Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268
- 08, 193
The architecture and chemistry of a dug-out: the Dufuna Canoe in ethno-archaeological perspective
- It is the intention of this paper to highlight the processes involved in the production of a dug-out. Two disciplines appear strikingly clear in the title of this paper; architecture and chemistry. It is deliberate, exhibiting the multifaceted approach to issues in archaeology. The Dufuna canoe, the main subject of the discussion, is entirely an organic material, long used by prehistoric populations, abandoned and covered in a huge deposit of earth, unearthed by the spade in two streams of excavations for the purpose of dating, measurements, documentation, which yielded a date of 8500 years as the oldest canoe in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. Who could have produced such an "artefact"? These and other related questions are fundamental towards the understanding of the history and society that lived in that environment in prehistory. Since we are dealing with a single "artefact" produced by prehistoric populations, long gone and extinct, we would not be in a position to reconstruct the processes of manufacture of the dug-out by any source other than by ethno-archaeological and ethnographic investigation and experiment of the contemporary society which manipulates similar environment with a view to stimulating the past mode of production. The method used in the data collection was by oral interviews and field observation.
- 02, 133
The architecture and chemistry of a dug-out : the Dufuna canoe in ethno-archaeological perspective
- This research work emanated from a joint research project between the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany and the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria; as outlined in the Bilateral Agreement of July 21st 1988.1 The research program is interdisciplinary in nature involving these areas: Archaeology, Geography, Linguistics and Historical Ethnology; all under the general theme of West African Savannah. Considerable research work has already been carried out in these areas by German explorers and scholars dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation. The present paper addresses itself purely to one and very important aspect of an archaeological campaign undertaken in the Chad Region of Nigeria in late 1990/1991 season. In consequence to reconnaissance survey and excavation conducted at a site called Gajiganna, abundant lithic materials were noticed and collected. The crucial question one poses to the site which lacks physical outcrops in and within the precinct of the settlement are, what could have been the source of the raw materials at the site? Were they transported from somewhere to the site? If so, why was it necessary for the materials to be brought to this site? These and other related questions posed a serious commodity problem for most sites in Borno with lithic materials.