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The Middens at Tora Nju and Their Adjacent Stone Enclosure

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Tora Nju is the local name for a collapsed stone walled enclosure situated approximately 20km from Sowa Spit, 200 m south of the Mosetse River, and 7 km east of the present strandline of Sowa Pan. The site that takes its name from this ruin includes several midden areas containing pottery, stone tools, and faunal remains along with house structures and grain bins. Excavations were carried out in parts of all these site components. The middens contained a moderately rich suite of materials including sherds, glass and shell beads, metal, and animal bones. The enclosure, however, yielded very little. Consequently, we concentrate here first on the middens before turning to the enclosure. Typical Khami vessel forms predominate throughout the midden stratigraphy; a few midden sherds are comparable with Lose wares in part contemporary with Khami ceramics. A possible earlier Leopard’s Kopje presence is also indicated. Glass beads characteristic of Khami Indo-Pacific series were also recovered from all midden levels. Three charcoal samples yielded contradictory radiocarbon dates for the middens, and we have no direct means for dating the enclosure. We evaluate evidence for a takeover of Sowa salt production by the Khami state sometime in the early 15th century. Finally, we examine historical records and incorporate current linguistic and DNA studies of Khoisan and Bantu speakers to illuminate the social history of the Tora Nju region.Tora Nju est le nom local pour une pierre enceinte fortifiée effondrée située à environ 20 km de Sowa Spit, à 200 m au sud de la rivière Mosetse, et à 7 km à l’est de la ligne de rivage actuel de Sowa Pan. A la proximité de le site on trouve plusieurs des zones de petite tertres contenant de la poterie, des outils en pierre et des restes fauniques ainsi les structures des maisons et des silos à grains. Des fouilles ont été effectuées dans des parties de tous ces composants de site. Les tertres contenaient une modérément riche gamme de matériaux, y compris tessons, perles de verre et coquille, le métal et des os d’animaux. L’enceinte, cependant, a donné très peu. Par conséquent, nous nous concentrons d’abord sur les tertres avant de se tourner vers l’enceinte ruine. Khami formes de la céramique vaisseaux typiques – jarres de jante roulées avec le cou légèrement évasement vers l’extérieur ou verticales avec des surfaces lisses, noirs ou rouges bruni – prédominent dans toute la stratigraphie du tertre cependant, quelques tessons de tertres sont comparables avec des céramiques de le site de Losi, qui sont en partie contemporaine avec des céramiques de Khami. La présence de quelques céramique du type Leopard’s Kopje est aussi possible. Perles de verre, fluxé d’un carbonate de sodium minéraux, sont caractéristique de la série Khami Indo-Pacifique décrite par Wood ont également été récupérés à partir de tous les niveaux de tertres. Trois échantillons de charbon de bois a donné les datation de radiocarbone contradictoires pour les tertres, et nous n’avons aucun moyen direct pour la datation de l’enceinte; Nous évaluons la preuve pour une prise de contrôle de la production de sel Sowa par l’Etat Khami parfois au début du 15ème siècle. Enfin, nous examinons des documents historiques et intégrer des études linguistiques et génétiques de les actuelles parleurs de langues Khoisan et Bantoues pour éclairer l’histoire sociale de la région de Tora Nju.This article is in English.

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