Africa Praehistorica 9, Köln 1996
Birgit Keding:

(Analysis of the settlement history of the Wadi Howar on the basis of the pottery of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC).

- 371 pp.
- 83 figures
- 10 bw. photographs, 1colour photograph
- 46 tables, 78 plates
- English and French summaries
- hardcover, half linen-bound, size 21 x 28 cm


ISBN 3-927688-14-2
Recommended price: 20,00 EUR

With a length of more than 1,000 km the Wadi Howar is a west-east oriented valley system situated on the southern border of the Libyan Desert. It was once the largest tributary of the river Nile and, until two thousand years ago, was characterized by stretches of both running and standing water. Over several millennia, the Wadi Howar was an ecologically favourable area for human settlement and a highly important communication route between the Nile Valley and the inner regions of Africa. Evidence of this is given by numerous prehistoric sites located along the wadi banks which are particularly characterized by pottery. Although these sites were already mentioned by early explorers such as Newbold, Shaw and Frobenius, a systematic archaeological investigation of this still almost inaccessible region only began with the work of the Cologne project “Settlement History of the Eastern Sahara” (funded by: "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft") in the 1980's. 
The analysis of this work was primarily based on pottery assemblages from the Djabarona 84/13 site, the most prominent site in the region due to its size and large quantities of finds. Its features, in particular over 1,000 undisturbed pit inventories with abundant pottery material and animal bones, furnished an excellent basis for the analysis. Seriations, mappings of the distribution of the pit contents as well as regional and supraregional comparisons of absolutely dated archaeological finds, all helped establish a chronological sequence for the use of the pits and the typological pottery development in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. The results of this analysis seem to indicate that the cattle-keepers who settled in the Wadi Howar probably originated in the Sudanese Nile Valley but that – contrary to previous assumptions – there was an increasing orientation towards the adjacent areas to the west, especially in the later phases of advancing aridity. However, not only the chronological subdivisions of the pottery but also the archaeozoological results and the economic and probably ritual structures that can be deduced from this analysis make Djabarona 84/13 a cornerstone for the understanding of the settlement history of the southern Eastern Sahara.