offer for New Understandings of the First Millennium BCE in the Northern Horn of Africa

Author(s): Matthew Curtis

Year: 2017

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Summary

Sustained archaeological research on the Asmara Plateau of Eritrea occurred between 1998 and 2003, producing important initial efforts in ceramic and lithic artifact typologies, subsistence reconstruction, and regional perspectives in landscape use and settlement patterns dating to the first millennium BCE. Researchers identified a distinct regional cultural expression termed the Ancient Ona Culture. This paper reviews the key qualities of the Ancient Ona Culture and argues that, while distinct in a number of aspects, the Ancient Ona Culture may be seen as a localized expression of a wider regional cultural expression in the highlands of the northern Horn. Given the cessation of international research in the Asmara Plateau since 2003, it is crucial to revisit insights from previous research in Eritrea, relating these to new understandings of the archaeology of the first millennium BCE from research conducted over the last two decades in Tigray Ethiopia. This paper outlines ideas for accomplishing such an endeavor.


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Revisiting the Ancient Ona Culture of Eritrea: What Previous Research from the Asmara Plateau Might Offer for New Understandings of the First Millennium BCE in the Northern Horn of Africa. Matthew Curtis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429863)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15722

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