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On the Early Iron Age in Southern Cameroon: The Sites of Akonétye

On the Early Iron Age in Southern Cameroon: The Sites of Akonétye This paper presents the results of archaeological fieldwork at Akonétye which is situated in the rainforest of southern Cameroon near the border to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. First we briefly describe the archaeological features and finds of two sites at Akonétye which we designate as the `southern' and `northern site'. The main features of both are pits which yielded a considerable amount of ceramics. In addition, a part of a V-shaped ditch was excavated, that might have been part of a defensive structure. Most important, however, was the discovery of two elongated features in which ceramics and various iron objects, especially spears, hoes, bracelets as well as anklets were found. According to ethnographic literature some of the iron objects may represent special-purpose currency. The shape, decoration and thinness of some of the iron furnishings, e.g., the hoes, imply that they did not serve as utilitarian tools. Although no skeletal remains have been recovered, both the outlay and the content of these features suggest that they are graves. According to radiocarbon dating these graves have to be put within the early second to final fourth century AD time bracket. They are thus the oldest graves with rich iron offerings http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

On the Early Iron Age in Southern Cameroon: The Sites of Akonétye

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2008 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10109
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper presents the results of archaeological fieldwork at Akonétye which is situated in the rainforest of southern Cameroon near the border to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. First we briefly describe the archaeological features and finds of two sites at Akonétye which we designate as the `southern' and `northern site'. The main features of both are pits which yielded a considerable amount of ceramics. In addition, a part of a V-shaped ditch was excavated, that might have been part of a defensive structure. Most important, however, was the discovery of two elongated features in which ceramics and various iron objects, especially spears, hoes, bracelets as well as anklets were found. According to ethnographic literature some of the iron objects may represent special-purpose currency. The shape, decoration and thinness of some of the iron furnishings, e.g., the hoes, imply that they did not serve as utilitarian tools. Although no skeletal remains have been recovered, both the outlay and the content of these features suggest that they are graves. According to radiocarbon dating these graves have to be put within the early second to final fourth century AD time bracket. They are thus the oldest graves with rich iron offerings

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2008

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