Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

A new approach to the archaeology of livestock herding in the Kalahari, Southern Africa

Lindholm, Karl-Johan


The author notes that livestock herding in the Kalahari Desert would require water during the dry season. By mapping and dating artificially dug or enlarged waterholes, he shows when and where such herding would have been possible. Dating is by radiocarbon, artefact scatters and cartography. Comparison with climatic, documentary and oral evidence shows that the use of the artificial wells correlates with what is known so far about the movement of peoples over the last two millennia. This inspires confidence in the connection between the wells and herding and in the survey methods.


Namibia; Botswana; Kalahari; water; wells; herding; desert

Published in

2009, Volume: 83, number: 319, pages: 110-124

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science
    Economics and Business
    Social Sciences

    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)