Material Explorations in African Archaeology

Material Explorations in African Archaeology

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How people engaged with materials such as clay or stone, why people dug features such as pits, why they decorated their bodies, or treated their dead in certain ways, were all meaningful in the African past. However, these are subjects that have been generally neglected by archaeologists working in Africa until recently. Material Explorations in African Archaeology examines materiality in African archaeology by exploring concepts of material agency and material engagement and entanglement in relation to their manifest presence in persons, animals, objects, substances, and contexts. It investigates the magnificent and complex world of past African materiality by considering a range of case studies. These include, for example, why standing stones were erected, the potential meanings of bodily alteration practices such as scarification and dental modification, and why, recurrently, Africans in the past gave ritual importance to objects, materials, and locations thought of as exotic or different. Adopting a multidisciplinary focus, the volume draws not only on archaeology but also, among other areas, ethnography and history, discussing themes such as bodies, landscape, healing and medicine, and divination, as well as concepts such as memory and biography, transformation, and metaphor and metonym.... uses of both beads and cowry shells for decorative purposes were recorded on the individuals present (Gronenborn 2011). ... included copper anklets and bracelets, a carnelian bead necklace, decorated textile fragments, ivory bracelets , silver bracelets, ... and spiked iron leg bracelets or guards that had been lined on their interiors with fur, presumably to make them more comfortable to wear (cf.

Title:Material Explorations in African Archaeology
Author:Timothy Insoll
Publisher: - 2015-10-01


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