|Institution:||University of Oslo|
|Full text PDF:||http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-18374
This project has had the Late Stone Age site of Makakung, situated in the northwest Botswana as basis. This site, when excavated in 2004, revealed an unusual floor feature that has no known counter-part in southern Africa, in addition to well-preserved archaeological materials. By applying the chaîne opératoire approach to the lithic assemblage from Makakung, it has been argued that the feature can be best described as a working floor with various activities associated with it. The chaîne opératoire approach to an archaeological assemblage has hardly been practised in Botswana, where a traditional typological approach has dominated the previous research. It has been demonstrated that by applying the chaîne opératoire approach to the lithic material from Makakung, a different set of information were obtainable to the researcher, than if using only a typological approach. Although the archaeology of southern Africa has received a great deal of international intention in recent years, the archaeology of Botswana is still relatively unknown. Limited attention has been dedicated to unravelling the past of one of the most famous hunter-gatherers groups in the world: the Bushmen. Not only short research history, low number of recorded sites and lack of rich, informative and undisturbed sites, but also inadequately published research results have been the difficulties of archaeological research in Botswana. This is especially true for the last part of the Late Stone Age, which is the period the site of Makakung dates to. This is a time when the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari came in contact with herders and farmers. The potential impact of contact and interaction between hunter-gatherer groups and herders or farmers over the last 2000 years, has been the focus of a well-known debate; the Kalahari-debate. The archaeological evidence used in this debate has been proved to be very weak, and interpretations of how the hunter-gatherers lived at a time they came in contact with an Iron Age community is best described a merely guesswork. An archaeological site from this period, with a rich archaeological assemblage associated to a floor feature, can be considered an exceptional case, and the site of Makakung could thus provide information about an illusive period of the prehistory of Botswana.