Africa: East Africa (Geographic Keyword)

1-25 (51 Records)

Approaching Equifinality: Pollen and Non-pollen Palynomorphs as Complementary Paleoecological Proxies (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Ryan Szymanski.

In analyses of paleoenvironmental records, the specific effects of climate/precipitation patterns and human landscape impacts on ancient ecologies can be difficult to discern. As largely substrate-specific in nature, fungal spores may serve as proxy for a range of phenomena, such as soil erosion, landscape burning, vegetation clearance, moisture availability, and the existence of particular plant types in a given area. Microbotanicals, including pollen, fungal spores, phytoliths, and...


Bone Preservation, Specimen Identifiability, and Outcrop Shape – A Preliminary Investigation of Early Pleistocene Taphonomy at Koobi Fora, Kenya (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen Merritt. Monica Avilez. Jonathan Reeves.

Fossil bone surface assemblages include differential specimen preservation (weathering stage, cortical surface exfoliation, polish, roundedness, fracture type) and identifiability (taxonomic or anatomical precision). Three 1x1 meter inventory squares placed on steep, moderate, and minimally sloping areas of a fossiliferous outcrop test whether outcrop shape is a megabias that influences assemblage attributes. A digital elevation model created from drone-captured aerial imagery describes outcrop...


Bridging the "Kansyore gap": Continuous Occupation and Changing Subsistence Strategies at Namundiri A, Eastern Uganda (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Mica Jones. Ruth Tibesasa.

Environmental heterogeneity and climatic instability in the mid-Holocene (~8,000-3,000 BP) are linked to increased socioeconomic diversity in East Africa. Increasing aridity ca. 6,000-5,000 BP encouraged early herders to migrate south into the region, while local hunter-gatherers intensified their reliance on ecologically-rich environments. Kansyore hunter-gatherers of the Lake Victoria basin established specialized subsistence systems that incorporated heavy pottery-use and seasonal site...


Carbon Enamel Isotopes as Proxy for Dietary Changes in the Omo-Turkana Basin between 2 and 1.4 Ma (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshua Porter. Maryse Biernat. W. Andrew Barr. David Patterson. David Braun.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Despite the numerous hominin fossils found in the Omo-Turkana Basin dating to between 2.0 and 1.4 Ma., a resolved understanding of their dietary ecology has been challenging due to limited research on similar patterns in contemporaneous large mammals In this study, we use a sample (n = 390) of enamel δ13C values of six Bovidae, Suidae, and Equidae taxa as...


A Characterization of Site Formation Processes at FxJj34, Northen Kenya (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Elena Skosey-LaLonde. Jonathan Reeves. Matt Douglass. David Braun. Emmanuel Ndiema.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Any inference of behavior based upon the spatial distribution of archaeological material requires an understanding of site formation processes. Natural agents, such as water flow, may be responsible for post-depositional alteration of buried materials and can result in spatial patterns which mask the behavioral processes associated with the initial deposition...


Cobbling Material Memory: Kings, Gods, and Shrines in an Old Kingdom with Active Roots – Kanazi Palace, NW Tanzania (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Aaron Ellrich.

This is an abstract from the "African Archaeology throughout the Holocene" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Over the last decade, heritage research in Kagera Region of NW Tanzania has responded to community-driven initiatives focused on preservation, tourism, and museum development. This attention to heritage-related programs has fostered several projects that continue to enhance our understanding of appropriate methods for preserving local and...


Comics, Colonialism, & Pseudoarchaeology: The Case of "La Crane de Mkwawa" (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Katie Biittner.

This is an abstract from the "Interactions with Pseudoarchaeology: Approaches to the Use of Social Media and the Internet for Correcting Misconceptions of Archaeology in Virtual Spaces" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Archaeologists are frequently represented in comic books as caricatures, where adventure and profit are exaggerated and the interpretation of finds is oversimplified. In this paper it is argued that these misrepresentations of how and...


The Communalities of Pastoralist Life: Perspectives on Household Organization at the Pastoral Neolithic site of Luxmanda, Tanzania (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Katherine Grillo. Mary Prendergast. Agness Gidna. Audax Mabulla. Daniel Contreras.

This is an abstract from the "Empirical Approaches to Mobile Pastoralist Households" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Household organization has been a topic of relatively little archaeological discussion in the Pastoral Neolithic (PN) literature for eastern Africa, in part because domestic architecture has rarely been found. Scholarly literature has therefore focused on pastoralists’ putative mobility, rather than on their settlements. However,...


