A Dictionary of Archaeology by Ian Shaw

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By Ian Shaw

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Authors, dates, volumes and page numbers are as follows: F. Willett, 12 (1971), 339–70; C. Flight 14 (1973), 531–54; M. J. McIntosh, 17 (1976), 161–95; D. Calvocoressi and N. G. K. J. McIntosh, 27 (1986), 413–42. This series of articles also provides a unique account of the ebb and flow of research in West Africa over the last 25 years. J. ’, BIFAN 21/A (1959), 427–38; M. L. Carter and C. B. A. T. Grove: ‘Environmental and climatic implications of late Quaternary lake-level fluctuations in Africa’, Nature 261 (1976), 385–90; L.

Such similarities encourage archaeologists in their use of ethnographic data to interpret the archaeological record, though with a growing recognition of the value of looking beyond southern Africa for appropriate analogies. Four or five broadly successive artefact traditions are generally recognized within the southern African Later Stone Age. Although the very earliest LSA assemblages are amorphous, quartzdominated microlithic occurrences, between 19,000 and 12,000 BP the systematic production of unretouched bladelets from highly distinctive bladelet cores distinguishes Robberg assemblages, which are found across South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

There is some evidence that tin working was practised at sites of the Nok culture, and at the end of the 1st millennium AD remarkable virtuosity in metal working was shown both at IGBO-UKWU in southeastern Nigeria and at Sintiou Bara on the banks of the Senegal river. At Igbo-Ukwu both copper and bronze were employed and considerable reliance was placed on the lost wax (or lost latex) technique. At Sintiou Bara the emphasis was on brass, as well as alloys of copper and silver, and techniques included riveting, wiredrawing, and annealing to produce elaborate composite objects.

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