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University of Oslo (UiO) (2008)

Interaction between hunter-gatherers and agro-pastoralists in the Late Stone Age, an investigation of a hunter-gatherer locality at Kareng in the north-west Kalahari, Botswana

Eymundsson, Carine Sofie Rosenvinge

Titre : Interaction between hunter-gatherers and agro-pastoralists in the Late Stone Age, an investigation of a hunter-gatherer locality at Kareng in the north-west Kalahari, Botswana

Auteur : Eymundsson, Carine Sofie Rosenvinge

Université de soutenance : University of Oslo (UiO)

Grade : Master Thesis 2008

Résumé
Agro-pastoralists have been present in Botswana during the last 2000 years. The dynamics, effects and level of interaction between hunter-gatherers and agro-pastoralists in this area, has been a heavily debated issue the last 20 years in archaeological research in this country. The main evidence used to support opposing views in this debate has been small amounts of pottery, metal and domesticated animal remains, found within Late Stone Age (LSA) lithic assemblages. These finds have been mainly from excavated sites in the Kalahari Desert, in the north-western sector of Botswana. The reason the debate has not been settled has been suggested to be a caused by a lack of excavated and properly published assemblages, as well as a lack of rich undisturbed sites from this time period. Furthermore, the methods used for analyzing these assemblages have been of a typological and statistical nature. This has only produced more of the same type of evidence, thereby, fuelling the contravery and further contributing to the stalemate. Within the archaeology section of the University of Botswana and Tromsø Collaborative Programme for San Research and Capacity Building, several LSA assemblages have been excavated at open-air sites in the north-west Kalahari. The present investigation is concerned with one of these, the site of Kareng, named after the nearby village. This site is located on a slightly elevated ridge, south-east of the fossil Lake Ngami and the Okavango Delta. As the archaeological material from Kareng contained both pottery and a relatively large amount of faunal remains, intermixed with a microlithic LSA assemblage, it was viewed as an excellent test case to investigate the issue of interaction. As the aim of the project has been to add new information with regard to the prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the region, it was decided to apply the theoretical framework of agency and the methodological approach of the chaîne opératoire, which both have had very limited exposure in Botswana. Based on the analysis of the assemblage, it was concluded that there is no evidence of a high intensity in the level of contact or effects in the form of transition to herding. Instead, opportunistic, creative and flexible dynamics of interaction were indicated. Additionally, the results of the application of the chaîne opératoire showed great potential for identifying and assessing the level of post-depositional movement, stratigraphic integrity, inter-site relation and the validity of the dating samples. In combination with a theoretical framework, it also proved a good research strategy for obtaining an in-depth understanding of the assemblage, further facilitating valid interpretations of production, activities and possible dynamics and effects of interaction.

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Page publiée le 10 octobre 2012, mise à jour le 13 février 2018