Assessing the Suitability of Southern Africa for Archaeological Provenance Studies with Lead Isotopes
Evidence for trade between southern Africa and the Muslim world dates back to the 8th century CE. However, it is not until the 12th and 13th centuries, with the discovery of alluvial gold in southern Africa, that entanglement between the two regions intensified. As a result, state-level societies emerged and began incorporating aspects of the Muslim identity into their own culture.
With the intensification of these trade relations, craftsmen began expanding their repertoire of iron and copper metal production to include tin and bronze materials. Thus, were these new materials imported? Is this a case of technology transfer? Or perhaps an independent invention of bronze in southern Africa? We present data from chemical and lead isotopic analyses on copper and bronze objects from Bosutswe, Great Zimbabwe, Mapungubwe, Rooiberg, Thulamela, and Verwoert, as well as a lead isotopic database of sulfide ores from the region of southern Africa. Initial ore results indicate a heterogeneous array of lead isotope data, including the major prehistoric mines of Phalaborwa, Rooiberg, Copper Queen, Tsumeb, Kimberly, and Messina. Results from the analysis of metal samples are preliminary, but elaborate on the nature of intra and inter regional trade networks in prehistoric southern Africa.
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Assessing the Suitability of Southern Africa for Archaeological Provenance Studies with Lead Isotopes. Jay Stephens, David Killick. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443256)
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min long: -18.721; min lat: -35.174 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 27.059 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21817