Posted by: Matthew Davies | July 15, 2014

From the second field workshop

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The second field workshop in Bokoni South Africa has just been completed (see here for more information and pictures). Workshop participants from Kenya, Nigeria, the UK and Sweden joined South African colleagues for a week of field discussions and practical demonstrations. We were especially pleased to learn about the Bokoni project’s extensive excavation of homestead sites and mapping of terraced landscapes. Cattle roads linking selected homesteads are especially interesting and offer the potential to understand Bokoni social and kinship structures. Questions of labour, cattle, land and social structure (especially marriage) now seem particularly significant in the management of the system and will no doubt form a major area of future research.

The workshop participants were also treated to excellent presentations on ongoing work by Bokoni graduate students on soil chemistry and phytolith analysis. The development of an experimental crop garden to analyse the ecology of African crops and produce a phytolith reference collection for future studies seems a particularly important development with wide application across the continent.

All in all the workshop was a very enjoyable experience and a great event. We will all take a considerable amount away from Bokoni and look forward to developing further joint initiatives.

Special thanks must be made to Alex Schoeman and her team (Tanya and Lauren) for making the week so enjoyable.

Further reports in the workshop will follow in due course.

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