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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020 / Les sépultures des XVII-XVIIIèmes siècles fouillées en 1938 à Ngongo Mbata (République Démocratique du Congo) : recrutement et état sanitaire

Séréna Asti, Caroline Polet, Arwa Kharobi, Patrice Courtaud and Bernard Clist (2020)

Les sépultures des XVII-XVIIIèmes siècles fouillées en 1938 à Ngongo Mbata (République Démocratique du Congo) : recrutement et état sanitaire

Anthropologica et Præhistorica, 129:103-126.

This article seeks to bring new insights on funerary practices of Ngongo Mbata (17-18th cent. AD), a Kongo Kingdom’s major site. The excavation that took place between 1938 and 1942, has delivered a number of tombs. The skeletal assemblage, curated in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, consists of 38 human skeletons. The bones are badly preserved. With the main aim of conducting the biological profile of Ngongo Mbata’s population (estimation of age, sex and stature). This was completed by a more specific study of dental pathologies and morphological variations to enrich this content. Finally, the studied population was placed in a larger geographical context to shed new light on populations in Central Africa. Despite the bad preservation of skeletons, our study has revealed a high presence of young individuals (less than 30 years old). Besides the dental pathological study has shown, a low frequency of dental carious, dental calculus or periodontal diseases, which seems to indicate a relatively good dental health. Beyond the lifestyles, this research has also revealed different aspects of the funerary practices of Kongo’s society. In the future, isotopic, micro-wear or dental metric variations research, could increase our knowledge and open new perspectives on diet, mobility and geographical origin of this population.
Peer Review, RBINS Collection(s)
archaeothanatology, funerary practices, Central Africa, Kongo Kingdom, morphological variations.

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