Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.659665
Title: Landscape archaeology of the later farming communities of the Shashe-Limpopo Basin, eastern Botswana : land use diversity and human behaviour
Author: Mothulatshipi, S. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
This study investigates the archaeological contribution of the Shashe-Limpopo Basin, (SLB), a prehistoric landscape with an extraordinary dynamic environment. Research has remained heavily skewed and sites explicitly targeted for investigation were those deemed important for their ability to contribute towards our understanding of the development of social complexity. This study demonstrates that the development of complex social formations represents settlement structures that epitomise interaction of both long and short-term cultural and economic processes and that the organisation of such structures is randomly distributed throughout the landscape. Using remote sensing techniques, archaeological sites on the eastern Botswana side of the SLB have been located, and these attest to the long-term attraction of the basin for human settlement. This is due to the attributes possessed by the landscape and the land-use management strategies employed by the inhabitants in order to cope with the demands of such a structured society in spite of changing climatic conditions. This study argues that the area remained unexplored because of its geomorphological setting and the otherwise poor visibility of archaeological sites that could parallel in size and status neighbouring sites across the political boundaries. Further analysis using GIS spatial and geochemical methods on the sites located suggests a significant influence by the geomorphologic units on the type of activities undertaken which encouraged inhabitants to employ various management strategies to make this apparently hostile environment habitable. Through landscape analysis and archaeological excavations, this study has revealed that the fluctuating environmental conditions made human habitation of the floodplain problematic and restricted settlement and social organisation to its periphery largely on high ground and hill summits, whilst different parts of the floodplain terrain were exploited as water sources, cultivation and grazing resources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.659665  DOI: Not available
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