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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.

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

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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