Comparative Evidence of Maritime Activity in the Early Swahili Harbours of Zanzibar (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Tom Fitton.

The Swahili of East Africa are regarded historically as a maritime culture, whose coastal sailing networks and prosperous Indian Ocean trade connections can be dated back to at least the 7th century CE. Archaeological investigations have demonstrated that maritime elements were deliberately embedded in the architecture of the famous second millennium Swahili stonetowns, but a focus on urban areas has sometimes been at the expense of areas of potential maritime infrastructure within settlements,...


The Copper Coins of the Kilwa Region, Tanzania, AD 1000–1500: Creating a Regional Currency in an Indian Ocean World of Coins (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jeffrey Fleisher. Stephanie Wynne-Jones.

The residents and rulers of Swahili towns along the eastern African Swahili coast fashioned cosmopolitan worlds through their participation in long-distance trade both across the Indian Ocean and into the continental interior, their conversion to Islam, and the construction of cities that incorporated styles from across the Indian Ocean world. The creation and use of a local coinage—silver from the 8th-10th centuries, and copper from the 11th century onward—is often viewed as a way that town...


Displacement and Burials in Wartime Acholiland; Archaeological Surveying and Ethnographic Research in Northern Uganda (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Lucia Elgerud. Hugh Tuller. Wilfred Komakech.

A multi-subfield anthropological research team from the University of Tennessee Knoxville has been conducting fieldwork in Acholiland since 2014 in order to analyze how improper burials are affecting the cultural and geospatial reality of post-war Northern Uganda. The project has primarily involved ethnographic research; however, archaeological surveying was introduced in 2016 for the purpose of locating and documenting wartime burials. The concerned burials are related to the 1987 to 2006 war...


Early Herding Practices in Tanzania Revealed through Strontium Isotope Analysis (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Anneke Janzen. Mary Prendergast. Katherine Grillo.

This is an abstract from the "African Archaeology throughout the Holocene" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. East African pastoralists today rely on extensive social networks through which livestock are exchanged to maintain herds. The role of such animal exchange networks among ancient pastoralist communities can be revealed through stable isotope analysis. Pastoral Neolithic sites are broadly distributed across southern Kenya and northern Tanzania....


Early Pastoralists in Tanzania: Mobility and the Seasonal Round (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Anneke Janzen. Mary Prendergast. Katherine Grillo.

First developing around 8,000 years ago, pastoralism in Africa has continued as a flexible and dynamic mode of subsistence. One key feature of this dynamism is mobility, which is crucial for many East African pastoralists today to access seasonally available pasture and water. In areas of unpredictable rainfall, mobile pastoralism permits more people to live in dry lands than do other subsistence strategies. How the earliest herders in Tanzania used the landscape is still relatively unknown....


The EAST Typology: A Remedy for Eastern Africa’s "Lithics Systematics Anarchy" (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only John Shea.

This is an abstract from the "Recent Advances and Debates in the Pleistocene Archaeology of Africa" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Eastern Africa boasts the world’s longest archaeological record, more than 3,4 million years so far. And yet, that record defies easy synthesis due to "lithics systematic anarchy." Archaeologists working in Eastern Africa describe and measure stone tools in so many different ways, that detailed comparisons within...


Ethno-Archaeometry of Ochre Mineral Pigment Extraction, Transport, and Use in the Kenya Rift Valley (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Zipkin. Stanley Ambrose. Gideon Bartov. Alexander Taylor. Mercy Gakii.

Ochre occurs in African archaeological sites from the later Middle Pleistocene to the ethnographic present. Ochre is used worldwide for symbolic and functional purposes, and is often considered to be evidence for symbolic behavior by cognitively modern Paleolithic humans. Geochemical provenience analysis, complemented by ethnographic studies of ochre source exploitation, transport, and use, can elucidate whether culturally mediated source exploitation differs significantly from a least-cost...


Fire in the Early Pleistocene: Evidence for the Use of Fire by Hominins at the 1.5 mya Site of FxJj20 AB, Koobi Fora, Kenya (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Hlubik. Russell Cutts. David R. Braun. Francesco Berna. Craig Feibel.

