Renewed geoarchaeological investigations of Mwanganda's Village (Elephant Butchery Site), Karonga, Malawi

Wright, David K., Thompson, Jessica, Mackay, Alex, Welling, Menno, Forman, Steven L., Price, Gilbert, Zhao, Jian-xin, Cohen, Andrew S., Malijani, Oris and Gomani-Chindebvu, Elizabeth (2014) Renewed geoarchaeological investigations of Mwanganda's Village (Elephant Butchery Site), Karonga, Malawi. Geoarchaeology, 29 2: 98-120. doi:10.1002/gea.21469

Author Wright, David K.
Thompson, Jessica
Mackay, Alex
Welling, Menno
Forman, Steven L.
Price, Gilbert
Zhao, Jian-xin
Cohen, Andrew S.
Malijani, Oris
Gomani-Chindebvu, Elizabeth
Title Renewed geoarchaeological investigations of Mwanganda's Village (Elephant Butchery Site), Karonga, Malawi
Journal name Geoarchaeology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0883-6353
Publication date 2014-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/gea.21469
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 98
End page 120
Total pages 23
Editor Steve Kuhn
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The site of Mwanganda's Village, located along a paleochannel in northern Malawi, is one of only a few sites that have characterized the Middle Stone Age (MSA) of Malawi for decades (Clark & Haynes, ; Clark et al., ; Kaufulu, ). The Malawi Earlier-Middle Stone Age Project has re-examined the site using new mapping and chronometric tools in order to reinterpret the site's significance within the context of current debates surrounding human origins and the potential role the environment played in shaping human behavior. The new data do not support the previous hypothesis that the site was an elephant butchery location (contra Clark & Haynes, ; Clark et al., ; Kaufulu, ). Instead, the evidence shows successive colonization of riparian corridors by MSA hunter-gatherers focused on exploiting localized resources during periods of generally humid climates while other lakes desiccated across Africa. We challenge the hypothesis that stable and intermediately high lake levels within the African Rift Valley System (sensu Trauth et al., ) catalyzed the evolution of regional interaction networks between 42 and 22 ka. Instead, we interpret the evidence to suggest that regional variants of technology persist into the late MSA as foragers focused on exploiting resources from local catchments.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Papers
Official 2015 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Created: Fri, 14 Feb 2014, 03:36:55 EST by Dr Jessica Thompson on behalf of School of Social Science