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Editorial

Editorial Editorial Although open for all topics on African archaeology, the editors intend to dedicate individual volumes of the Journal of African Archaeology on geographically, chronologically or thematically related subject areas to intensify discussion among experts and inform the wider audience on current developments. This was the case in the last volume, which predominantly focussed on stone artefacts. The present issue has a broader perspective with topics like southern Africa as the regional main issue, as well as metal/Iron Age and pottery in terms of chronological and thematic priority. All three foci are represented in Thomas N. Huffman's article discussing ethnic stratification during the Middle Iron Age in southern Africa on the basis of ceramics, glass beads and radiocarbon dates from the key sites of Leokwe Hill and Mapungubwe. Roulette decoration on pottery in sub-Saharan Africa is a wide and those who work on it might agree tricky field of study. In the past, our Belgian colleagues from Bruxelles and Tervuren have built up a reputation on this subject, like the author of the present article in this issue. Alexandre Livingstone Smith presents a survey on roulette decoration in time and space at a continental scale, discussing its origin and expansion and providing explanations that include the relationship between roulette decoration and the potters / blacksmiths caste. Comprehensive chronologically are studies by the team of Mary E. Prendergast and her Spanish and Tanzanian colleagues, L. Luque, M. Domínguez-Rodrigo, F. Diez-Martín, A. Z. P. Mabulla and R. Barba, at the Mumba rock shelter in Tanzania. In spite of manifold excavations since the 1930s and archaeologically extremely rich deposits, the rock shelter has not yet met its potential as an East African reference stratigraphy for the Middle Stone Age through the Iron Age. The authors report about re-excavation of Mumba and explain the revision of former conclusions, thus emphasizing the need to systematically leave cultural deposits behind for future reconsideration. Another paper is written by Graham Connah. It presents drawings of pottery from the settlement mound of Daima, excavated in 1966 in the Chad Basin of northeastern Nigeria. With its considerable stratigraphy covering deposits from the first millennium BC to the early second millennium AD, Daima provided a reference sequence for the flat clay plains south of Lake Chad, still up-to-date as confirmed by subsequent excavations of the Frankfurt team at neighbouring settlement sites. Since pottery plays a crucial role in the sequence, more data will enlarge and intensify our knowledge on it. Concerning again southern Africa and metal, James Denbow and Duncan Miller report on metal working at Bosutswe, Botswana. Bosutswe, located on a tributary to the Zambesi River in Botswana, is a deeply stratified site with deposits that have been excavated by James Denbow and Ed Wilmsen since the early 1980s. The authors present results of metallurgical analysis on finds of the early second millennium AD and discuss their social implication. Southeastern Zimbabwe is the focus of the article by Lorraine M. Swan. She informs about the excavation of two iron-smelting sites excavated in 2004. One site is associated with the first farmers of the region, and the other with the Zimbabwe State. Finally, three book reviews are presented. The editors would like to thank all authors and reviewers for their contributions to the current issue. Frankfurt a. M., December 2007 Peter Breunig Sonja Magnavita Journal of African Archaeology Vol. 5 (2), 2007 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.1163/21915784-90000011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Editorial Although open for all topics on African archaeology, the editors intend to dedicate individual volumes of the Journal of African Archaeology on geographically, chronologically or thematically related subject areas to intensify discussion among experts and inform the wider audience on current developments. This was the case in the last volume, which predominantly focussed on stone artefacts. The present issue has a broader perspective with topics like southern Africa as the regional main issue, as well as metal/Iron Age and pottery in terms of chronological and thematic priority. All three foci are represented in Thomas N. Huffman's article discussing ethnic stratification during the Middle Iron Age in southern Africa on the basis of ceramics, glass beads and radiocarbon dates from the key sites of Leokwe Hill and Mapungubwe. Roulette decoration on pottery in sub-Saharan Africa is a wide and those who work on it might agree tricky field of study. In the past, our Belgian colleagues from Bruxelles and Tervuren have built up a reputation on this subject, like the author of the present article in this issue. Alexandre Livingstone Smith presents a survey on roulette decoration in time and space at a continental scale, discussing its origin and expansion and providing explanations that include the relationship between roulette decoration and the potters / blacksmiths caste. Comprehensive chronologically are studies by the team of Mary E. Prendergast and her Spanish and Tanzanian colleagues, L. Luque, M. Domínguez-Rodrigo, F. Diez-Martín, A. Z. P. Mabulla and R. Barba, at the Mumba rock shelter in Tanzania. In spite of manifold excavations since the 1930s and archaeologically extremely rich deposits, the rock shelter has not yet met its potential as an East African reference stratigraphy for the Middle Stone Age through the Iron Age. The authors report about re-excavation of Mumba and explain the revision of former conclusions, thus emphasizing the need to systematically leave cultural deposits behind for future reconsideration. Another paper is written by Graham Connah. It presents drawings of pottery from the settlement mound of Daima, excavated in 1966 in the Chad Basin of northeastern Nigeria. With its considerable stratigraphy covering deposits from the first millennium BC to the early second millennium AD, Daima provided a reference sequence for the flat clay plains south of Lake Chad, still up-to-date as confirmed by subsequent excavations of the Frankfurt team at neighbouring settlement sites. Since pottery plays a crucial role in the sequence, more data will enlarge and intensify our knowledge on it. Concerning again southern Africa and metal, James Denbow and Duncan Miller report on metal working at Bosutswe, Botswana. Bosutswe, located on a tributary to the Zambesi River in Botswana, is a deeply stratified site with deposits that have been excavated by James Denbow and Ed Wilmsen since the early 1980s. The authors present results of metallurgical analysis on finds of the early second millennium AD and discuss their social implication. Southeastern Zimbabwe is the focus of the article by Lorraine M. Swan. She informs about the excavation of two iron-smelting sites excavated in 2004. One site is associated with the first farmers of the region, and the other with the Zimbabwe State. Finally, three book reviews are presented. The editors would like to thank all authors and reviewers for their contributions to the current issue. Frankfurt a. M., December 2007 Peter Breunig Sonja Magnavita Journal of African Archaeology Vol. 5 (2), 2007

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Nov 1, 2007

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