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Did They or Didn't They Invent It? Iron in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Stanley B. Alpern

Judging from a number of recent publications, the long-running debate over the origins of iron smelting in sub-Saharan Africa has been resolved… in favor of those advocating independent invention. For Gérard Quéchon, the French archeologist to whom we owe very early dates for iron metallurgy from the Termit Massif in Niger, “indisputably, in the present state of knowledge, the hypothesis of an autochthonous invention is convincing.” According to Eric Huysecom, a Belgian-born archeologist, “[o]ur present knowledge allows us … to envisage one or several independent centres of metal innovation in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Hamady Bocoum, a Senegalese archeologist, asserts that “more and more numerous datings are pushing back the beginning of iron production in Africa to at least the middle of the second millennium BC, which would make it one of the world's oldest metallurgies.” He thinks that “in the present state of knowledge, the debate [over diffusion vs. independent invention] is closed for want of conclusive proof accrediting any of the proposed transmission channels [from the north].” The American archeologist Peter R. Schmidt tells us “the hypothesis for independent invention is currently the most viable among the multitude of diffusionist hypotheses.”

Africanists other than archeologists are in agreement. For Basil Davidson, the foremost popularizer of African history, “African metallurgical skills [were] locally invented and locally developed.” The American linguist Christopher Ehret says

Africa south of the Sahara, it now seems, was home to a separate and independent invention of iron metallurgy … To sum up the available evidence, iron technology across much of sub-Saharan Africa has an African origin dating to before 1000 BCE.

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1 Quéchon, Gérard, “Les datations de la métallurgie du fer à Termit (Niger): leur fiabilité, leur signification” in Bocoum, Hamady, ed., Aux origines de la métallurgie du fer en Afrique: une ancienneté méconnue (Paris, 2002), 114. The same statement is found in an almost identical chapter with the same title by Quéchon, in Mediterranean Archaeology 14 (2001) (hereafter Meditarch), 253. That issue is titled “The Origins of Iron Metallurgy: Proceedings of the First International Colloquium on the Archaeology of Africa and the Mediterranean Basin Held at the Museum of Natural History in Geneva, 4-7 June, 1999.” UNESCO published an English translation of Bocoum's book in 2004 under the title The Origins of Iron Metallurgy in Africa: New Light on Its Antiquity—West and Central Africa.)

2 Huysecom, Eric, “The Beginning of Iron Metallurgy: From Sporadic Inventions to Irreversible Generalizations,” Meditarch, 3.

3 Bocoum, Hamady, “La métallurgie du fer en Afrique: un patrimoine et une ressource au service du développement” in Bocoum, , Origines, 94, 97.

4 Schmidt, Peter R., “Cultural Representations of African Iron Production” in Schmidt, , ed., The Culture and Technology of African Iron Production (Gainesville, 1996), 8. See also de Maret, Pierre, “L'Afrique centrale: Le ‘savoir-fer’” in Bocoum, , Origines, 125; Paris, François, Person, Alain, Quéchon, Gérard, and Saliège, Jean-François, “Les débuts de la métallurgie au Niger septentrional: Aïr, Azawagh, Ighazer, Termit,” Journal des Africanistes 72(1992), 58; Schmidt, and Avery, D.H., “More Evidence for an Advanced Prehistoric Iron Technology in Africa,” Journal of Field Archaeology 10(1983), 428, 432–34; Goucher, Candice L., “Iron Is Iron ‘Til It Is Rust: Trade and Ecology in the Decline of West African Iron-Smelting,” JAH 22(1981), 180; Rustad, John A., “The Emergence of Iron Technology in West Africa, with Special Emphasis on the Nok Culture of Nigeria” in Swartz, B.K. and Dumett, R., eds., West African Culture Dynamics: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives (The Hague, 1980), 237.

5 Davidson, Basil, West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850 (London, 1998), 8.

6 Ehret, Christopher, The Civilizations of Africa: a History to 1800 (Charlottesville, 2002), 161. Curiously, he suggests African iron metallurgy was developed in two places, northern Nigeria/Cameroon and the Great Lakes region, while ignoring Niger, source of the earliest available dates.

7 Oliver, Roland, The African Experience (New York, 1991), 65.

8 Vansina, Jan, “Historians, Are Archeologists Your Siblings?HA 22(1995), 395. See also Thornton, John, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (2d ed.: Cambridge, 1998), 46; Craddock, P.T. and Picton, J., “Medieval Copper Alloy Production and West African Bronze Analyses–Part II,” Archaeometry 28(1986), 6; Austen, Ralph A. and Headrick, Daniel, “The Role of Technology in the African Past,” African Studies Review 26(1983), 165–68.

9 Maes-Diop, Louise-Marie, “Bilan des datations des vestiges anciens de la sidérurgie en Afrique: l'enseígnement qui s'en dégage” in Bocoum, , Origines, 189. Thirty-four years earlier Maes-Diop had written that “in all probability, iron metallurgy on the African continent is autochthonous and was not introduced through external influences,” but hers was a lonely voice then. Diop, L.-M., “Métallurgie traditionnelle et âge du fer en Afrique,” BIFAN 30B(1968), 36.

10 Beck, Ludwig, Die Geschichte des Eisens in technischer und kulturgeschichtlicher Beziehung (5 vols.: Braunschweig, 18841903), 1:335. I am grateful to Adam Jones for the quotation.

11 Maspéro, Gaston, “Les forgerons d'Horus, “ Anthropologie 2(1891), 405–07.

12 von Luschan, Felix, “Eisentechnik in Afrika,” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 41(1909), 22ff.; Gowland, William, “The Metals in Antiquity,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 42(1912), 285.

13 Bocoum, Hamady, “Aux origines de la métallurgie du fer en Afrique de l'Ouest,” Meditarch, 235.

14 Kense, François J., Traditional African Iron Working (Calgary, 1983), 5. See also Kroeber, A.L., Anthropology: Race. Language, Culture, Psychology, Prehistory (rev. ed.: New York, 1948), 767.

15 As far back as 1837 British Egyptologist John Gardner Wilkinson suggested that iron, or even steel, was used for stoneworking in early Pharaonic times but that the tools had rusted away. Wilkinson, J.G., Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (3 vols.: London, 1837), 3:246–47, 249–50.

16 Diop, Cheikh Anta, “La métallurgie du fer sous l'ancien Empire égyptien,” BIFAN 35B(1973), 532ff.; idem, “L'usage du fer en Afrique,” Notes Africaines no. 152 (October 1976), 93.

17 See, for example, de Pedrals, Denis-Pierre, Archéologie de l'Afrique noire (Paris, 1950), 22–24, 3536. G.E. Smith's works were being reprinted as late as 1971.

