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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The states that emerged in the Great Lakes region, which include Buganda, Bunyoro, Nkore, Karagwe, Rwanda, and Burundi, are important on a continental, and even a global, scale because they form the one region of incipient African state formation for which no impact from potential external influences has been credibly proposed. This article examines ceramic traditions, settlement dynamics and economy, and later kingdoms and their capitals. This review demonstrates a thin and partial archaeological record that makes attempts at more complex analysis problematic. Future work needs to continue to expand away from the political centres of the nineteenth century to focus on earlier transformations happening elsewhere in the region, as well as on the nature of society in the smaller polities that still survived on the margins of the nineteenth-century world.

Keywords: Great Lakes states, ceramic traditions, Buganda, Bunyoro, Nkore, Karagwe, Rwanda

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