The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Chirikure, Shadreck en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Hall, Simon en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Bandama, Foreman en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-12-25T15:50:25Z
dc.date.available 2014-12-25T15:50:25Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Bandama, F. 2013. The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10000
dc.description Includes abstract. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The inception of metallurgy in southern Africa was relatively late, compared to other regions in Africa, and as a result, this part of the sub-continent was mistakenly thought to have been less innovative during the Iron Age. On the contrary, dedicated materials analyses are showing that starting from the terminal first millennium AD, southern Africa is replete with innovations that include the growth of state systems, specialised long-distance trading, the re-melting of glass beads, the working of ivory, and the weaving of cotton using ceramic spindle whorls. Additionally, the appearance of gold and tin production, against a background of on-going iron and copper metallurgy, has been interpreted by some as intimating innovation in metal technology. While some research energy has been invested into these novelties, there has only been incidental concern with the innovation in tin and bronze production. This study investigates the context of this novelty in the metallurgy of the Southern Waterberg, an area that hosts one of the unequivocal cases of pre-colonial tin mining in southern Africa. Recent trace element studies have indicated that bronzes from several elite sites in the region, were produced using tin that was sourced from the Southern Waterberg. The current chronology from the Southern Waterberg does not capture the full tin sequence that is implicated by the trace-element analyses of tin and bronze from dated contexts elsewhere and falls short by at two centuries. To bridge this gap, the present study sought, to explore the visibility of tin production in the Southern Waterberg at sites that are contemporary with the appearance of tin and bronze in southern Africa, and to investigate how this innovation was integrated into on-going iron and copper production. Rigorous methodological and theoretical approaches that include ethno-historical, archaeological and archaeometallurgical studies were employed in order to glean relevant information required to address these issues. Ceramic typological and settlement pattern studies were used to establish the culture-historical context, while Optical Microscopy, X-ray Fluorescence Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy of metallurgical remains were used to identify the metals and techniques that were employed. Ceramic technological studies were used to establish relationships between the metallurgy and the ceramic typological identities. The results suggest that the Southern Waterberg may have participated in the innovation of tin production in southern Africa. More research may strengthen this observation but it is entirely appropriate, in view of several metallurgical and non-metallurgical innovations that were on-going in societies throughout the region at large. Researchers now need to engage more with innovations and actively explore the various novelties that southern Africa exhibited during the Iron Age. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Archaeology en_ZA
dc.title The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Archaeology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname Ph D en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Bandama, F. (2013). <i>The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Archaeology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10000 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Bandama, Foreman. <i>"The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Archaeology, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10000 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Bandama F. The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Archaeology, 2013 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10000 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Bandama, Foreman AB - The inception of metallurgy in southern Africa was relatively late, compared to other regions in Africa, and as a result, this part of the sub-continent was mistakenly thought to have been less innovative during the Iron Age. On the contrary, dedicated materials analyses are showing that starting from the terminal first millennium AD, southern Africa is replete with innovations that include the growth of state systems, specialised long-distance trading, the re-melting of glass beads, the working of ivory, and the weaving of cotton using ceramic spindle whorls. Additionally, the appearance of gold and tin production, against a background of on-going iron and copper metallurgy, has been interpreted by some as intimating innovation in metal technology. While some research energy has been invested into these novelties, there has only been incidental concern with the innovation in tin and bronze production. This study investigates the context of this novelty in the metallurgy of the Southern Waterberg, an area that hosts one of the unequivocal cases of pre-colonial tin mining in southern Africa. Recent trace element studies have indicated that bronzes from several elite sites in the region, were produced using tin that was sourced from the Southern Waterberg. The current chronology from the Southern Waterberg does not capture the full tin sequence that is implicated by the trace-element analyses of tin and bronze from dated contexts elsewhere and falls short by at two centuries. To bridge this gap, the present study sought, to explore the visibility of tin production in the Southern Waterberg at sites that are contemporary with the appearance of tin and bronze in southern Africa, and to investigate how this innovation was integrated into on-going iron and copper production. Rigorous methodological and theoretical approaches that include ethno-historical, archaeological and archaeometallurgical studies were employed in order to glean relevant information required to address these issues. Ceramic typological and settlement pattern studies were used to establish the culture-historical context, while Optical Microscopy, X-ray Fluorescence Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy of metallurgical remains were used to identify the metals and techniques that were employed. Ceramic technological studies were used to establish relationships between the metallurgy and the ceramic typological identities. The results suggest that the Southern Waterberg may have participated in the innovation of tin production in southern Africa. More research may strengthen this observation but it is entirely appropriate, in view of several metallurgical and non-metallurgical innovations that were on-going in societies throughout the region at large. Researchers now need to engage more with innovations and actively explore the various novelties that southern Africa exhibited during the Iron Age. DA - 2013 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2013 T1 - The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa TI - The archaeology and technology of metal production in the Late Iron Age of the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10000 ER - en_ZA


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