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AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF COPPER AND IRON PRODUCTION AT MAROTHODI, AN EARLY 19 TH CENTURY TSWANA TOWN, RUSTENBURG DISTRICT, SOUTH AFRICA

AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF COPPER AND IRON PRODUCTION AT MAROTHODI, AN EARLY 19 TH CENTURY TSWANA... The archaeological evidence for iron and especially copper production at Marothodi indicates that output far exceeded local requirements. Preliminary analyses of slag and metal provide insight into the technical processes of this production, while well-resolved spatial data comment upon the social and cultural organization of production. In this paper we attempt to integrate both technical and social aspects of production into the regional historic context with a view to developing ideas about the contextual specificity of surplus metal production from Marothodi early in the 19th century. Generally, Marothodi was occupied in a period of increasingly competitive economic and political relationships between lineages. The evidence from Marothodi indicates that although copper ore quality was poor, and had been largely mined out by previous producers, it was clearly worthwhile to produce a surplus because of regional demands. Importantly, the Tlokwa elites at Marothodi had the regional power to do so. Furthermore, although the location of Marothodi was a compromise between several factors, we suggest that proximity to the copper ore sources was important. Spatial data suggest that political authority did not physically centralize copper production, and that most home-steads were independent producers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF COPPER AND IRON PRODUCTION AT MAROTHODI, AN EARLY 19 TH CENTURY TSWANA TOWN, RUSTENBURG DISTRICT, SOUTH AFRICA

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2006 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.1163/10.3213/1612-1651-10061
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The archaeological evidence for iron and especially copper production at Marothodi indicates that output far exceeded local requirements. Preliminary analyses of slag and metal provide insight into the technical processes of this production, while well-resolved spatial data comment upon the social and cultural organization of production. In this paper we attempt to integrate both technical and social aspects of production into the regional historic context with a view to developing ideas about the contextual specificity of surplus metal production from Marothodi early in the 19th century. Generally, Marothodi was occupied in a period of increasingly competitive economic and political relationships between lineages. The evidence from Marothodi indicates that although copper ore quality was poor, and had been largely mined out by previous producers, it was clearly worthwhile to produce a surplus because of regional demands. Importantly, the Tlokwa elites at Marothodi had the regional power to do so. Furthermore, although the location of Marothodi was a compromise between several factors, we suggest that proximity to the copper ore sources was important. Spatial data suggest that political authority did not physically centralize copper production, and that most home-steads were independent producers.

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2006

Keywords: Tswana; copper; iron; nickel; tin; ore; slag; mining; furnace; smelting; refining

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