PCMA Seminar: ‘Pot Talks’ series on ceramics from Mbacké (Senegal)

The second meeting in the “Pot Talks” series will host Cezary Szymański of the Frobenius-Institut in Frankfurt am Main. He will present his research on “The pottery sequence of Mbacké in central-west Senegal. Perspectives andchallenges in the quantitative approach to pottery”.

Abstract: “The tumuli region of Mbacké is known in the field of archaeology for its impressive funerary architecture. However, identifying other archaeological remnants has proven challenging, primarily due to the intensive agriculture that has altered the landscape over time. Previous surveys did offer a preliminary glimpse into the pottery found at this site, but for a long while, there was neither a precise typological classification of this pottery nor absolute chronological data due to its scarcity.

Yet, recent research conducted by a team of archaeologists from Goethe University in Frankfurt uncovered significant amounts of pottery. This discovery allowed for a comprehensive revaluation of the local pottery, filling a critical gap in the local pottery research.

This paper presents the results of a chronological analysis of the ceramics, merging the outcomes of quantitative research methods with thermoluminescence data. This methodology addresses various challenges, such as the uncertainty associated with radiocarbon data and complications in the stratigraphy of the excavation site. It reveals a temporal variability in the material spanning approximately 1000 years, from the mid-first to the mid-second millennium AD. On the other hand, these results prompt a discussion about the accuracy of the new data and their implications for archaeological research in the area.”

The seminar will be held on Thursday, November 9th at 2 pm (Warsaw Time) as a hybrid event – on the Zoom platform and at the PCMA UW office. To receive the link, please write to pcma@uw.edu.pl

The “Pot Talks – A multidisciplinary approach to ceramics from the African area and beyond” is a thematic series within the PCMA Seminar. It is organised by Dr. Katarzyna de Lellis-Danys from the Department of African Studies, PCMA UW, and the National Museum in Warsaw. Lectures in this series will include topics related to multidisciplinary ceramic research, which will enable participants to exchange experiences with researchers working in different parts of Africa and beyond. Areas of interest include the social and economic impact of ceramics on ancient populations, archaeometric research and methodology, including data collection and management.