18 Petrie, W.M. Flinders, The Arts and Crafts of Ancient Egypt (Edinburgh, 1909), 104–06; Wainwright, G.A., “The Coming of Iron,” Antiquity 10(1936), 23; Leclant, Jean, “Le fer dans l'Egypte ancienne, le Soudan et l'Afrique,” Annales de l'Est. Actes du colloque international ‘Le fer à trovers les âges: Hommes et techniques’ (Nancy, 3-6 octobre 1955), 83, 86; Lucas, A. and Harris, J.R., Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (4th ed.: London, 1962), 235–43; Huard, Paul, “Introduction et diffusion du fer au Tchad,” JAH 7(1966), 388; Trigger, Bruce G., “The Myth of Meroe and the African Iron Age,” African Historical Studies 2(1969), 3436; Tylecote, R.F., A History of Metallurgy (London, 1976), 46; Coghlan, H.H., Notes on Prehistoric and Early Iron in the Old World (2d ed.: Oxford, 1977), 43; van der Merwe, Nikolaas J., “The Advent of Iron in Africa” in Wertime, Theodore A. and Muhly, James D., The Coming of the Age of Iron (New Haven, 1980), 465; Kense, , Traditional, 152–53; Valloggia, Michel, “La maîtrise du fer en Egypte: Entre traditions indigènes et importations,” Meditarch, 195, 197, 204; Wuttmann, Michel, “La métallurgie du fer dans l'Egypte ancienne: les données de l'archéologie,” Meditarch, 207.

19 Mauny, Raymond, “Essai sur l'histoire des métaux en Afrique occidentale,” BIFAN 14B(1952), 577–8. Mauny drew his information about Carthage mainly from Gsell, Stéphane, Histoire ancienne de l'Afrique du Nord (8 vols.: Paris, 19131930), 4:7475; 5:80; 6:77-79.

20 Barzel is still the word for iron in Hebrew.

21 Mauny, , “Essai,” 581–82.

22 Lhote, Henri, “La connaissance du fer en Afrique occidentale,” Encyclopédic Mensuelle d'Outre-Mer, I, fascicule 25 (September 1952), 272. Diop, L.-M. later (“Metallurgie traditionnelle,” 22) made the interesting point in support of Lhote that usually nomads are educated by their sedentary neighbors and not vice versa.

23 Mauny, Raymond, “Autour de l'historique de l'introduction du fer en Afrique occidentale,” Encyclopédie Mensuelle d'Outre-Mer, III, fascicule 32 (April 1953), 109–10.

24 Mauny died in 1994 but appears to have stopped writing by 1978.

25 Mauny, Raymond, Les siècles obscurs de l'Afrique noire (Paris, 1970), 69, 73; idem, “The Western Sudan” in P.L. Shinnie, ed., The African Iron Age (Oxford, 1971), 66-70, 83-84; idem, “Trans-Saharan Contacts and the Iron Age in West Africa,” Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 2, from c. 500 BC to AD 1050 (Cambridge, 1978), 278-80, 319, 322, 333-35. The quote is from 334-35.

26 See, for example, Alimen, H., Préhistoire de l'Afrique (Paris, 1955), 279; Huard, , “Introduction,” 378–82; Shaw, Thurstan, “On Radiocarbon Chronology of the Iron Age in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Current Anthropology 10(1969), 229; Oliver, Roland and Fagan, Brian M., Africa in the Iron Age c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 1400 (Cambridge, 1975), 9, 48–49, 6063 (as we have seen, Oliver later changed his mind); Tylecote, R.F., “The Origin of Iron Smelting in Africa,” West African Journal of Archaeology 5(1975), 47; Van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 476–78; McIntosh, Susan Keech and McIntosh, Roderick J., “West African Prehistory,” American Scientist 69(November-December 1981), 609; Kense, François J., “The Initial Diffusion of Iron to Africa” in Haaland, Randi and Shinnie, Peter, eds., African Iron Working: Ancient and Traditional (Oslo, 1985), 2224; Shillington, Kevin, History of Africa (New York, 1989), 4547; Newman, James L., The Peopling of Africa: a Geographic Interpretation (New Haven, 1995), 108; Fage, J.D., with Tordoff, William, A History of Africa (4th ed.: London, 2002), 1819.

27 A useful handbook is Bowman's, SheridanRadiocarbon Dating (Berkeley, 1990).

28 Sutton, J.E.G., “West African Metals and the Ancient Mediterranean,” Oxford Journal of Archaeology 2(1983), 181.

29 Lancel, Serge, Deneauve, Jean, and Carrié, Jean-Michel, “Fouilles françhises à Carthage (1974-1975),” Antiquités Africaines 11(1977), 39–40, 4647; Lancel, , “Fouilles de Carthage 1976-77: La colline de Byrsa et l'occupation punique,” Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1978), 316–23, 329; idem, Mission archéologique française à Carthage: Byrsa I. Rapports préliminaires des fouilles (1974-1976), (Rome, 1979), 81, 241-47, 269.

30 Lancel, Serge, Mission archéologique française à Carthage: Byrsa II: Rapports préliminaires sur les fouilles 1977-1978: Niveaux et vestiges puniques (Rome, 1982), 217–40, 246; idem, Introduction à la connaissance de Carthage: La colline de Byrsa à l'époque punique (Paris, 1983), 16-19.

31 Rakob, Friedrich, “La Carthage archaïque” in Carthage et son territoire dans l'Antiquité, Actes du IVe colloque international sur l'histoire et l'archéologie de l'Afrique du Nord réuni dans le cadre du 113e Congrès national des Sociétés savants (Strasbourg, 5-9 avril 1988), (Paris, 1990), 36; Hans Georg Niemeyer, “A la recherche de la Carthage archaïque: premiers résultats des fouilles de l'Université de Hambourg en 1986 et 1987” in ibid., 51 ; Lancel, Serge, Carthage (Paris, 1992), 57. Euboea is the largest island of the Aegean Sea.

32 Gras, M., Rouillard, P., and Teixidor, J., L'univers phénicien (rev. ed.: Paris, 1995), 268; Sebaï, Leïla Ladjimi, “Didon et Enée, la fondation de Carthage” in Carthage: L'histoire, sa trace et son écho (Paris, 1995), 5455.

33 See, for example, van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 477; Kense, , Traditional, 154; idem, “Initial Diffusion,” 24; Childs, S. Terry and Killick, David, “Indigenous African Metallurgy: Nature and Culture,” Annual Review of Anthropology 22(1993), 322; Woodhouse, James, “Iron in Africa,” in Connah, Graham, ed., Transformations in Africa: Essays on Africa's Later Past (London, 1998), 166; Childs, S. Terry and Herbert, Eugenia W., “Metallurgy and Its Consequences” in Stahl, Ann Brower, ed., African Archaeology (Maiden, MA, 2005), 280.

34 Holl, Augustin F.C., “Metals and Precolonial African Society” in Vogel, Joseph O., ed., Ancient African Metallurgy: the Sociocultural Context (Walnut Creek, CA, 2000), 8.

35 Jemkur, Joseph Fazing, “Les débuts de la métallurgie du fer en Afrique de l'Ouest” in Bocoum, , Origines, 26. The article was apparently translated from English.

36 Keesmann, Ingo, “Untersuchungen zur Metallurgie im archaischen und punischen Karthago,” Meditarch, 99, 102, 108 (I am grateful to Hans Friedrich Tomaschek for translating this article). (Meditarch, 14, is dated 2001 but came out in December 2002.) Keesmann clarified certain points in a personal communication, 3 April 2003. British archeologists working in the old harbor area of Punic Carthage in the late 1970s found evidence of ironworking in what seemed to have been an industrial area. R.F. Tylecote examined the finds, said smithing was involved, and dated the objects to ca. 350-250 BCE. Niemeyer, Hans Georg, “Archaeological Evidence of Early Iron Technology at Carthage and Other Phoenician Settlements,” Meditarch, 86, 91. Lancel speculated that magnetite iron ore was brought to Carthage by sea from the Annaba (ex-Bône) area in present-day Algeria, a distance of about 150 nautical miles. Lancel, , Byrsa II, 233–34; idem, Colline de Byrsa, 18-19.

