Iron Age ceramic studies in Great Lakes eastern Africa: a critical and historiographical review
The influence of Merrick Posnansky's work on the development of Iron Age Great Lakes ceramic studies is traced and an historiographical analysis of the published material of associated African, American, Belgian and British Iron Age Africanist archaeologists is offered. The article examines the methodologies and concepts employed by archaeologists from the 1950s to the present, as they defined the chronological, classificatory, regional and stylistic boundaries of Urewe and rouletted pottery. Particular attention is paid to the influence of American, British and Belgian worldviews on Iron Age research priorities and consequent disparities between Early Iron Age and Later Iron Age studies. Also examined are conclusions about the ethnic identities of the makers of the ceramic material and the significance of the shift from Urewe to rouletted pottery. The paper concludes with some alternative explanations about the relative scarcity of Early Iron Age ceramics and the swift but widely dispersed introduction of rouletted pottery. © 1993 Cambridge University Press.
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