Archaeology and Prehistory
40 000 years of history in Central Africa
***While the museum building will close its doors mid-2013 for
renovation, scientific research will continue at Tervuren.***
We are studying the period of the last 40 000 years in Central Africa.
Fields of research in prehistory and archaeology:
- impact of climatic variations on the vegetation of the equatorial forest and its impact on hunter-gatherers and farmers;
- origin of the current symbiosis between hunter-gatherers and farmers;
- origin of systems of centralised power such as the kingdoms of the southern savannah;
- material evidence of the distribution of Bantu languages by means of archaeology and linguistics by examining vocabulary as a reflection of the history of the object to which it relates;
- interpretation of material objects found during excavations by studying current artisanal items such as pottery, copper, iron and aluminium objects.
We encourage field work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo notably through promotion of preventive archaeology.
Our work means cooperation with various specialists: linguists, wood biologists , geochemists, ethnographers and historians.
We support museums such as the National Museum of Lubumbashi for the preservation and presentation of archaeological objects.