Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications
RMRS Online Publication - Journal
Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Aeolian and fluviolacustrine landforms and prehistoric human occupation on a tectonically influenced floodplain margin, the Méma, central Mali
Makaske, B.; De Vries, E.; Tainter, J. A.; McIntosh, R. J. 2007. Aeolian and fluviolacustrine landforms and prehistoric human occupation on a tectonically influenced floodplain margin, the Méma, central Mali. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 86(3): 241-256.
The Méma is a semi-arid region in central Mali with a rich archaeological heritage indicating the former existence of large urban settlements. The archaeological data suggest millennia of occupation history of the Méma preceding relatively sudden abandonment by the 14th or 15th century AD. Population numbers have remained low since then and today's human presence in the area is sparse and largely mobile. Geomorphologically, the Méma can be characterized as a graben hosting various generations of aeolian landforms and (presently mostly dry) interdunal channels and lakes, linked to the neighbouring Inland Niger Delta floodplain. Given this setting, and the variability of the Sahelian climate, climatic contributions to the region's sudden abandonment are likely. A geomorphological survey of the region, and interpretation of the observed geomorphological record in terms of climatic history, aimed at providing a basis for understanding the intensive occupation and subsequent abandonment of the Méma. The results of this study underscore dramatic Holocene climatic variability, leading to the region's present geomorphological diversity, but also suggest that neotectonic movements constitute an important additional cause of regional desiccation. Both may have encouraged prehistoric people to abandon the Méma after a long period of occupation.
Keywords: neotectonics, Méma, Mali, geomorphology, archaeology, palaeoclimatology
About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.
PDF File Size: 3.4 MB
Title: RMRS Other
Publications: Aeolian and fluviolacustrine landforms and prehistoric
human occupation on a tectonically influenced floodplain margin,
the Méma, central Mali
Electronic Publish Date: March 14, 2008
Last Update: March 14, 2008
RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us