Kose, Eileen (2016). Early And Late Ironworking Groups Along The Middle Kavango River In Northern Namibia During The First And Second Millennium AD. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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For many hundreds of years, iron has played a significant role within the societies along the Middle Kavango River of northern Namibia and southern Angola. However, the time depth of the use of iron and the means by which iron was produced have only been documented unsystematically. Therefore, in this thesis, archaeology, archaeometallurgy and oral history has been combined to examine the presence, technology, and the chronological development of iron metallurgy in this region during the past 1600 years. The assemblages of several archaeological sites were assessed using standard archaeological methods. The recovered archaeometallurgical materials were analyzed using optical microscopy, ICP-OES and XRD. Oral history on iron metallurgy was collected using structured interviews. As a result, iron metallurgy was found to go back as early as the 4th century AD. It first appeared in sites within a ceramic Late Stone Age tradition (Ruuga, Kapako). The archaeometrical analyses suggest that iron metallurgy was introduced as a sophisticated bundle of knowledge and the availability of iron appears to have replaced stone tool technology in the following centuries. The pottery tradition of these Early Ironworking Groups shows cultural links to Early Iron Age sites in central and south central Africa. The Middle Kavango region underwent a discontinuous settlement development during the past 2000 years. After a hiatus of approximately 400 years, new political systems emerged along the river from the 15th century AD onwards. These communities of the Late Ironworking Groups subsisted largely on hunting and foraging and were involved in the international ivory trade during colonial times. From these younger sites (Vungu-Vungu, Gove, Dikundu, Kauti, Kapako), the thesis discusses the archaeology and metallurgy in conjunction with the oral history of iron production. The historical picture that unfolded highlights the heterogeneity and technical sophistication of small-scale iron production as well as the social – and highly spiritual – dimension of iron in the Kavango societies over the past 500 years.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Kose, Eileeneileen.kose@mailbox.orgUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-108850
Date: 2016
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 2: Archäologie, Altertumskunde und Kulturen des Mittelmeerraums > Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte > Abteilung D - Forschungsstelle Afrika
Subjects: Geography and history
History of ancient world
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Angola, archaeology, archaemetallurgy, chronology, Dciriku, Dikundu, Early Ironworking Groups, ethno-history, Gove, Iron Age, iron processing, iron production, Kapako, Kauti, Kavango, Kwangali, Late Ironworking Groups, Late Stone Age, Mbukushu, Mbunza, metallography, Namibia, Nyemba, oral history, Ruuga, San, Shambyu, Tjaube, Vungu-VunguEnglish
Date of oral exam: 12 July 2016
NameAcademic Title
Richter, JürgenProf. Dr.
Yalçin, ÜnsalProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/10885


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