É. Zangato & A.F.C. Holl On the Iron Front: New Evidence from North-Central Africa
Abstract The advent of copper and iron metallurgy is one of the most fascinating debate taking place in sub-Saharan Africa archaeology today. Challenging data, that may be accurate or not, are usually ignored or dismissed without serious consideration. Sustained long-term research is nonetheless changing our views on the development of iron metallurgy in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper presents new evidence from North-Central Africa, in the Djohong area in the Cameroons, and Ndio area in the Central African Republic, both situated in the northeastern part of the Adamawa Plateau. Iron production activities are documented to have taken place as early as 3000–2500 BC. It is the case in habitation sites like Balimbé, Bétumé, and Bouboun, smelting sites like Gbabiri, and forge sites like Ôboui and Gbatoro. The last two sites provide high resolution data on the spatial patterning of blacksmiths' workshops dating from 2500 to 2000 BC.