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Faunal remains from test excavations at Middle and Late Iron Age sites in the Limpopo Valley, South Africa

  • Journal Title: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
  • Volume: Volume 1
  • Issue: 
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 23  - 31
  • Authors:  Shaw Badenhorst;  Ina Plug;  Willem S. Boshoff;
  • ISSN: 22204563
  • Abstract:  The Limpopo Valley is known for the large Iron Age settlements that flourished during the Middle Iron Age (AD 900-1300). Occupants of these sites were involved in trade of gold, beads and other commodities over vast distances, as far as modern-day China. The fauna from sites during this time period is usually dominated by caprines (sheep and goat), with dominant cattle herding only appearing during the Late Iron Age (AD 1300-1820s). What is less known, is animal usage at low-status or commoner sites surrounding the important sites of the Limpopo Valley. In this paper, we report on the animal remains from small Middle and Late Iron Age sites in the Limpopo Valley, which were presumably occupied by people of lower status. Although the faunal samples are relatively small, they fit the general temporal trends of domestic animal usage of the Middle and Late Iron Ages of southern Africa.
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