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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 6 (1) 2008

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L. H. Robbins, A. C. Campbell, M. L. Murphy, G. A. Brook, F. Liang, S. A. Skaggs, P. Srivastava, A. A. Mabuse & S. Badenhorst

Recent archaeological research at Toteng, Botswana: early domesticated livestock in the Kalahari

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 6 (1), 2008, pages 131-149, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10106


Abstract
This paper presents the first combined use of OSL and AMS dating to address the problem of the advent of livestock in southern Africa. Excavations at Toteng, at the eastern end of the Lake Ngami basin, have revealed bones of wetland and domesticated animals dating to around 2 ka. There is also Bambata pottery and microliths. Between 2.1–1.5 ka the lake level increased to ca 934 m asl but declined rapidly to less than 930 m asl by 1.2 ka. People lived close to the shore of Lake Ngami but as the lake waters receded occupation was probably seasonal in the winter months; during the summer low-flow months they may have moved west to be near a smaller Lake Ngami or northeast to the Okavango Delta.


Résumé
Cet article présente la première utilisation combinée des systèmes de datation par luminescence stimulée optiquement (OSL) et de datation par spectrométrie de masse par accélérateur(AMS) dans le but d'étudier la question de l'arrivée du bétail en Afrique Australe. Des fouilles à Toteng à l'extrémité est du bassin du lac Ngami ont révélé des ossements d'animaux de marécages et d'animaux domestiques datant d'environ deux mille ans. De la poterie Bambata et les microlithes y ont également été découverts. Entre 2100–1500 ans, le niveau du lac a remonté à 934 mètres au-dessus du niveau de la mer, puis il a diminué jusqu'à 930 mètres au-dessus du niveau de la mer il y a 1 200 ans. Des populations habitaient sur les rives du lac Ngami, vraisemblablement de façon saisonnière  – surtout l'hiver – en raison de la variation du niveau des eaux ; pendant les mois d'été, alors que le niveau de l'eau était très bas, ces populations déménageaient probablement vers l'ouest pour être près d'un plus petit lac Ngami ou vers le nord-est, dans le delta de l'Okavango.




Keywords: early livestock, Kalahari, palaeoenvironment, paleoenvironment, Toteng


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Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
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