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The Archaeofauna from Xaro on the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana

  • Journal Title: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
  • Volume: Volume 3
  • Issue: 
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 49  - 58
  • Authors:  Wynand J. Van Zyl;  Shaw Badenhorst;  Elene Taljaard;  James R. Denbow;  Edwin N. Wilmsen;
  • ISSN: 22204563
  • Abstract:  We report on the fauna from the sites of Xaro 1 and Xaro 2 located on the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. Carbon isotopes from two human graves at Xaro Lodge located approximately 500 m south of Xaro 1 suggest an economy oriented toward wild plants, fish and game similar to that of the modern baNoka, or 'River Bushmen'. The faunal remains from Xaro 1 and 2 corroborate this suggestion. Pottery from the Early Iron Age, radiocarbon dates from the Later Iron Age, and glass beads from the European trade indicate there were two occupations at both sites, one belonging to the 18th and 19th centuries and an earlier one containing ceramics consistent with a first millennium AD date. The fauna from both occupations is dominated by fish and Chelonia (likely tortoise or terrapin). The people also hunted a variety of game animals, most of which are associated with aquatic conditions. Sheep remains were recovered from the later occupation of Xaro 1.
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