UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Modelling the spread of farming in the bantu-speaking regions of Africa: an archaeology-based phylogeography

Russell, T; Silva, F; Steele, J; (2014) Modelling the spread of farming in the bantu-speaking regions of Africa: an archaeology-based phylogeography. PLoS One , 9 (1) , Article e87854. 10.1371/journal.pone.0087854. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
journal.pone.0087854.pdf

Download (1MB)

Abstract

We use archaeological data and spatial methods to reconstruct the dispersal of farming into areas of sub-Saharan Africa now occupied by Bantu language speakers, and introduce a new large-scale radiocarbon database and a new suite of spatial modelling techniques. We also introduce a method of estimating phylogeographic relationships from archaeologically-modelled dispersal maps, with results produced in a format that enables comparison with linguistic and genetic phylogenies. Several hypotheses are explored. The 'deep split' hypothesis suggests that an early-branching eastern Bantu stream spread around the northern boundary of the equatorial rainforest, but recent linguistic and genetic work tends not to support this. An alternative riverine/littoral hypothesis suggests that rivers and coastlines facilitated the migration of the first farmers/horticulturalists, with some extending this to include rivers through the rainforest as conduits to East Africa. More recently, research has shown that a grassland corridor opened through the rainforest at around 3000-2500 BP, and the possible effect of this on migrating populations is also explored. Our results indicate that rivers and coasts were important dispersal corridors, but do not resolve the debate about a 'Deep Split'. Future work should focus on improving the size, quality and geographical coverage of the archaeological (14)C database; on augmenting the information base to establish descent relationships between archaeological sites and regions based on shared material cultural traits; and on refining the associated physical geographical reconstructions of changing land cover.

Type: Article
Title: Modelling the spread of farming in the bantu-speaking regions of Africa: an archaeology-based phylogeography
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087854
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087854
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 Russell et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1419844
Downloads since deposit
372Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item