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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. 1 (1) 2003

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J. Sterner & N. David

Action on matter: the history of the uniquely African tamper and concave anvil pot-forming technique

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 1 (1), 2003, pages 3-38, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10001

Abstract
The publication, largely by ethnoarchaeologists, of new data on the tamper and concave anvil technique of pot-forming (TCA) permits a reassessment of this uniquely African technique, its toolkit, and its culture history. A survey, inspired by the technologie culturelle school, of its varied expressions in the southern Saharan, Sahelian and northern Sudan zones from Mali to Sudan and extending north into Egypt emphasises the potential of the technique for the efficient production of spherical water jars of high volume to weight ratio, much appreciated in arid environments. The technique is demanding and therefore practised for the most part by specialists. The origins and diffusion of the technique are assessed in the light of the ethnological, archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence, and a four stage historical development is sketched.

Résumé
La publication, essentiellement par des ethnoarchéologues, de nouvelles données sur la façonnage de la poterie par la technique du tampon et enclume concave (TCA), permet une réévaluation de cette technique exclusivement africaine, de l'outillage associé et de son histoire culturelle. Un aperçu de ses expressions diverses dans le Sahara méridional, le Sahel et le zone soudanaise septentrionale du Mali au Soudan et même en Egypte, qui s'inspire de l'école de la technologie culturelle, souligne les avantages de la TCA pour la fabrication de jarres sphériques utilisées surtout pour le transport de l'eau et caractérisées par un rapport volume/poids élevé, ce qui est souhaitable en conditions environnementales arides. Difficile à maîtriser, la TCA est pratiquée surtout par des spécialistes. Les origines et la diffusion de cette technique sont évaluées à la lumière d'évidences ethnologique, archéologique, linguistique, et historique, et un développement historique en quatre étapes est esquissé.




Keywords: caste, culture history, ethnoarchaeology, gender, pottery, specialisation, technology


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Editorial Board

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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