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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 13 (2) 2015

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M. Lombard & I. Parsons

Milk not Meat: The Role of Milk amongst the Khoe Peoples of Southern Africa

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 13 (2), 2015, pages 149-166, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10272

Abstract

Historical sources emphasise the different uses of livestock in southern African Khoe societies. Here we review the role of milk gained from livestock amongst the Khoe, as recorded over the last few centuries, and demonstrate that it was of greater subsistence value than the meat of livestock. In addition, we highlight the recorded technological, social and ritual importance of milk amongst the Khoe. Finally, attention is drawn to recent genetic research that suggests the dependence of southern African Later Stone Age herders on milk.


Résumé

Les sources historiques soulignent les différents usages du bétail dans les sociétés Khoe d'Afrique australe. Nous examinons ici le rôle du lait parmi les Khoe, documenté au cours des derniers siècles, et montrons que le lait était, en termes de subsistance, d'une plus grande valeur que la viande du bétail. Nous soulignons également l'importance technologique, sociale et rituelle du lait parmi les Khoe. Enfin, nous attirons l'attention sur la recherche génétique récente qui suggère la dépendance des éleveurs de l'âge de pierre en Afrique australe à l'égard du lait.



Keywords: historical accounts, Khoe, Later Stone Age herders, livestock, milk


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Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
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Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
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David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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Annabelle Gallin, France
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