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The Sahara-Sahel borderland occupies a critical geographical position due to its recurrent latitudinal shifts, continually having a strong impact on humans, animals and plants. Gobero is located at the southern limits of the present Sahara, in Niger. The archaeological record at this site encompasses the re-occupation of the Sahara ca 10,000 years ago until approximately 2000 years ago. During this long period, Gobero witnessed significant fluctuations in climate and water resource availability that resulted in cycles of human occupation, abandonment and re-occupation around a natural basin occupied by a palaeolake, until desertification became an irreversible process and the area turned into a no-return frontier for its occupants.
Gobero: The No-Return Frontier presents the archaeological, anthropological and environmental data collected during the 2005 and 2006 field seasons at Gobero. Various factors highlight the extraordinary significance of this site. Thanks to its geographical position, straddling the ancient shifting border(s) of the Sahara and the Sahel, the Gobero's archaeological record reveals critical population movements in this part of Africa and different economic and technological strategies its inhabitants employed to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The presence of both settlement and burial features at Gobero gives a comprehensive view of the cultural, social, economic and funerary traditions of the people who lived and died at this site during almost the entire Holocene. The results from these archaeological investigations provide a term of reference for future research and interpretations of past human occupations in the Sahara, as well as North and West Africa.
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