Sacred and Magnificent, Degraded Landscapes: Crater Rims as Sacred Places and Transformed Spaces in western Uganda
Author(s): Peter Schmidt
One of the most vexing problems in the archaeology of eastern Africa is the absence of burial evidence from deep antiquity. This issue is now moot with the documentation of multiple burials on the narrow rims of steep volcanic calderas in far western Uganda. Dating to the early first millennium CE, these cemeteries contain well preserved individuals who lived in a forested environment they modified by fire while subsisting on a mixed diet of fish, game, and agriculturally produced grains. Previously characterized as hunter, fishers, and gatherers, these pioneer forest dwellers were more varied than previously believed. They buried their dead with large funerary urns on the western sides of spectacular calderas where the first rays of the rising sun strike--suggesting beliefs linked to celestial cycles. Responsible for pulses of forest clearance over the last millennium BCE and first millennium CE, they were replaced by major but short-lived agriculturally-based population in the mid-second millennium CE that utilized large scale forest clearance and agriculture on the crater slopes.
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Sacred and Magnificent, Degraded Landscapes: Crater Rims as Sacred Places and Transformed Spaces in western Uganda. Peter Schmidt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431934)
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min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15171