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BantuFirst SIGNED

The First Bantu Speakers South of the Rainforest: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Human Migration, Language Spread, Climate Change and Early Farming in Late Holocene Central Africa

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 BantuFirst project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the BantuFirst project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "BantuFirst" about.

bantu    data    incognita    special    interdisciplinary    climate    archaeologists    central    africanist    political    farming    genetic    answered    reconstruction    event    communities    understand    archaeological    linguistic    sparked    lexical    repercussions    cross    phylogenetic    angola    habitat    gatherers    vocabulary    5000    questions    african    unite    land    view    controversial    republic    spread    migration    cultural    terra    language    macro    light    movement    migratory    team    eastern    single    archaeobotany    africa    phylogenetics    palaeoenvironmental    agriculture    location    family    signature    disciplinary    paid    autochthonous    disciplines    acquire    regarding    rainforest    parts    form    ca    history    timing    attempt    speaking    massive    interconnections    outstanding    pushed    south    diet    shed    boundaries    expertise    linguistics    idea    demographic    interacted    historical    speakers    human    archaeozoological    circles    subsistence    holocene    dispersal    ancestral    democratic    earliest    young    congo    expansion    holistic    villagers    village    southern    interuniversity    archaeobotanical    hunter    archaeology    first   

Project "BantuFirst" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 1˙997˙500 €
 EC max contribution 1˙997˙500 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 1˙960˙000.00


 Project objective

The Bantu Expansion is not only the main linguistic, cultural and demographic process in Late Holocene Africa. It is also one of the most controversial issues in African History that still has political repercussions today. It has sparked debate across the disciplines and far beyond Africanist circles in an attempt to understand how the young Bantu language family (ca. 5000 years) could spread over large parts of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. This massive dispersal is commonly seen as the result of a single migratory macro-event driven by agriculture, but many questions about the movement and subsistence of ancestral Bantu speakers are still open. They can only be answered through real interdisciplinary collaboration. This project will unite researchers with outstanding expertise in African archaeology, archaeobotany and historical linguistics to form a unique cross-disciplinary team that will shed new light on the first Bantu-speaking village communities south of the rainforest. Fieldwork is planned in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Angola that are terra incognita for archaeologists to determine the timing, location and archaeological signature of the earliest villagers and to establish how they interacted with autochthonous hunter-gatherers. Special attention will be paid to archaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental data to get an idea of their subsistence, diet and habitat. Historical linguistics will be pushed beyond the boundaries of vocabulary-based phylogenetics and open new pathways in lexical reconstruction, especially regarding subsistence and land use of early Bantu speakers. Through interuniversity collaboration archaeozoological, palaeoenvironmental and genetic data and phylogenetic modelling will be brought into the cross-disciplinary approach to acquire a new holistic view on the interconnections between human migration, language spread, climate change and early farming in Late Holocene Central Africa.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Bernard Clist, Koen Bostoen, Pierre de Maret, Manfred K. H. Eggert, Alexa Höhn, Christophe Mbida Mindzié, Katharina Neumann, Dirk Seidensticker
Did human activity really trigger the late Holocene rainforest crisis in Central Africa?
published pages: E4733-E4734, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1805247115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115/21 2019-09-17
2019 Bernard Clist, Wannes Hubau, John Mukendi Tshibamba, Hans Beeckman, Koen Bostoen
The earliest iron-producing communities in the Lower Congo region of Central Africa: new insights from the Bu, Kindu and Mantsetsi sites
published pages: 221-244, ISSN: 0067-270X, DOI: 10.1080/0067270x.2019.1619282
Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 54/2 2019-09-17

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The information about "BANTUFIRST" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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