University of Cambridge > > African Archaeology Group Seminar Series > AAG Lent 2023 Seminar 3 - Bantu Expansion: A Migration and more Questions

AAG Lent 2023 Seminar 3 - Bantu Expansion: A Migration and more Questions

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  • UserProfessor Pierre de Maret, Université libre de Bruxelles World_link
  • ClockFriday 24 February 2023, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact qs228.

Notice Change of Date: Due to upcoming UCU strikes, this seminar has now been postponed to Friday Feb 24th

The magnitude and speed of the Bantu Expansion continues to fascinate scientists from different disciplines and to feed multiple controversies. The nature of the phenomenon that led to the spread of Bantu languages over nearly a third of the continent, from Cameroon to South Africa, has long been questioned. Did this “expansion” result from the actual movement of people rather than just a linguistic and a cultural diffusion? Thanks to genetic research of the last decade, DNA markers do indicate that there was indeed a large-scale migration. This is game-changing.

In this presentation, I will try to provide an overview of what we know at this stage, based on recent and ongoing research projects in Central Africa.

What do we know about ancestral Bantu speakers in their homeland in the Nigerian-Cameroonian borderland? What was the basis of their subsistence? When and how did they spread? Following which routes? How did they interact with autochthonous hunter-gatherers? To what extent do archaeological, linguistic, genetic, and ethnographical data relate to each other? How did the language that was at the origin of East Bantu languages reach the Great Lakes region from the Proto-Bantu homeland? Where is more research needed?

Dr Pierre de Maret is Professor Emeritus of Archaeology and Anthropology and former Rector of the Université libre de Bruxelles. He has been engaged in extensive fieldwork in Central Africa for many years. A member of the Belgian Royal Academy, he holds several Honorary Degrees.

This is an online event via Zoom. Register in advance for this meeting here:

This talk is part of the African Archaeology Group Seminar Series series.

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