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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. 2 (2) 2004

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H. Jousse

A new contribution to the history of pastoralism in West Africa

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 2 (2), 2004, pages 187-201, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10027

Abstract
Archaeological and faunal evidence from West African Neolithic sites, including those containing shorthorn cattle from 4000 years bp, shows that cattle spread out progressively from the Saharan uplands through the Sahel and along the Atlantic coast. These migrations were modulated by Holocene climatic fluctuations in which alternating wet and dry phases altered natural ecosystems and opened up new areas to pastoralism. At the same time, the Neolithic populations were forced to modify their cultural and economic practices, culminating in the social changes that characterised the final stages of the Neolithic.

Résumé
De nouvelles données archéologiques et fauniques provenant de sites néolithiques ouest africains, où un petit bœuf à cornes courtes est attesté à partir de 4000 ans BP, montrent que le bœuf a migré depuis les reliefs sahariens, à travers le Sahel et le long de la côte atlantique. Cette progression suit l'évolution climatique holocène, au cours de laquelle la succession de phases arides et humides a perturbé les écosystèmes naturels et ouvert des espaces favorables aux activités pastorales. En même temps, les populations néolithiques ont été contraintes à adapter leurs comportements culturels et économiques, en relation avec les changements sociaux de la fin du Néolithique.




Keywords: migration, Neolithic, pastoral activities, shorthorn cattle, West Africa


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Editors:
Sonja Magnavita, Peter Breunig, Sam Nixon

Book Reviews Editor:
Jonathan R. Walz, USA

Editorial Advisory Board:
Graham Connah, Australia
Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
Tom Huffman, South Africa
Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
David Killick, USA
Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
David Mattingly, UK
Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
Peter Robertshaw, USA
Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

Copy Editors:
Nikolas Gestrich, UK
Gaby Franke, Germany
Annabelle Gallin, France
Richard Byer, Germany

Editorial Assistance:
Anna Rybar, Germany
Carlos Magnavita, Germany


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