What is it?
Batalimo-Maluba is an archaeological site where many items were produced, such as stone tools, but it is most noted for its pottery.
Where is it?
The Batalimo-Maluba Horizon is located in Central Africa. Batalimo is located in the extreme south of the Central African Republic near the Lobaye/Ubangi confluence, some 500 km east of Obobogo. Maluba is located close to Batalimo, in Zaire, deep into a forest along the Ubangi River. Batalimo is situated on the Lobaye. Maluba is situated on the Lua, a small eastern tributary of the Ubangi.
How old is it?
These sites probably date to the late first millennium B.C. or early centuries A.D. (Phillipson 1985:187)
What ancient culture is it?
The Batalimo-Maluba site is among the Central African Neolithic Culture. Neolithic refers to the period when humans used tools and weapons made of stone and had just developed farming
Describe the archaelogical findings; in other words, what types of materials have been found that allow archaelogists to reconstruct the prehistory of this site?
The most significant of the findings on this site is the pottery, which consisted of mostly well structured globular pots and wide-mouthed bowls. In general, the pottery is a rather thin and well-polished ware. Stone tools and axes were found at Batalimo, but not Maluba, therefore the Batalimo-Maluba Horizon can’t be the material representation for a stone tool-producing and stone tool-using culture (Shaw, 1993:326). Oil palm nuts were also recovered in Maluba.
What is significant about this topic?
The most significant aspects of the site of Batalimo-Maluba are the pottery and stone tools that were discovered. This extensive site (Batalimo) appears to have been a factory for the production of stone axe/hoes (Phillipson 1985:184). There is no evidence for the use of Iron, although it could have been used. This site could have been used as an expansion through the Central African forest, but “much more reconnaissance and excavation work is needed before we can be sure of the extension” (Shaw 1993:311). A ceramic tradition may have evolved from Batalimo-Maluban pottery. The site of Batalimo-Maluba was one of the first pottery-producing populations in Africa. The ancient work at this site contributed to the technological advances in which new pottery was introduced, which includes the well-structured globular pots and wide-mouthed bowls. The stone tools also were a major innovation in the Neolithic period, when humans were just starting to make stone tools. The stone tools were used to kill animals, and the pottery could have been used for many things, most importantly to hold food and water.
Phillipson, David W. African Archaeology: 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. University of Cambridge, 1985.
Shaw, Sinclair, Andah, and Okpako. The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals, and Towns. Rutledge, Inc. London and New York, 1993.
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