37 In a personal communication of 8 February 2004, archeometallurgist David Killick questioned Keesmann's interpretation, saying he has found “no unambiguous mineralogical distinction between smelting and smithing slags” in Africa.

38 Holl, , “Metals,” 9.

39 Schiavo, Fulvia Lo, “Sardinian Metallurgy: the Archaeological Background,” in Balmuth, Miriam S., ed., Studies in Sardinian Archaeology (Ann Arbor, 1986), 2:237, 240, 242, 245–46; idem, “Early Metallurgy in Sardinia” in Robert Maddin, ed., The Beginning of the Use of Metals and Alloys (Cambridge, 1988), 102; Vagnetti, Lucia and Schiavo, Fulvia Lo, “Late Bronze Age Long Distance Trade in the Mediterranean and the Role of the Cypriots” in Peltenburg, E., ed., Early Society in Cyprus (Edinburgh, 1989), 227. Alternatively, Cypriot sailors, if willing to brave Scylla and Charybdis, could have gone to Sardinia via the Strait of Messina and missed Tunisia altogether. It is possible that those sailors from Cyprus were themselves Phoenicians. See Balmuth, Miriam S. and Rowland, Robert J. Jr., eds., Studies in Sardinian Archaeology (Ann Arbor, 1984), 1:4243.

40 Warmington, B.H., “The Carthaginian Period” in UNESCO's General History of Africa 2: Ancient Civilizations of Africa (Berkeley, 1981), 442. See also Warmington, , Carthage, a History (rev. ed.: New York, 1969), 23; Niemeyer, , “Archaeological Evidence,” 83.

41 Killick, David, “Science, Speculation and the Origins of Extractive Metallurgy” in Brothwell, D.R. and Pollard, A.M., eds., Handbook of Archaeological Sciences (London, 2001), 484. For optimum strength, bronze requires about 10% tin. Wheeler, Tamara S. and Maddin, Robert, “Metallurgy and Ancient Man” in Wertime, /Muhly, , Age of Iron, 110.

42 Grébénart, Danilo, “Les métallurgies du cuivre et du fer autour d'Agadez (Niger), des origines au début de la période médiévale” in Echard, Nicole, ed., Métallurgies africaines: Nouvelles contributions (Paris, 1983), 115–16; idem, “Characteristics of the Final Neolithic and Metal Ages in the Region of Agadez (Niger)” in Angela E. Close, ed., Prehistory of Arid North Africa: Essays in Honor of Fred Wendorf (Dallas, 1987), 313; idem, Les premiers métallurgistes en Afrique occidentale (Paris, 1988), 253; idem, “Les premiers métaux en Afrique de l'Ouest” in Jean-Pierre Leroy, ed., La préhistoire de l'Afrique de l'Ouest: nouvelles données sur la période récente (Saint-Maur, 1996), 82.

43 Naffé, Baouba ould Mohamed, Vernet, Robert, and Khattar, Mohamed ould, “Archéologie de la Mauritanie” in Vernet, Robert, ed., Archéologie en Afrique de l'Ouest: Sahara et Sahel (Saint-Maur, 2000), 162.

44 Mauny, , Siècles obscurs, 69; idem, “Western Sudan,” 83-84.

45 Mauny, , “Trans-Saharan Contacts,” 280–81. Mauny's hesitancy over using the “routes des chars” in his iron technology-transmission theory and his continuous use of quotes when referring to them suggests he was never fully satisfied with the concept of “roads.”

46 Lhote, Henri, Les chars rupestres sahariens des Syrtes au Niger, par le pays des Garamantes et des Atlantes (Paris, 1982), 48, 62. See also Lhote, , “Les chars rupestres du Sahara et leurs rapports avec le peuplement dans les temps protohistoriques” in Camps, Gabriel and Gast, Marceau, eds., Les chars préhistoriques du Sahara: Archéologie et techniques d'attelage (Aix-en-Provence, 1982), 23, 25.

47 Spruytte, J., “Un essai d'attelage préhistorique,” Plaisirs Equestres 34(July 1967), 279–81. See also Spruytte, , Etudes expérimental sur l'attelage, contribution à l'histoire du cheval (Paris, 1977).

48 Lhote, , Chars rupestres, 7275; See also idem, “Chars rupestres,” 23.

49 Hugot, H.-J., Le Sahara avant le désert (Paris, 1974), 281.

50 Camps, Gabriel, “Les chars sahariens: Images d'une société aristocratique,” Antiquités Africaines 25(1989), 2021. See also Striedter, Karl Heinz and Tauveron, Michel, “Un char peint de Wan Tabarakat (Tadrart, Algérie)” in Leroy, , “Préhistoire,” 6465.

51 A notable exception is the French archeologist Alfred Muzzolini, who has argued that horse and chariot could equally have come by ship from the Levant or the northern shores of the Mediterranean. Muzzolini, , “La ‘période des chars’ au Sahara. L'hypothèse de l'origine égyptienne du cheval et du char,” in Camps, /Gast, , Chars préhistoriques, 4955.

52 Ahmose, first pharaoh of the XVIII Dynasty, who took power ca. 1580-70 BCE, is given credit. Nevertheless, the ancient Egyptian word for horse, susim, indicates that the animal arrived from Semitic-speaking parts: susim is the Hebrew word for horses.

53 Camps, , “Chars sahariens,” 33; Tauveron, Michel, “Art rupestre du Sahara central” in Leroy, , Préhistoire, 46; Colombel, Pierre, “Art préhistorique du Tassili n'Ajjer” in Leroy, , Préhistoire, 55. Earlier, Lhote, (Chars rupestres, 118), put the date at 1200 BCE. Quite exceptionally, Muzzolini suggested that the chariot period did not start until shortly after the Greeks founded Cyrene in eastern Libya in the seventh century BCE. Muzzolini, Alfred, Art rupestre préhistorique des massifs centraux sahariens (Oxford, 1986), 274.

54 Cornevin, Marianne, “New Data Concerning the Aïr Massif (Niger) and Its Surroundings” in UNESCO, Libya Antiqua (Paris, 1986), 109.

55 Paris, François, “Le bassin de l'Azawagh: peuplements et civilisations, du néolithique à l'arrivée de l'Islam” in Marliac, Alain, ed., Milieux, sociétés et archéologues (Paris, 1995), 231.

56 Roset, Jean-Pierre, “L'noccupation humaine de l'Aïr et du Ténéré, au Niger, depuis 10 000 ans” in Marliac, , Milieux, 173. Muzzolini, (“‘Période des chars’,” 46) speaks of “a last, small, humid ‘pulsation’ reported around 1000-1500 BC” in several parts of the Sahara.

57 Cornevin, , “New Data,” 110; Paris, François, Person, Alain, and Saliège, Jean-François, “Peuplements et environnements holocènes du bassin de l'Azawagh oriental (Niger)” in Devisse, Jean, ed., Vallées du Niger (Paris, 1993), 390; Vernet, Robert, Climats anciens du nord de l'Afrique (Paris, 1995), 149.

