Transition from later stone age to Iron Age in northern Singida district-central Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This work is an attempt to study the pace of culture change from the Later Stone Age (LSA) to Iron Age (IA) in the northern axis of Singida District, Central Tanzania. It was born out of the desire to study the cultural sequence of the area and place the exposed LSA and IA surface scatters in their proper contexts. The research was necessitated by the fact that very little is known about the archaeology of Singida District as the few archaeological inquiries prospected so far have been, in one way or the other, connected with rock art. The study employed systematic surveys and archaeological excavations as its basic data collection methods. The raw data recovered as a result, came in the shade of lithic artifacts, pottery, daub, beads, faunal remains as well as metal objects. Cultural material from the stratigraphic sequences tallied with the surface scatters. Results from trench excavations indicated that lower stratigraphic sequences consisted of exclusively LSA cultural materials while upper strata consisted of both LSA and IA artifacts – with the frequency of the former slowly decreasing as the latter gradually increased. Material culture from the stratigraphical sequences revealed that the transition from LSA to IA in the northern portion of Singida district was a result of a slow and gradual process. It has also become apparent that the area was occupied at first by people possessing a purely LSA (lithic) technology and later on these people, while still maintaining their use of stone tools, slowly began incorporating several Iron Age cultural elements in their technology. Further studies should be able to establish the actual chronology of the LSA and IA sequences as well as ascertain whether the area was inhabited by earlier (Early and Middle) Stone Age cultures.
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Iron age, Stone age, Later stone age, Singida District, Tanzania
Ekeke, F.(2010) Transition from later stone age to Iron Age in northern Singida district-central Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es salaam. Available at