The Department of Anthropology is very pleased to announce that Adrianne Daggett (PhD Candidate) has just been awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her project titled “Early Iron Age Social and Economic Organization in Sowa Pan, Botswana.”
Adrianne will conduct archaeological survey and excavation at two sites near the present-day village of Mosu in northeastern Botswana. This project will investigate economic behavior and settlement organization patterns at these sites to understand the relationship between prehistoric farming settlements of this area and the emerging state-level societies of the time. The project will also investigate whether hunter-gatherers interacted with the Mosu farming settlements, and if so, how they may have contributed to the regional political economy. The research will take a critical look at the late first millennium AD, a crucial period of southern African prehistory during which complex societies and intercontinental trading networks were emerging. Fieldwork will be conducted in an area far from the Shashe-Limpopo Basin, the locale generally considered to be the center of cultural, political, and economic developments for this time period. Because of the distances between communities and the relative parity in natural resources among areas, reason exists to question the presumptions that the Shashe-Limpopo Basin claimed predominance in the southern African political economy from the earliest times, and that all communities of the late first millennium exercised the same cultural and social practices. Comparative research of this kind will improve understanding of the relationship between populated areas in prehistoric southern Africa as well as of localized processes of social and economic development.