Early Iron Age Pot

Early South African History
About This Project

This pot dates to about AD 600. From its style archaeologists can tell that it was made by Eastern Bantu-speaking people. The Bantu language originated in the Nigeria/Cameroon area of West Africa.


Eastern Bantu speakers left there about 2500 years ago, spreading into East and southern Africa as mixed farmers. They cultivated sorghum and millet, herded cattle, sheep and goats, and made iron tools. By AD 700 they had reached the Eastern Cape and the ecological limits of their farming.