University of Cambridge > > Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series > Tracing the copper trade in Central Africa during the 2nd millennium CE: a cross-disciplinary approach

Tracing the copper trade in Central Africa during the 2nd millennium CE: a cross-disciplinary approach

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  • UserDr Nicolas Nikis, Universit√© libre de Bruxelles & Africa Museum
  • ClockFriday 11 June 2021, 13:15-14:00
  • HouseOnline via zoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laura Courto.

As a highly valued metal, exchanged over large distances, copper has played a major role in the socio-political and economic history of Central Africa during the 2nd millennium CE. Its production and trade have, however, for long not received much attention in archaeological research. In the past few years, new research has deepened the topic in the two main producing areas, the Niari Basin (South Rep. of Congo), and the Copperbelt (South-East DRC ). The investigation of copper production sites in the Niari Basin allowed to outline the diversity of manufacturing process between the 9th and 19th centuries CE and their links with the wider socio-political context. In the meantime, reappraisal of evidence related to copper ingots produced in the Copperbelt has shown a complex set of interaction between this region and the areas south of the Zambezi and the role of polities in the exchanges. Those studies have further set the basis for the first geochemical characterisation of both deposits and their production with the aim of illuminating their provenance and production technology. This recent research provides ground for a cross-disciplinary approach, including historical, anthropological, archaeological and geochemical data, to expand the investigation on copper trade and the role of copper in the exchange networks in Central Africa.

This talk is part of the Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series series.

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