Title:"Crossing borders": An integrated archaeological and linguistic approach to population dynamics in southern Central Africa
Description:The aim of this project is to develop an integrated archaeological and linguistic approach to population dynamics in southern Central Africa. The area of the Upemba depression in northern Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) represents an excellent opportunity to study both immaterial and material culture through time and space since the site is located at a cultural crossroad and in the heartland of the former Luba-kingdom. This will also enhance the understanding of the present social and political situation. Pottery manufacturing processes offer an interface between the past and present material culture. Usually considered as a powerful tool for the exploration of social identities, pottery practices are of common interest to archaeologists and linguists. Cultural transmission will be examined at a local and at a broader regional level. As for archaeology, we will identify pottery manufacturing processes in the archaeological sequence of the Upemba, one of the longest cultural sequences in Central Africa. At a regional level, we will focus on the diffusion of ornamental techniques of pottery. Considering linguistics at a local level, a dialectological study of Kiluba language will be conducted, with special attention to the vocabulary relating to material culture and to pottery practices. At a regional level, a comparative linguistic study focuses on the Bantu K, L and M zones, where large-scale population movements have taken place according to historical sources. The project will intensify collaborations between several research units of the Royal Museum for Central Africa and those with Congolese institutions. The use of archaeological, ethnographic and linguistic databases and collections present in all these institutions will promote their expertise, and will lead to new perspectives on the cultural heritage of Central Africa.
Acronym:Crossing borders
Duration: begin : 2006 - end : 2010
Staff: Els Cornelissen
Koen Bostoen
Jacky Maniacky
Alexandre Smith
Anneleen Van der Veken
External partners:Partenaires: - Centre d’Anthropologie Culturelle (ULB) - Institut Médical Bordet - Musée national de Lubumbashi - Université de Lubumbashi - Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Lubumbashi - Institut Supérieur des Sciences Sociales Kolwezi

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