Current Research

Dr. Kent D. Fowler, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB Canada


My most recent program of research examines the relationships between pottery production and identity in South Africa. The main objective of the project is to determine what factors influence the decisions of potters during the production process and how differences in production reflect the identity of potters. To accomplish this objective we are focusing on the interaction spheres influencing the production dynamics of modern and historically recent Zulu potters of southeastern Africa, one branch of Nguni speaking peoples in Africa today. We hope to investigate the historical dynamics of Nguni socio-political group formation, migrations and proposed stylistic boundaries through a combination of field and laboratory research.

For more detail about the project please click here.


Current Projects

Nguni Ceramics & Society Project

The former contents of ancient African vessels

Potter’s perceptions of ceramic acoustics

Ceramic indicators of ancient African communities of practice

Ceramic technology in early urban neighbourhoods in the Southern Levant (Director: Dr. Haskel Greenfield)

Recent Reports

  1. Fowler, K.D. Forthcoming. The Zulu ceramic tradition in Msinga, South Africa. Southern African Humanities.

  2. Fowler, K.D., Fayek, M. & E. Middleton (2011). Clay acquisition and processing strategies during the first millennium AD in southeastern Africa. Geoarchaeology 26(5):762-785.

  3. Fowler, K.D. (2011) Ceramic discard and the organization of space at Early Iron Age Ndondondwane, South Africa. Journal of Field Archaeology 36(2):151-166.

  4. Fowler, K.D. and H.J. Greenfield (2009) Unravelling settlement history at Ndondondwane, South Africa: a micro-chronological analysis. Southern African Humanities 21: 345-393.




The Nguni Ceramics and Society Project



M.A. student Emma Middleton with Zulu potter in Msinga, South Africa in 2009