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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Prehistoric pavements in West Africa
Author:Nzewunwa, NwannaISNI
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:Evidence of prehistoric pavements reported thus far from a number of archaeological sites in West Africa suggests variety in typology and chronology. Such evidence from sites in the Middle Niger Valley (roughly synonymous with the present Kainji Lake region, Nigeria), but principally from Ulaira, suggests that the phenomenon of pavements can be treated on a regional basis. Pavements, defined here as floors of potsherd, stones, pebbles, cobbles or other material purposely laid over mud, are widespread in Africa. Potsherd pavements are the most common type of pavement known in West Africa. This study reveals discontinuity in space and time, variety rather than uniformity in the raw materials used and style of constructing pavements. Apart from attempting a detailed study of pavements from site to site, this paper considers the ethnographic evidence, describes pavement usage, attempts to establish a pavement typology and discusses the chronology and development of floor pavements in West Africa using comparative data. The kind of review attempted here is intended to put the phenomenon of pavement construction within the context of architectural development in West Africa. Photographs p. 160. Bibliogr.