Transitions Past and Present: Late Holocene Environments and Archaeology in the Northern Congo Basin

  • Author: Christopher A. Kiahtipes, Karen D. Lupo, Dave Schmitt, Jean-Paul Ndanga, Kristin Safi and Mark Caudell
  • Topic: Environmental archaeology
  • Country: Central African Republic
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Africa has udergone substantial changes during the modern era, but these changes have deep prehistoric roots that have only recently been scrutinized by archaeologists. The Central African Republic contains large tracts of undeveloped rain forest that are home to agricultural and foraging populations alike, but the prehistory of these populations remains relatively unexplored. Similarly, there are few environmental records from the northern portion of the Congo Basin. Fieldwork during January-March 2010 performed by professors and students from Washington State University’s department of Anthropology yielded two deep sediment cores and dozens of archaeological sites with dateable material. These records contribute additional resolution to the archaeological record of population movements and technological transitions in Central Africa. Additionally, these data present important means of evaluating questions regarding the relationship between prehistoric African populations, local végétative environments, and climate change.

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