By Timothy Insoll
How humans engaged with fabrics reminiscent of clay or stone, why humans dug beneficial properties reminiscent of pits, why they embellished their our bodies, or taken care of their useless in yes methods, have been all significant within the African earlier. even if, those are topics which have been typically missed by way of archaeologists operating in Africa until eventually lately. Material Explorations in African Archaeology examines materiality in African archaeology by means of exploring suggestions of fabric corporation and fabric engagement and entanglement on the subject of their show up presence in people, animals, items, ingredients, and contexts. It investigates the impressive and intricate global of prior African materiality via contemplating more than a few case stories. those contain, for instance, why status stones have been erected, the capability meanings of physically alteration practices reminiscent of scarification and dental amendment, and why, frequently, Africans some time past gave ritual value to things, fabrics, and destinations considered unique or assorted. Adopting a multidisciplinary concentration, the quantity attracts not just on archaeology but additionally, between different parts, ethnography and historical past, discussing subject matters reminiscent of our bodies, panorama, therapeutic and medication, and divination, in addition to suggestions similar to reminiscence and biography, transformation, and metaphor and metonym.
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Additional info for Material Explorations in African Archaeology
In the early twentieth century, the hair-style worn by Thonga nursing mothers had ochre as a key component (Junod 1962b: 100). Whilst adult Thonga men were permitted to have a hair-style that incorporated a diadem of wax on the crown of the head and built on a frame of ox tendon strings and palm leaf ribs (Junod 1962a: 130). In the same period, some Ibo hair-styles also incorporated secondary materials and objects such as cowry shells, leopard claws, beads, cam-wood paste, and a ‘helmet-like’ ridge (Talbot 1926: 413) formed with a clay foundation.
Ad 700–1150 [Connah 1981: 159, 185]). Cylindrical quartz lip-plugs were also found in contexts dated to between the eleventh to sixteenth centuries ad in the Bandiagara Cliffs (Mali) (Bedaux 1988: 43), and of comparable OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 09/11/2015, SPi 28 Material Explorations in African Archaeology date, nine clay lip-plugs of biconical and other forms were recovered from the Kotoko-Sao site of Makari in northern Cameroon (Lebeuf 1962: 55), and a red jasper ear-plug was found on the surface of the Old Oyo site in Nigeria (Willett 1960: 74).
These ranged from a cap-stone shape of 16 by 9 mm to a deep-waisted plug of 17 by 13 mm. An opaque white quartz cylinder ear/nose/lip ornament was recovered from Daima II contexts (c. ad 50–700) at the eponymous site in northern Nigeria, and similar clay body ornaments were present throughout Daima III (c. ad 700–1150 [Connah 1981: 159, 185]). Cylindrical quartz lip-plugs were also found in contexts dated to between the eleventh to sixteenth centuries ad in the Bandiagara Cliffs (Mali) (Bedaux 1988: 43), and of comparable OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 09/11/2015, SPi 28 Material Explorations in African Archaeology date, nine clay lip-plugs of biconical and other forms were recovered from the Kotoko-Sao site of Makari in northern Cameroon (Lebeuf 1962: 55), and a red jasper ear-plug was found on the surface of the Old Oyo site in Nigeria (Willett 1960: 74).