The Music Archaeology of Southern Africa
The term music archaeology is still new in southern Africa. Evidence of music archaeology in southern Africa includes music-related artefacts or sound producing implements as well as musical instruments depictions in rock art. This evidence dates back from around 10, 000 years ago and it comes from the Later Stone Age, Early Iron Age, Later Iron Age as well as historical period. Musical instruments or sound producing artefacts that have been reported from rock art include musical bows, flutes as well as bullroarers.
The artefatcs that have been found in the archaeological record include a bullroarer, a spinning disk, bone tubes that might have been used as flutes, a trumpet, whistles, bells and mbira keys. The artefacts are made of bone, clay and metal. Original research and information gained through a literature review are reported.
Ethnographic sources were also consulted in order to attempt to provide a broader contextual background against which knowledge of the archaeological implements could be expanded.
This research is one of the first reports on southern African sound- and music-related artefacts.
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