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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Ethnoarcheology and Field Archaeology of Grinding at Sukur, Adamawa State, Nigeria
Author:David, NicholasISNI
Periodical:African Archaeological Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
indigenous technology
Anthropology and Archaeology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022270208256
Abstract:At Sukur in the Adamawa State of Nigeria diesel or petrol-powered machines have been relieving women of the time-consuming task of grinding the grain to obtain the flour for making the staple food, grits. However, women still require grinding equipment for when time, financial circumstances, or distance prevents them from making use of modern facilities. Every Sukur house is equipped with two sets of equipment for grinding and a study of these helps in identifying and establishing a typology of artificial rock hollows. Five stages of development of equipment for grinding grain are identified and shown, using field archaeological evidence to constitute a sequence of historical phases that extends from the Neolithic or Early Iron Age to the present. Ethnographic data are introduced to estimate the use lives of grain-grinding hollows, which are interpreted in terms of woman-centred familial grain-grinding units. The evidence suggests that prior to roughly AD 1600, population density averaged two orders of magnitude less than in recent times, a fact which has important implications for regional cultural history. Fieldwork for the study was carried out between May and September 1996. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French.