Gabon-Ecosystem & Relic Cultural Landscape of Lope – Okanda

  • Topic: 40,000 to 250,000 BP
  • Country: Gabon
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

The cultural site of Lope – Okanda is located on the western part of central Africa. It remains one of the few sites which portray a balance between the natural conservation of its ecosystems as well as remnants of the past. The site consists of a large diversity of archaeology ranging from Neolithic and Iron Age artefacts to petroglyphs (Engravings) depicted on the rock surface. The collection of artefacts serves as evidence of past settlements or occupation of the land by past societies which date back to around 400 000 years ago. These archaeological sites particularize the early use of forest produce, resources as well as the domestication of plants and animals with emphasis to the Tshitolien culture. The chronological sequence of the artefacts produced paints a historical picture of past occurrences in terms of movement, occupation and so forth. The diversity with regard to the type of site together with the time frame is suggestive of major movement patterns of the Bantu as well as other groups of people. This is indicative of not only the movement of people but the diffusion of ideas and objects or artefacts. The migration of people and the diffusion of ideas and artefacts were made possible due to the Ogooue River Valley which served as a major migratory passage. Such movement allowed for the population of the Central, Eastern and Southern part of Africa.

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