African Archaeological Review

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 147–158 | Cite as

The significance of pottery in Zambian Later Stone Age contexts

  • Francis B. Musonda


Archaeological investigations in the Lunsemfwa Drainage Basin of Zambia have yielded evidence that necessitates modification of current views about the nature of culture contact between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists. Hypotheses of barter, theft or some kind of exchange network between the two communities are not supported. It is suggested that stone-tool-using foragers collected pottery from abandoned village sites and transported these back to their base camps. This hypothesis recognizes the significance of resource availability and of patterns of exploitation and settlement. Lack of regular contact during the period of co-existence was largely due to the environmental diversity of the region: the two populations occupied and utilized different areas and did not compete for the same resources.


Environmental Diversity Resource Availability Drainage Basin Cultural Study Exchange Network 
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Des recherches archéologiques dans le bassin du Lunsemfwa en Zambie ont fourni des indices qui nous obligent à modifier nos idées actuelles au sujet de la nature du contact culturel entre les chasseurs-cueilleurs et les agriculteurs. Les hypothèses de troc, de vol ou d'un réseau quelconque d'échanges entre les deux communautés ne sont pas soutenues. L'auteur suggère que les chasseurs-ceuilleurs qui utilisaient des outils lithiques ont ramassé de la céramique dans des villages abandonnés et l'ont rapportée à leurs camps de base. Cette hypothèse reconnaît l'importance de la disponibilité des ressources, et celle des systèmes d'exploitation et d'habitation. L'absence de contacts réguliers pendant la période de co-existence était due surtout à la diversité de l'environnement de la région; les deux populations ont occupé et utilisé des zones différentes et ne se sont pas fait concurrence pour les mêmes ressources.


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© Cambridge University Press 1987

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  • Francis B. Musonda

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