58 They are also called Libyo-Berbers, Libyan Berbers, paleo-Berbers, proto-Berbers, or simply Berbers or Libyans. “Libyco-Berbers” has been used as well for people who moved into the western Sahara.

59 See, for example, Huard, , “Introduction,” 378, 380; Hugot, , Sahara, 292–93; Oliver, /Fagan, , Africa in Iron Age, 6162; Lhote, Henri, Vers d'autres Tassilis: Nouvelles découvertes au Sahara (Paris, 1976), 179; Aumassip, Ginette, “Entre Adrar des Ifoghas, Tassili et Aïr: Les contacts du bassin avec le Nord-Est” in Devisse, , Vallées du Niger, 101–02.

60 Lhote, , Chars rupestres, 186–88. In 1947 Mauny, (“Une route préhistorique à travers le Sahara occidental,” BIFAN 9B, 344) reported a chariot engraving near Goundam, some 20 miles from the Niger northwest of its great bend, but other specialists do not seem to have accepted his evidence. See Lhote, , Chars rupestres, 89, and Camps, , “Chars sahariens,” 29, for maps plotting finds of chariot drawings. In the western Sahara an oxcart is depicted near the ruins of Tegdaoust, about 250 miles from the Senegal river. Naffé, /Vernet, /Khattar, , “Archéologie de la Mauritanie,” 164–65.

61 Lhote, , Chars rupestres, 188.

62 Cornevin, Marianne, Archéologie africaine (Paris, 1993), 124.

63 Iwelen means potsherds in the Tuareg language.

64 Roset, , “Occupation humaine,” 173–74; Paris, François, “Les sépultures monumentales d'Iwelen (Niger),” Journal des Africanistes 60(1990), 74.

65 For the full story of post-Neolithic Iwelen see Roset, Jean-Pierre, “Iwelen: an Archaeological Site of the Chariot Period in Northern Aïr,” in UNESCO, Libya Antiqua, 113–46; idem, “Néolithisation, néolithique et post-néolithique au Niger nordoriental,” Bulletin de l'Association française pour l'étude du Quaternaire 4 (1987), 204, 208-12; idem, “Occupation humaine,” 161-95; Paris, , “Sépultures monumentales,” 4775; Paris, et al., “Débuts de la métallurgie,” 5758; Cornevin, , Archéologie africaine, 122–27; Gado, Boubé, Maga, Abdoulaye, and Ide, Oumarou Amadou, “Archéologie du Niger” in Vernet, , Archéologie, 221, 223, 224, 226, 230.

66 It has been suggested that the copper came from the Agadez area, specifically the basin of a one-time stream called the Eghazer, where both copper ore and native copper are found on the surface, but that it was fashioned locally and then taken to Iwelen. Grébénart, Danilo, “Relations inter-ethniques sahara-sahéliennes dans l'Ouest africain durant la préhistoire finale et la protohistoire,” Préhistoire Anthropologie Méditerranéennes 4(1995), 129. See also Grébénart, , “Afrique occidentale: les débuts de la métallurgie,” Archéologia no. 198 (January 1985), 50.

67 Lhote, , “Connaissance,” 271.

68 Briggs, Lloyd Cabot, Tribes of the Sahara (Cambridge, 1960), 70–71, 149, 158–60; Jemma, D., “Les artisans de l'Ahaggar,” Libyca, 20 (1972), 269–70, 288; Keenan, Jeremy, The Tuareg: People of Ahaggar (2d. ed.: London, 2002), 93–95, 101–03. See also Norris, H.T., The Tuaregs: Their Islamic Legacy and Its Diffusion in the Sahel (Warminster, 1975), 4, 222; Echard, Nicole, “A propos de la métallurgie: Système technique, organisation sociale et histoire” in Bernus, E. and Echard, N., La région d'In Gall-Tegidda n Tesemt (Niger): Programme archéologique d'urgence 1977-1981, V: Les populations actuelles (Niamey, 1992), 37. Lhote thought the caste was of Jewish origin. He said that the Inaden now mainly repair metal objects, but used to smelt iron from local ore. Lhote, Henri, Les Touaregs du Hoggar (Paris, 1984), 56–58, 165, 169–73, 200. Inaden is also spelled Inadan, Ineden and Enaden in the literature.

69 Briggs, , Tribes, 233–34; Cline, Walter, The Teda of Tibesti, Borku, and Kawar in the Eastern Sahara (Menasha, 1950), 39, 42; Beck, Pierre and Huard, Paul, Tibesti: Carrefour de la préhistoire saharienne (Paris, 1969), 227–34; Treinen-Claustre, Françoise, Sahara et Sahel à l'Age du Fer: Borkou, Tchad (Paris, 1982), 150–68.

70 Mauny, Raymond, “Un âge du cuivre au Sahara occidental?”, BIFAN 13B(1951), 168–80.

71 Lambert, Nicole, “Medinet Sbat et la protohistoire de Mauritanie occidentale,” Antiquités Africaines 4 (1970), 5556; idem, “Les industries sur cuivre dans l'ouest saharien,” West African Journal of Archaeology 1(1971), 11-13; idem, “Nouvelle contribution à l'étude du Chalcolithique de Mauritanie,” in Echard, Métallurgies africaines, 73. For details of the Akjoujt discoveries, besides Lambert's articles, see Mauny, , Siècles obscurs, 6566; idem, “Trans-Saharan Contacts,” 319-22; Oliver, /Fagan, , “Africa in Iron Age,” 6061; Grébénart, , “Afrique occidentale,” 48–49, 52; idem, “Premiers métallurgistes,” 250-52; McIntosh, Susan Keech and McIntosh, Roderick J., “Recent Archaeological Research and Dates from West Africa,” JAH 27(1986), 426–27; idem, “From Stone to Metal: New Perspectives on the Later Prehistory of West Africa,” Journal of World Prehistory 2(1988), 104-06; Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 166, 173; Naffé, /Vernet, /Khattar, , “Archéologie de la Mauritanie,” 166–70.

72 Mauny, , “Trans-Saharan Contacts,” 319–22. Mauny was aware of the El Argar culture, but thought it too early to have played a role in Mauritania. See also Killick, David, van der Merwe, Nikolaas J., Gordon, Robert B., and Grébénart, Danilo, “Reassessment of the Evidence for Early Metallurgy in Niger, West Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 15(1988), 369; McIntosh, /McIntosh, , “Stone to Metal,” 105.

73 See, for example, Renfrew, Colin, Before Civilization: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe (Harmondsworth, 1976), 74–75, 101, 115.

74 Tylecote, , History, 10; Chapman, Robert, Emerging Complexity: the Later Prehistory of South-East Spain, Iberia, and the West Mediterranean (Cambridge, 1990), 30–32, 46; Gonzalo, Almudena Hernando, “The Development of Cultural Complexity in the Western Mediterranean: A New Approach” in Balmuth, Miriam S., Gilman, Antonio, and Prados-Torreira, Lourdes, Encounters and Transformations: the Archaeology of Iberia in Transition (Sheffield, 1997), 52; Killick, , “Science,” 485–86.

75 Camps, G. and Cadenat, P., “Nouvelles données sur le début de l'Age des Métaux en Afrique du Nord,” Bulletin de la Société d'Etudes et de Recherches Préhistoriques no. 30(1980), 48; Souville, Georges, “Témoignages sur l'âge du bronze au Maghreb occidental,” Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1986), 105.

