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

  • Sylvain Ozainne (a1), Laurent Lespez (a2), Yann Le Drezen (a2) (a3), Barbara Eichhorn (a4), Katharina Neumann (a4) and Eric Huysecom (a1)...

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.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: sylvain.ozainne@unige.ch

References

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