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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Climate, Vegetation and Early Agriculturist Communities in Transkei and KwaZulu-Natal
Author:Prins, F.E.
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa (ISSN 1945-5534)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Transkei
South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:Iron Age
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
History, Archaeology
Transkei (South Africa)
KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00672709409511670
Abstract:The changing patterns of distribution of agriculturist sites at different periods in the Iron Age provide useful evidence for climatic change in southeastern Africa during the last two millennia. This article brings together various lines of information to assess the importance of palaeoenvironmental factors in the development of precolonial agriculturist settlement in Transkei and adjacent KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). It appears that environmental conditions were optimal for settlement around the sixth and seventh centuries AD. A period of sparse settlement (c. 900-1200) is broadly contemporaneous with globally warmer episodes recorded in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The occurrence of sites with Blackburn ceramics shows that some communities persisted in Transkei and KwaZulu during the first half of the second millennium. The last half-millennium has witnessed a marked expansion of farming settlement, facilitated by climatic amelioration. The last part of the paper pays attention to humanly induced ecological changes, such as the impact of slash-and-burn cultivation and the presence of sheep. Bibliogr.