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Ceramic traditions and ethnicity in the Niger Bend, West Africa

Published in Ethnoarchaeology. 2010, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 5-48
Abstract While anthropologists and historians have clearly underlined the dynamics of human groups, ethnoarchaeologists have emphasized the stability of modes of transmission of technical knowledge within ethnolinguistic groups. Overcoming this apparent opposition by mobilizing and confronting lines of evidence from three distinct disciplines — ethnoarchaeology, ethnohistory, and archaeology— allows me to tackle the material expression of social identities in the past. Time depth, however, coarsens the resolution of interpretation, necessitating a shift in focus from the ethnic group to the linguistic family. Research I conducted with the Swiss MAESAO team since 1988 in central Mali provides a strong case study for understanding the complex links between ethnicity and ceramics. I propose a model of interpretation of archaeological ceramics that takes into account population dynamics.
Keywords Afrique-ouestMaliEthnoarchéologieEthnicitéCéramiqueTechnologie
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Research groups Laboratoire d'archéologie et peuplement de l'Afrique (APA)
Unité d'anthropologie
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MAYOR, Anne. Ceramic traditions and ethnicity in the Niger Bend, West Africa. In: Ethnoarchaeology, 2010, vol. 2, n° 1, p. 5-48. doi: 10.1179/eth.2010.2.1.5 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:12769

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Deposited on : 2010-12-03

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