A Leopard's Kopye burial at Mathangwane in northeastern Botswana
van Waarden, Catrien
Mosothwane, Morongwa N.
PublisherSouth African Archaeological Society, http://www.archaeologysa.co.za
MetadataShow full item record
We report on a rare northern Leopard's Kopje grave in Botswana of a male from a small settlement, who, nonetheless, was buried with nine pots and many trade beads. The set of whole and decorated pots with traces of the contents give an indication of the quantity and nature of the funeral food and the customs surrounding this so-called 'pot burial '. The beads are similar to those atK2and confirm trade with this region at 900 km inland from the east coast. Many of the beads were, however, denitrified. Skeletal analysis indicates unusual wear patterns of the teeth and enlarged clavicles, as well as a fused finger. These probably resulted from certain habits and activities. Comparison with contemporary Leopard's Kopje and Toutswe burials shows similarities in line with Central Cattle Pattern burial practices, yet the quantity of grave goods and the skeletal characteristics are indeed significant. Ethnography of Shona burial practices is used for insights into the meaning of location, orientation, position of the burial, and placement and nature of the grave goods.