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Developing a Chronology Integrating Archaeological and Environmental Data from Different Contexts: The Late Holocene Sequence of Ounjougou (Mali)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Sylvain Ozainne
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland
Laurent Lespez
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, GEOPHEN, University of Caen-Basse Normandie-UMR 6554 CNRS LETG, 14032 Caen, France
Yann Le Drezen
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, GEOPHEN, University of Caen-Basse Normandie-UMR 6554 CNRS LETG, 14032 Caen, France LEESA Laboratory, University of Angers, 49045 Angers Cedex, France
Barbara Eichhorn
Affiliation:
Goethe University Frankfurt, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany
Katharina Neumann
Affiliation:
Goethe University Frankfurt, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany
Eric Huysecom
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

At Ounjougou, a site complex situated in the Yamé River valley on the Bandiagara Plateau (Dogon country, Mali), multidisciplinary research has revealed a rich archaeological and paleoenvironmental sequence used to reconstruct the history of human-environment interactions, especially during the Late Holocene (3500–300 cal BC). Geomorphological, archaeological, and archaeobotanical data coming from different sites and contexts were combined in order to elaborate a chronocultural and environmental model for this period. Bayesian analysis of 54 14C dates included within the general Late Holocene stratigraphy of Ounjougou provides better accuracy for limits of the main chronological units, as well as for some particularly important events, like the onset of agriculture in the region. The scenario that can be proposed in the current state of research shows an increasing role of anthropogenic fires from the 3rd millennium cal BC onwards, and the appearance of food production during the 2nd millennium cal BC, coupled with a distinctive cultural break. The Late Holocene sequence ends around 300 cal BC with an important sedimentary hiatus that lasts until the end of the 4th century cal AD.

Type
Radiocarbon, Archaeology, and Landscape Change
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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