• AD

500-year-old story of African tribes, Revealed

Updated: Jul 11

Context:

The history of the different ancient communities in the continent of Africa has been a mystery to archeologists as there have been very few archeological findings, revealed to be subjected to scientific study. The few number of findings seem to be small pieces of a giant puzzle. Archeology has a long way to go in order to reveal the history of this land. Here we;re going to discuss a recent finding which takes us a step close to the better understanding of the history of African people.

Source: Pexels

Let's Deep dive:


What has been found:

A cave was discovered in the Ngounié province of Gabon(West-Central Africa), in 1992. An archeologist of Nationale des Parcs Nationaux in Gabon, namely Richard Oslisly found this cave, which was then named the 'Iroungou' cave. One can enter the cave only through two holes in its ceiling by hanging with ropes with a little bit of mountaineering knowledge. But it was only in 2018 when the cave was investigated by researchers. The cave has been too adverse to exploration for the archeological studies, so that only four exploration initiatives have been possible to execute successfully for its study.

The cave had, at a depth of around 25 meters, secured more than 500 artifacts along with remains of numerous human body parts. The artifacts included weapons, hoes and jewelleries made of metals, either with local iron(486) or with imported copper(26). The human remains include of more than a thousand bones supposedly belonging to 24 people(both women and men) of age 15 years and more along with four children. Near the body remains, there were other objects too, other than just metal artifacts, these include bracelets, rings, knives, axes, marine shells more than a hundred and dozens of carnivore teeth(39) with holes in them(might have been pierced to be used as ornaments).

The researchers have left the body remains after taking samples in the cave and only have removed the other objects after accurately recording their locations by 3D photogrammetric scanning and LASER scanning.


The Study:

A team of archeologists comprising Sébastien Villotte, Loic Espinasse and Pascal Mora of Université de Bordeaux, Sacha Kacki of Durham University, Aurélien Mounier of University of Cambridge, Jules Zamke Dempano and Christian Gerin of 3ID Gabon, Quentin Meunier of Olam International Ltd.(Gabon) and Richard Oslisly of Nationale des Parcs Nationaux in Gabon conducted an archeological study on the findings of the site.