76 Camps, /Cadenat, , “Nouvelles données,” 44–45, 4950; Souville, , “Témoignages,” 105, 107, 109–13. See also Harrison, Richard J. and Gilman, Antonio, “Trade in the Second and Third Millennia B.C. Between the Maghreb and Iberia” in Markotic, Vladimir, ed., Ancient Europe and the Mediterranean (Warminster, 1977), 91, 95, 97, 101n5.

77 Ibid., 90-91, 93, 97, 99; Chapman, , Emerging Complexity, 72, 167, 189, 193, 210, 248, 250. Elephants survived in the Maghreb until Roman times.

78 Alioune Deme and Susan Keech McIntosh, “Excavations at Walalde: New Light on the Settlement of the Middle Senegal Valley by Iron-Using Peoples,” in preparation; McIntosh, personal communication, 12 November 2004; Thomas Fenn, personal communication, 2 February 2005. Fenn analyzed the copper objects.

79 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 117; idem, “Le néolithique final et les débuts de la métallurgie,” in Bernus/Echard, Région d'In Gall-Tegidda II (Niamey, 1985), 411; idem, “Afrique occidentale,” 52; idem, “Characteristics,” 314; idem, “Premiers métallurgistes,” 252; idem, “Relations inter-ethniques,” 129.

80 Levtzion, N. and Hopkins, J.F.P., eds., Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History (Princeton, 2000), 302.

81 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 112; idem, “Afrique occidentale,” 50, 52; idem, “Characteristics,” 287, 296, 302; idem, “Premiers métallurgistes,” 259.

82 Killick, et al., “Reassessment,” 367–71, 379–81, 390. See also Bernus, Suzanne, “Découvertes, hypothèses, reconstitution et preuves: le cuivre médiéval d'Azelik-Takedda (Niger)” in Echard, , Métallurgies africaines, 162, 168–69.

83 For discussion of the “old-wood” problem, see Killick, David, “On the Dating of African Metallurgical Sites,” Nyame Akuma no. 28 (1987), 2930; Killick, et al., “Reassessment,” 390–91; McIntosh, /McIntosh, , “Stone to Metal,” 103–04.

84 Killick, David, “What Do We Know About African Iron Working?Journal of African Archaeology 2(2004), 105; personal communication, 1 May 2004.

85 Grébénart, , “Relations inter-ethniques,” 125, 130n1. For details of the In Tékébrin find see Paris, et al., “Débuts,” 6263; Paris, /Person, /Saliège, , “Peuplements et environnements,” 388; Paris, , “Bassin de l'Azawagh,” 245–46, 248.

86 Bisson, Michael S., “Copper Metallurgy: Copper in African Prehistory,” in Vogel, Joseph O., ed., Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa (Walnut Creek, 1997), 126.

87 Killick, et al., “Reassessment,” 370. A sixteenth dating, 640-890 CE, is dearly aberrant.

88 Grébénart, , “Premiers métallurgistes,” 250.

89 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 112; idem, “Afrique occidental,” 50; idem, “Characteristics,” 302-03; Killick, et al., “Reassessment,” 381.

90 Ibid., 381, 388-89, 391.

91 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 112, 114; idem, “Afrique occidentale,” 50-51; idem, “Characteristics,” 303, 306-07; idem, “Premiers metallurgistes,” 253; idem, “Relations inter-ethniques,” 125-26.

92 Grébénart, , “Premiers métallurgistes,” 251.

93 Grébénart, , “Afrique occidentale,” 51; idem, “Characteristics,” 303, 313; idem, “Premiers métallurgistes,” 252-53; “Premiers métaux,” 81-82.

94 Grébénart, , “Characteristics,” 312–13.

95 Grébénart, , “Afrique occidentale,” 52.

96 Grébénart, , “Premiers métallurgistes,” 260. The material on Fer I comes from Grébénart's, writings: “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 114–18; “Afrique occidentale,” 51-53; “Characteristics,” 308-12; “Premiers métallurgistes,” 142-43, 253-54, 260; “Relations inter-ethniques,” 126-28. See also Killick, et al., “Reassessment,” 370.

97 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies du cuivre,” 116; idem, “Afrique occidentale,” 52; idem, “Marandet” in Devisse, Vallées du Niger, 375-77. Analysis of material from the crucibles indicates they were used to melt local native copper and apparently imported brass and copper-lead alloys. David Killick, personal communication, 1 February 2005.

98 Posnansky, Merrick and McIntosh, Roderick, “New Radiocarbon Dates for Northern and Western Africa,” JAH 17(1976), 183–84, 193; Calvocoressi, D. and David, Nicholas, “A New Survey of Radiocarbon and Thermoluminescence Dates for West Africa,” JAH 20(1979), 10, 25.

99 Ibid., 10.

100 Grébénart, , Premiers métallurgistes, 143; Paris, et al., “Débuts de la métallurgie,” 58.

101 Quéchon, Gérard and Roset, Jean-Pierre, “Prospection archéologique du massif de Termit (Niger),” Cahiers ORSTOM. Série Sciences Humaines 11(1974), 97.

102 Cornevin, , Archéologie africaine, 122.

103 Paris, et al., “Débuts de la métallurgie,” 58.

104 Paris, /Person, /Saliège, , “Peuplements,” 388.

105 Quéchon, Gérard, “Archéologie préhistorique de la région de Termit” in Leroy, , Préhistoire, 23.

106 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 109; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 251.

107 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 109–10; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 251.

108 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 109–10; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 250-51; Person, Alain and Quéchon, Gérard, “Données chronométriques et chronologiques de la métallurgie à Termit” in Bocoum, , Origines, 118–19; idem, the same article, Meditarch, 260-61.

109 The measurements were all done in a Paris laboratory and are numbered, in order of age, Pa 810, Pa 811, Pa 510, Pa 481, Pa 669 and Pa 688 (Pa 668 in the 1992 article). A seventh dating (Pa 519) on a potsherd associated with metal, 777-391 BCE, was deemed “archeologically illogical” by Quéchon (109 in Origines, 250 in Meditarch).

110 Quéchon, , “Datation” in Bocoum, , Origines, 108, 110; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 250-51.

111 Quéchon, Gérard, “La fin du néolithique et les débuts de la métallurgie dans le massif de Termit (Niger): éléments de méthodologie” in Marliac, , Milieux, 311; idem, “Archéologie préhistorique,” 23; idem, “Datations” in Bocoum, Origines, 111, 114; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 252-53.

112 Paris, et al., “Débuts,” 58–59, 62.

113 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 111; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 252.

114 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 113.

115 Quéchon, , “DatationsMeditarch, 253.

116 Killick, , “What Do We Know,” 102–03, 104.

117 Quéchon, , “Datations” in Bocoum, , Origines, 106; idem, “Datations,” Meditarch, 248.

118 Killick, , “What Do We know,” 103, 104. See also McIntosh, Susan Keech, “Archaeology and the Reconstruction of the African Past” in Philips, John Edward, ed., Writing African History (Rochester, NY, 2005), 7378. See Cresswell, Richard G., “Radiocarbon Dating of Iron Artifacts,” Radiocarbon 34(1992), 898905, for a description of AMS.

