Obsidian Use in Archaeology: A New Insights from Ethnoarchaeological Perspective in Lake Eyasi Basin, Northern Tanzania

Authors

  • Musa S. Mwitondi University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Hassan H. Kihanzah University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Hildegarda Lelio University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Pastory M. Bushozi University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.62049/jkncu.v4i1.71

Keywords:

Obsidian, Ethnoarchaeological, Lake Eyasi Basin, Tanzania

Abstract

Obsidian, a material of enduring archaeological fascination, has been the research focus due to its diverse applications within ancient societies. Its presence at archaeological sites has led scholars to attribute various uses to it, particularly during the Middle and Later Stone Age. This study was conducted to shed light on the social-cultural and symbolic utilization of obsidian in the Lake Eyasi Basin, revealing its intricate role in early and contemporary cultures. The investigation occurred in Mang’ola ward, Karatu District, and Olpiro village within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in the Arusha Region. Ethnographic data and direct observations were conducted on the Datoga people of Lake Eyasi Basin, with participants deliberately selected from diverse age groups. The research uncovered the multifaceted uses of obsidian, revealing that it serves as a protective shield against bad omens and evil spirits, and wards off misfortune.

Author Biographies

Musa S. Mwitondi, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies

Hassan H. Kihanzah, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Assistant Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies,

Hildegarda Lelio, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

MA, Student, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies

Pastory M. Bushozi, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Professor, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies

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Published

2024-01-15

How to Cite

Mwitondi, M. S., Kihanzah, H. H., Lelio, H., & Bushozi, P. M. (2024). Obsidian Use in Archaeology: A New Insights from Ethnoarchaeological Perspective in Lake Eyasi Basin, Northern Tanzania. Journal of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.62049/jkncu.v4i1.71