Mapogoro rockshelters

Mapogoro is the local name for the area with volcanic rockshelters northeast of the village of Njelenje. It is now a village with its own administration.

Mapogoro rocksheltersGreg Miller at Mapogoro

(a) Mapogoro rockshelters; (b) Greg Miller at Mapogoro, 1990


In 1995, I test excavated IdIu17 and IdIu22. (a) IdIu17; (b) Test pit 1 at IdIu17. Excavations at IdIu17 were suspended after a burial was uncovered, and work began below at IdIu22.

IdIu17IdIu17 test pit 1

In 1997, 5 more test pits were excavated at IdIu22. (a) Test pits 2 and 3 at IdIu22; (b) Mr. J.P. Saidia (District Cultural Officer, Mbeya Rural) and Dr. Celina Campbell excavate at IdIu22 test pit 5.

IdIu22 test pits 2 and 3IdIu22 test pit 5

Stone artifacts

All artifacts found were of LSA type, including microburins, geometric microliths (crescents, triangles, trapezes), truncations, scrapers, burins and points. Many were made on flakes removed from bipolar cores, and most were quartz. The remainder were chert and quartzite. (Scale: each block is one centimeter).

retouched toolsbipolar coresbipolar coresscrapers


2005 excavations at IcIu18. IcIu18 is a rockshelter just north of Mapogoro, south of the village of Mjele. In Mjele and south are surface indications of hundreds of MSA artifacts. These two test pits at IcIu18 yielded a buried MSA sequence of stone artifacts. (a) IcIu18, (b) IcIu18 test pit 2 at 40 cm below surface; (c) excavation group at Mapogoro (Moses Dauson, Seme William, Maulidi Kiwemba, with Antiquities Officer Emmanuel Bwasiri in foreground).



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