The 'Sangoan' industries


  • O. Davies Natal Museum


The term 'Sangoan', derived from Sango Bay in Uganda, has come to be used widely and vaguely in Sub-Saharan Africa for industries which are later than the Final Acheulian and are characterized by rather massive picks in addition to other tool-types. This paper examines whether the so-called 'Sangoan' industries in outlying areas, the Guinea coastlands, the Angola coast, Rhodesia, South West Africa and Natal, can justifiably be equated with the Central African industry to which the name is properly assigned.

Large collections of the Central African industry have been made in very few areas, Uganda, Kalambo Falls (not fully published), Lunda, Victoria Falls. It seems that the industries in all these areas are fairly well correlated; they are characterized by picks without pebble-butts, some hand-axes, heavy core-tools and a few small tools. None of them is well stratified geologically, so they cannot be dated on a geological time-scale; at some sites finite radiocarbon dates around 45000 B.P. have been obtained, though being close to the limits of radiocarbon these dates are not absolutely trustworthy.



How to Cite

Davies, O. (2021). The ’Sangoan’ industries. Southern African Humanities, 22(3), 885–911. Retrieved from