Africa Praehistorica 16, Köln 2003
Friederike Jesse:

- 503 pp.
- 52 figures
- 1 colour photograph
- 79 tables
- 74 plates
- English, French and Arabic summeries
- hardcover, half linen-bound, size 21 x 28 cm

ISBN 3-927688-22-3

Recommended price: 30,00 EUR

The "Wavy Line" phenomenon is not only one of the most interesting aspects encountered in African cultural history but also within African archaeology. Without any recognizable predecessors the first pottery finds appear on the southern edge of the Sahara in the 9th millenium BC, displaying a surprisingly homogenous picture over a distance of more than 5000 km: a wavy line pattern made either by incision or impression covering the entire surface of the globular vessels which also bears witness to an extremely high standard of pottery technology.
The fact that this early pottery is very much older than comparible finds from the Near East is not the sole reason for it being particularly worthy of research. A further point of interest is that its appearance coincides with fundamental landscape and cultural change. After a period of extremely dry climatic conditions in the Late Pleistocene the southern Sahara was subject to a monsoonal rain front coming from the South. The resulting environmental conditions were to sustain cultural development in the region for more than 5000 years, thus playing a decisive role in the history of many parts of Africa.
The finds from two Cologne based projects, B.O.S. ("Besiedlungsgeschichte der Ost-Sahara") and ACACIA ("Arid Climate, Adaptation and Cultural Innovation in Africa") in the Wadi Howar, serve as the starting point for Friederike Jesse's examination of the various facies of Wavy Line decoration and her following discussion of its development and dispersal over a large area.