119 Killick, , “What Do We Know,” 103–04.

120 McIntosh, , “Archaeology and Reconstruction,” 7677.

121 Ibid., 74. See also Killick, , “What Do We Know,” 110.

122 Grébénart, , “Relations inter-ethniques,” 126, 129.

123 Haour, Anne C., “One Hundred Years of Archaeology in Niger,” Journal of World Prehistory 17(2003), 217–18.

124 Africanists have debated whether Nok artistic traditions constitute a culture.

125 Bitiyong, Yashim Isa, “Culture Nok, Nigeria” in Devisse, , Vallées du Niger, 397, 413; de Grunne, Bernard, The Birth of Art in Black Africa: Nok Statuary in Nigeria (Paris, 1998), 19, 114.

126 Tylecote, , “Origin,” 56; Rustad, , “Emergence,” 230–31; Shaw, Thurstan, “The Nok Sculptures of Nigeria,” Scientific American 244/2 (February 1981), 121; Jemkur, J.F., Aspects of the Nok Culture (Zaria, 1992), 5455.

127 Fagg, Bernard, Nok Terracottas (2d. ed.: London, 1990), 39, first published in 1977.

128 Shaw, , “Nok Sculptures,” 119; Jemkur, , Aspects, 5859.

129 Ibid., 67-70; idem, “Débuts,” 23; Bitiyong, , “Culture Nok,” 397–98; Phillipson, David W., African Archaeology (2d. ed.: Cambridge, 1993), 175–76; Miller, Duncan E. and van der Merwe, Nikolaas J., “Early Metal Working in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Review of Recent Research,” JAH 35(1994), 9; Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of African Societies to 1870 (Cambridge, 1997), 70; MacEachern, Scott, “Western African Iron Age” in Vogel, , Encyclopedia, 425; Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 167; Aremu, David A., “Les routes du fer en Afrique: une contribution du Nigeria” in Bocoum, , Origines, 147.

130 Jemkur, , Aspects, 67.

131 Bitiyong, , “Culture Nok,” 397.

132 Tylecote, , “Origin,” 67; idem, History, 47.

133 van der Merwe, Nikolaas J. and Avery, Donald H., “Pathways to Steel,” American Scientist 70/2(March-April 1982), 151.

134 Shaw, , “Radiocarbon Chronology,” 229; idem, “Nok Sculptures,” 121-22; Tylecote, , “Origin,” 5, 7; Mauny, , “Trans-Saharan Contacts,” 333.

135 Grébénart, , “Métallurgies,” 118; idem, “Débuts,” 53; idem, Premiers métallurgistes, 254. He placed Taruga on the Jos Plateau, but the Nok Culture heartland lies west of the plateau, and Taruga itself is more than 70 miles away.

136 Okafor, Edwin E., “New Evidence on Early Iron-Smelting from Southeastern Nigeria” in Shaw, Thurstan, Sinclair, Paul, Andah, Bassey, and Okpoko, Alex, eds., The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns (London, 1993), 437–39. See also Okafor, and Phillips, Patricia, “New 14C Ages from Nsukka, Nigeria, and the Origins of African Metallurgy,” Antiquity 66(1992), 686, 688.

137 Okafor, Edwin E., “La réduction du fer dans les bas fourneaux: Une Industrie vieille de 2500 ans au Nigéria” in Bocoum, , Origines, 36, 37, 45, 47; idem, “Early Bloomery Iron Smelting in Igboland,” Meditarch, 299.

138 MacEachern, Scott, “Iron Age Beginnings North of the Mandara Mountains, Cameroon and Nigeria” in Pwiti, Gilbert and Soper, Robert, Aspects of African Archaeology (Harare, 1996), 489–95; idem, personal communication, 21 September 2004.

139 Essomba, Joseph-Marie, “Dix ans de recherches archéologiques au Cameroun méridional (1979-1989),” Nsi no. 6(1989), 44–48, 53; idem, “Bilan de l'Archéologie de l'âge du fer au Cameroun méridional” in Bocoum, Origines, 137-38. One dating, 831 BCE-CE 567, was discounted as seemingly aberrant.

140 Ibid, 138-39.

141 Bernard Clist, personal communication, 10 October 2004; idem, “Des premiers villages aux premiers Européens: Quatre millénaires d'interactions entre l'homme et son milieu autour de l'estuaire du Gabon” (Doctorat, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2005),769, 771-72, 781.

142 David Killick, personal communication, 10 October 2004.

143 Peyrot, B. and Oslisly, R., “Paléoenvironnement et Archéologie au Gabon (1985-1986), Nsi no. 1(1987), 14; Clist, Bernard, “Archaeology in Gabon 1886-1988,” African Archaeological Review (hereafter AAR) 7(1989), 71, 83; Oslisly, Richard and Peyrot, Bernard, “L'arrivée des premiers métallurgistes sur l'Ogooué, Gabon,” AAR 10(1992), 134.

144 Clist, Bernard, “Un nouvel ensemble néolithique en Afrique centrale: le groupe d'Okala au Gabon,” Nsi no. 3(1988), 49; Jézégou, M.-P. and Clist, Bernard, “L'âge du Fer Ancien: Gabon” in Lanfranchi, Raymond and Clist, Bernard, eds., Aux origines de l'Afrique centrale (Libreville, 1991), 204; Clist, , Gabon: 100 000 ans d'Histoire (Libreville, 1995), 182; idem, personal communications, 2 October and 26 November 2004; idem, “Premiers villages,” 776-77, 781.

145 Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 167, 169; de Maret, Pierre and Thiry, G., “How Old Is the Iron Age in Central Africa?” in Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 31; Oslisly, Richard, “Chronologie des ages du fer dans la moyenne vallée de l'Ogooué au Gabon,” Meditarch, 264; de Maret, , “Afrique centrale,” 125. Woodhouse claimed that the datings were “generally accepted” and cited Clist's Gabon as a source!

146 Jézégou, /Clist, , “Age du Fer,” 206; Clist, , Gabon, 183; idem, “Premiers villages,” 769, 774.

147 Clist, , “Archaeology in Gabon,” 85; Jézégou, /Clist, , “Age du Fer,” 203, 207; Clist, personal communication, 5 November 2004.

148 Zangato, Etienne, Sociétés préhistoriques et mégalithes dans le nord-ouest de la République centrafricaine (Oxford, 1999), 46–47, 95, 101, 103, 106–09, 142–43.

149 Ibid., 46, 144.

150 Holl, , “Metals,” 14; Zangato, , Sociétés préhistoriques, 47.

151 Huysecom., “Beginning of Iron Metallurgy,” Meditarch, 3.

152 Schmidt, Peter R., “A New Look at Interpretations of the Early Iron Age in East Africa,” HA 2(1975), 128, 132–33; idem, Historical Archaeology: a Structural Approach in an African Culture (Westport, 1978), 190-91, 195, 198, 272, 277, 292; Schmidt, /Avery, , “More Evidence,” 434; idem, “Complex Iron Smelting and Prehistoric Culture in Tanzania” in Schmidt, Culture and Technology, 174; Schmidt, , Iron Technology in East Africa: Symbolism, Science, and Archaeology (Bloomington, 1997), 1415. The dates he used range from around 400 to 600 BCE.

153 Ibid., 14.

154 Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 8; Schmidt, and Childs, S. Terry, “Innovation and Industry During the Early Iron Age in East Africa: The KM2 and KM3 Sites of Northwest Tanzania,” AAR 3(1985), 54.

