Iron Artefacts from the DGB-1 Site, Northern Cameroon: Conservation, Metallurgical Analysis and Ethnoarchaeological Analogies

Journal Article

In 2008, a number of iron artefacts were recovered from an interior courtyard on the DGB-1 site during fieldwork in 2008. DGB-1 is a large multi-function site located in the northeastern Mandara Mountains of Cameroon, and dating to the mid-second millennium AD. The iron artefacts recovered included a cache of spear/arrow points found buried under a living floor, as well as a local hoe and a chain and a ‘barrette’ probably not of local provenance. This discovery has a number of points of interest: (1) ethnoarchaeological reenactments of iron smelts in the 1980s in the same region provide a rare opportunity for comparison of iron-working techniques over about five centuries in sub-Saharan Africa; (2) the variability in different forms of iron (including eutectoid steel) used in these artefacts; and (3) the welding of different forms of iron to produce composite artefacts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • MacEachern, S; Scott, DA; Carlson, MO; Djoussou, J-MD

Published Date

  • October 25, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 39 - 54

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1612-1651

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3213/2191-5784-10230