First contact with Botswana’s southern drylands: A possible spin-off?
Although RAINDROPS has its own well-established three case studies, one of use has made a discreet foray into South African archaeology and ethnoarchaeology. Southern African drylands are, in fact, extremely suited to ethnoarchaological and archaeobotanical approaches, and thanks to the support of Wits University, the University of Pretoria, and the University of Botswana, a first field season has been recently accomplished. A team from UPF and Wits visited some rural Tswana settlements, and learn about traditional rain-fed agricultural practices. Soil samples were taken in a systematic way throughout a Tswana household including a hut, a kitchen, a granary, and other features. We sampled also some current rain-fed fields located in the surroundings of Kanye. On the archaeological side, a number of grinding stones was sampled for archaeobotanical analyses, and a trench was opened in a Iron Age midden in the area of Seoke. We excavated and sampled more than ten layers of sediment, recovering also amazing archaeological material. In the next weeks, we will start analysing those samples, so stay tuned for more Southern African dryland ethnoarchaeology!