The cultural and economic changes that were observed in eastern Africa after about 1000 ce (Chapter 8) also occurred in central and southern Africa around the same time. And as with eastern Africa, the transition was associated with a change in the style of pottery recovered from Iron Age settlement sites. It was now made of finer clay, decorated more elaborately and fired to a harder finish. Detailed study of this pottery and other archaeological artefacts has revealed a certain level of continuity between Early and Later periods. It appears that, in some areas, the development of Later Iron Age practices was gradual and evolved locally. In others, the changes were fairly swift, suggesting the arrival of ideas or small numbers of influential people from outside that particular locality. The timing of the transition was equally variable, occurring sometime between the ninth and fourteenth centuries.
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