155 Van Grunderbeek, Marie-Claude, Roche, Emile, and Doutrelepont, Hugues, “L'âge du fer ancien au Rwanda et au Burundi: archéologie et environnement,” Journal des Africanistes 52(1982), 558; Van Grunderbeek, , “Essai de délimitation chronologique de l'âge du fer ancien au Burundi, au Rwanda et dans la région des Grands Lacs,” Azania 27(1992), 5380; Van Grunderbeek, Roche, , and Doutrelepont, , “Un type de fourneau de fonte de fer associé à la culture urewe (âge du fer ancien) au Rwanda et au Burundi,” Meditarch, 271–97.

156 Van Grunderbeek, /Roche, /Doutrelepont, , “Age du fer ancien,” 19, 21, 23; idem, “Type de fourneau,” 288-89.

157 Ibid., 276-77. In 1982, after 14 of the 20 furnaces had been excavated, they said smelting activity had started by at least the seventh century BCE (“Age du fer ancien,” 17, 19, 57).

158 Van Grunderbeek, , “Essai,” 72–73, 76; Van Grunderbeek, /Roche, /Doutrelepont, , “Type de fourneau,” 273–76, 295.

159 Schmidt, , Iron Technology, 15.

160 Todd, J.A. and Charles, J.A., “Metallurgy as a Contribution to Archaeology in Ethiopia,” Abbay 9(1978), 33; Munro-Hay, Stuart, Aksum (Edinburgh, 1991), 63; idem, “State Development and Urbanism in Northern Ethiopia” in Shaw et al., Archaeology, 611; Levine, Donald N., Greater Ethiopia: the Evolution of a Multiethnic Society (2d. ed.: Chicago, 2000), 28, 3132.

161 Van Beek, Gus W., ed., Hajar Bin Humeid: Investigations at a Pre-Islamic Site in South Arabia (Baltimore, 1969), 361, 364–65, 367; Trigger, , “Myth of Meroe,” 50; Mapunda, Bertram B.B., “Patching Up Evidence for Ironworking in the Horn,” AAR 14(1997), 116.

162 Todd, /Charles, , “Metallurgy,” 3233, figure 5; Mohen, Jean-Pierre, Métallurgie préhistorique: introduction à la paléométallurgie (Paris, 1990), 195; Munro-Hay, , Aksum, 61–62, 66; idem, “State Development,” 612-13; Phillipson, David W., Ancient Ethiopia: Aksum: Its Antecedents and Successors (London, 1998), 4245, 149n61; Breton, Jean-François, Arabia Felix from the Time of the Queen of Sheba: Eighth Century B.C. to First Century A.D., tr., LaFarge, Albert (Notre Dame, 1999), 39, 43.

163 Leclant, , “Fer,” 89; Blakney, Charles P., “On ‘Banana’ and ‘Iron,’ Linguistic Footprints in African History” (M.A., Hartford Seminary Foundation, 1963), 9497; Trigger, , “Myth of Meroe,” 50; Mohen, , Métallurgie préhistorique, 195.

164 Rehder, J.E., The Mastery and Uses of Fire in Antiquity (Montreal, 2000), 123. The consensus is that the use of iron-oxide ore as a flux in copper smelting eventually led to the invention of iron metallurgy.

165 Killick, , “What Do We know,” 109. See also Childs, /Killick, , “Indigenous African Metallurgy,” 320. In a personal communication, 4 December 2004, Killick explained: “All the oxygen blown into the furnace is consumed by reaction with charcoal to produce a mixture of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. What matters for metallurgy is the ratio of CO to CO2. Copper can be reduced from copper oxide at a ratio of around 2:5, but iron smelting requires ratios of around 100:1. This is a crucial difference. The temperatures required are about the same in both cases, but the air supply for iron smelting must be regulated very carefully to ensure that there is enough heat produced to attain the needed temperatures, but not too much CO2.”

166 Mauny, Raymond, “Datation au C-14 de sites ouest africains de l'âge du fer” in Hugot, Henri J., ed., Actes du VIe Congrès Panafricain de Préhistoire et d'Etudes du Quaternaire (Dakar, 1967), (Chambéry, 1972), 533. See also McIntosh, /McIntosh, , “West African Prehistory,” 609; idem, “Stone to Metal,” 103; Phillipson, , African Archaeology, 159.

167 Wertime, Theodore A., “The Beginnings of Metallurgy: a New Look,” Science, 182 (30 November 1973), 885. See also Tylecote, , “Origin,” 4; van der Merwe, /Avery, , “Pathways to Steel,” 150–51; Childs, /Killick, , “Indigenous African Metallurgy,” 320.

168 See, for example, McIntosh, /McIntosh, , “Recent Archaeological Research,” 419–21; Smith, Andrew B., Pastoralism in Africa (London, 1992), 51, 65, 61; Barich, Barbara E., “Holocene Communities of Western and Central Sahara: a Reappraisal” in Klees, Frank and Kuper, Rudolph, eds., New Light on the Northeast African Past: Current Prehistoric Research (Cologne, 1992), 188; idem, “Saharan Neolithic” in Vogel, Encyclopedia, 390; Ehret, Christopher, “Nilo-Saharans and the Sahara-Sudanese Neolithic” in Shaw, et al., Archaeology, 110; A. Muzzolini, “The Emergence of a Food-Producing Economy in the Sahara” in idem, 229; Phillipson, , African Archaeology, 112–13; Close, Angela E., “Few and Far Between: Early Ceramics in North Africa” in Barnett, William K. and Hoopes, John W.,” The Emergence of Technology and Innovation in Ancient Societies (Washington, 1995), 2325; Roset, Jean-Pierre, “Les céramiques anciennes du Niger” in Leroy, , Préhistoire, 2829; MacDonald, Kevin, “The Late Stone Age and Neolithic Cultures of West Africa and the Sahara” in Vogel, , Encylopedia, 394.

169 Coghlan, H.H., “Some Fresh Aspects of the Prehistoric Metallurgy of Copper,” Antiquaries Journal 22(1942), 31; Wertime, Theodore A., “Man's First Encounters with Metallurgy,” Science, 146(4 December 1964), 1258, 1264–66; idem, “The Pyrotechnic Background” in Wertime/Muhly, Age of Iron, 8; Smith, Cyril Stanley, A Search for Structure: Selected Essays on Science, Art, and History (Cambridge, 1981), 127; Rehder, , Mastery and Uses, 35, 42, 107–08. Tylecote supposed that metallurgy owed something to pottery making though, in his view, they did not have much in common and it would have been hard to reduce metal ore in a pottery kiln. Tylecote, Ronald F., “Furnaces, Crucibles, and Slags” in Wertime, /Muhly, , Age of Iron, 183.

170 Andah, Bassey W., “Iron Age Beginnings in West Africa: Reflections and Suggestions,” West African Journal of Archaeology 9(1979), 146–48. See also Rustad, , “Emergence,” 231; Jemkur, , “Débuts de la métallurgie du fer,” 29.

171 Posnansky, Merrick, “Introduction to the Later Prehistory of Sub-Saharan Africa” in General History of Africa 2, 546.

