AN ETHNOARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF LARGE POTS IN DAWAKIN TOFA, KANO STATE.

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Department of Arts

ABSTRACT
Archaeological researches in Kano State in the last 3 decades that tried to infer the use to which some excavated large pots must have been put, faced problems. These include incomplete analysis and correlated study of the vessels, lack of wide circulation of reports of past researches and changes associated with cultural contexts as well as technical systems of pottery manufacture of the people involved. Almost all of these pots were recovered through poor rescue excavation with no accompanying archaeological reports. Through the use of methods such as ethnographic survey, oral tradition, and archaeological study, my research on the ethnoarchaeological study of large pots carried out at Dawakin Tofa 20km away from Kano City indicates that the activities of the dominant potters in the area (Bambadawa- Fulani) resulted in the spread and subsequent excavation of these large pots in the Kano area. The research scrutinized the process of pottery manufacture in the area through observation and questioning specified behavior that might have accounted for the archaeological material culture patterning those pots. Through this, it was ascertained that the pots seem to be similar in form; groove, incised decorations, and the use of slip are still practiced. Contextually, the pots were deeply buried because the only documented pot (excavated at 210cm depth) have no cultural layer above the one it was excavated. Thus, indicating that it was intentionally buried contrary to the idea of an abandoned dyeing pot which could have been covered by natural sedimentation process. The pots were perhaps used for ritual purposes because they are also related to ritual sites. However, ethnoarchaeology is not an end in itself but one of the many tools which can be used to refine our explanation and understanding of the past. Careful collection and preservation of cultural products, proper Historical documentation for empirical data base is recommended because contextual information matter most to archaeologists.







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