172 Andah, Bassey W., Nigeria's Indigenous Technology (Ibadan, 1992), 76. See also Hodge, Alison, Nigeria's Traditional Crafts (London, 1982), 57–58, 63.

173 Schmidt, /Childs, , “Ancient African Iron,” 524.

174 Andah, , “Iron Age Beginnings,” 148.

175 Holl, , “Metals,” 9.

176 Ibid.

177 Van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 486.

178 Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 9.

179 Killick, , “What Do We Know,” 109; idem, “On Claims for ‘Advanced’ Ironworking Technology in Precolonial Africa” in Schmidt, Culture and Technology, 261. See also Sutton, J.E.G., “Temporal and Spatial Variability in African Iron Furnaces” in Haaland, /Shinnie, , African Iron Working, 164–96.

180 Burton, Richard, A Mission to Gelele, King of Dahome, ed. Newbury, C.W. (New York, 1966[1864]), 187.

181 Schmidt, Peter R., “Resisting Homogenization and Recovering Variation and Innovation in African Iron Smelting,” Meditarch, 222, 227.

182 McIntosh, S.K. and McIntosh, R.J., “Current Directions in West African Prehistory,” Annual Review of Anthropology 12(1983), 249; van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 486.

183 Smith, Cyril Stanley, A Search for Structure: Selected Essays on Science, Art, and History (Cambridge, 1981), 325, 327–31, 347–48, 351. Killick, (“Science, Speculation,” 482) says that subsequent research “has largely confirmed” Smith's theory.

184 See, for example, van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 486, 500; van der Merwe, /Avery, , “Pathways to Steel,” 153; Andah, , Nigeria's Indigenous Technology, 81; Killick, , “On Claims,” 249.

185 Rehder, , Mastery and Uses, 128.

186 Van der Merwe, , “Advent,” 500.

187 Van der Merwe, /Avery, , “Pathways to Steel,” 153–54.

188 Killick, , “On Claims,” 258–60. See also Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 170–71.

189 Schmidt, P.R./Avery, D.H., “Complex Iron Smelting and Prehistoric Culture in Tanzania,” Science, 201(22 September 1978), 1085–89 (reprinted in Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 172–85); Avery, and Schmidt, , “A Metallurgical Study of the Iron Bloomery, Particularly as Practiced in Buhaya,” Journal of Metals 31 (October 1979), 1420; Schmidt, and Avery, , “More Evidence for an Advanced Prehistoric Iron Technology in Africa,” Journal of Field Archaeology 10(1983), 421–34; Schmidt, /Childs, , “Innovation and Industry,” 55–56, 8891; Childs, and Schmidt, , “Experimental Iron Smelting: The Genesis of a Hypothesis with Implications for African Prehistory and History” in Haaland, and Shinnie, , African Iron Working, 121–41; Avery, and Schmidt, , “The Use of Preheated Air in Ancient and Recent African Iron Smelting Furnaces: a Reply to Rehder,” Journal of Field Archaeology 13(1986), 354–47 (reprinted in Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 240–46); Avery, and Schmidt, , “Preheating: Practice or Illusion?” in Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 267–76.

190 Rehder, J.E., “Use of Preheated air in Primitive Furnaces: Comment on Views of Avery and Schmidt,” Journal of Field Archaeology 13(1986), 351–53 (reprinted in Schmidt, , Culture and Technology, 234–39); Eggert, Manfred K.H., “On the Alleged Complexity of Early and Recent Iron Smelting in Africa: Further Comments on the Preheating Hypothesis,” Journal of Field Archaeology 14(1987), 377–82; Killick, , “On Claims,” 250–56.

191 Ibid., 256.

192 Kense, , Traditional, 169.

193 Holl, , “Metals,” 9.

194 Herbert, Eugenia W., “African Metallurgy: The Historian's Dilemma,” Meditarch, 42.

195 Holl, , “Metals,” 9; Schmidt, , “Culture and Technology,” 8.

196 Diop, , “Métallurgie traditionnelle,” 25.

197 Quéchon, , “Datations,” Meditarch, 253; idem, “Datations” in Bocoum, Origines, 114. These quotes come from the last sentence of what were otherwise almost identical articles. It would appear the change was made to cater to a UNESCO audience.

198 Bocoum, Hamady, “Introduction généralé” in Bocoum, , Origines, 11.

199 De Maret, , “Afrique centrale,” 131.

200 Schmidt, , Iron Technology, 4, 5, 8.

201 Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 170. See also Holl, , “Metals,” 16.

202 Vansina, , “Historians,” 383–84.

203 Marianne Cornevin is a well-known French archeologist whose opinion on independent invention shifted from “probable” in 1986 (“New Data,” 111) to “possible” in 1993 (Archéologie africaine, 122). French prehistorian Robert Vernet, a Niger specialist like Grébénart, Haour and Roset, allows for “an autonomous center of invention” there but says that “there is no doubt proto-Berbers from North Africa … introduced metal objects … and metallurgical techniques” to the region. Vernet, , Le Sud-ouest du Niger de la Préhistoire au début de l'Histoire (Niamey, 1996), 360.

204 McIntosh, , “Archaeology,” 7778.

205 Do Dimmi is at 16°25' N, Afunfun 175 at 16°40' N, Walalde at 16°31' N.

206 Goucher, , “Iron Is Iron,” 181–84; Haaland, Randi, “Iron Production, Its Socio-Cultural Context and Ecological Implications” in Haaland, /Shinnie, , African Iron Working, 54–56, 61–64, 66–67, 6970; Okafor, Edwin Eme, “Eguru Amube Amalla Orba: Blacksmith Clan Among the Orba,” Nyame Akuma no. 32 (December 1989), 26; Kense, François J. and Okoro, John Ako, “Changing Perspectives on Traditional Iron Production in West Africa” in Shaw, et al., Archaeology, 455, 457. See also Rehder, , Mastery and Uses, 149–52, 158–59.

207 Vansina, , “Historians,” 394.

208 Ibid., 395.

209 Kense, /Okoro, , “Changing Perspectives,” 456.

210 Quéchon, , “Datations,” Meditarch, 248; idem, “Datations” in Bocoum, Origines, 106.

211 Tylecote, , “Furnaces,” 21.

212 Herbert, , “African Metallurgy,” 48.

213 Woodhouse, , “Iron in Africa,” 180.

214 Okafor, , “New Evidence,” 434. See also Kense, , “Initial Diffusion,” 27; Kense, /Okoro, , “Changing Perspectives,” 456; Curtin, et al., African History, 24.

215 Killick, , “What Do We Know,” 110.

216 Iron reached the British Isles no later than the seventh century BCE and was being smelted there by the fifth. See Haselgrove, Colinet al., Understanding the British Iron Age: an Agenda for Action (Salisbury, 2001), 25, and;

Estimates of the starting period for China range from the eighth to the fifth centuries BCE. Taylor, S.J. and Shell, C.A., “Social and Historical Implications of Early Chinese Technology” in Maddin, , Beginning, 208; Wagner, Donald B., “The Earliest Use of Iron in China” in Young, Suzanne al., Metals in Antiquity (Oxford, 1999), 19; Rehder, , Mastery and Uses, 142.

217 Cline, Walter, Mining and Metallurgy in Negro Africa (Menasha, 1937), 5.

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History in Africa
  • ISSN: 0361-5413
  • EISSN: 1558-2744
  • URL: /core/journals/history-in-africa
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