The Cooking Hypothesis contends that fire use became common in the Early Pleistocene and was part of a suite of characters that were associated with the appearance of Homo erectus. The morphological changes associated with H. erectus support this hypothesis. Archaeological evidence for the control of fire in this time period is generally sparse, and arguments for controlled fire at early sites have been controversial. Here we present evidence for fire use by early hominins at the open-air site...


Friends and Enemies: Heritage Ethnography in the Shadow of the State (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Annalisa Bolin.

Engaged archaeology and public anthropology depend on the goodwill, or at least tolerance, of numerous publics. This is frequently understood to mean local communities and nearby residents, but projects can live or die according to the will of groups less often discussed as part of the target public: authority structures such as permitting agencies or even national governments. How do such organizations figure into the "public" of public scholarship? What happens when research is pressured to...


Getting to Know the Neighbors: Commensal Insights into Human-Ecosystem Dynamics (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jillian Swift.

Advances in zooarchaeological method and theory, increased attention to the recovery and analysis of microfaunal remains, and multidisciplinary collaborative research have generated increasingly nuanced understandings of past human-animal relationships. This paper provides a brief introduction to archaeological investigations of commensal fauna, highlighting the myriad ways that research focused on the commensal niche sheds new light on past societies and ecosystems. A case study from Makangale...


Habitat Preferences in Early Hominins and the Origin of the Human Lineage (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Michelle Drapeau. Jesseca Paquette.

Early hominins, such as australopithecines, are characterized by bipedality and enlarged posterior teeth. Originally, these traits were thought to be adaptations to an open environment. However, discoveries of older hominins, such as Ardipithecus that were possibly only occasionally bipedal and did not have enlarged teeth, have refocused the origins of early hominins within a much more closed, wooded setting. Even the later australopithecines are currently cast as inhabitants of mosaic...


Hilary Duke and Sonia Harmand—A New Approach to the Evolution of Early Pleistocene Hominin Cognition and Technological Change: Examining the Technological Context of LCT Emergence 1.8–1.76 Ma at Kokiselei, West Turkana, Kenya (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Hilary Duke. Sonia Harmand.

The eastern African Early Pleistocene witnessed critical shifts in climate, environment, hominin anatomy and behavior. The lithic record shows change within this broader context. After 1.8 Ma, Large Cutting Tools (LCTs), such as bifaces, entered the hominin lithic repertoire. These artifacts are widely viewed as the first evidence of lithic shaping. Many archaeologists theorize both cognitive and practical differences between "flaking" and "shaping" among knapping strategies. Most of these...


Indian Ocean Comparative Dimensions of Slavery: Resistance and Memory from Mauritius (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Krish Seetah. Sasa Caval. Diego Calaon. Alessandra Cianciosi.

This is an abstract from the "Archaeological Approaches to Slavery and Unfree Labour in Africa" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The materiality of slavery has received much attention over recent decades. Unequivocally focused on the Atlantic experience, comparative models from the Indian Ocean serve to enrich our understanding of slavery on a global scale. The body of literature on slave artefacts, mortuary practices, and diet highlight the nuances...


The Influence of Raw Material Availability on Lithic Assemblage Variability in the Koobi Fora Fm. (Kenya) (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sydney James. Jonathan Reeves. Matthew Douglass. David Braun.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. A defining feature of human tool use compared to our closest living relatives is the transport of tools. This distinction is most evident in the Early Stone Age where transport is a feature of even the earliest industries. Spatial variability in raw material proportions has often been assumed to reflect transport patterns; however, these measures must be...


Iron Age Agriculture at the Multi-Component Site of Kakapel Rockshelter, Western Kenya (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Steven Goldstein. Natalie Mueller. Elizabeth Sawchuk. Emmanuel Ndiema. Christine Ogola.

This is an abstract from the "African Archaeology throughout the Holocene" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The domestication of African cereals and origins and spread of plant agriculture in eastern Africa remain poorly understood. Questions about the timing of farming, crop packages, and correlations with migration events, endure largely due to a lack of paleobotanical recovery and high-resolution dating on inland eastern African sites. In this...


"The Land is now OK": Three Centuries of Marakwet Settlement on the Elgeyo Escarpment, Northwest Kenya (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only David Kay.

This is an abstract from the "African Archaeology throughout the Holocene" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Situated within the Great Rift Complex of northwest Kenya, the Elgeyo Escarpment and surrounding region has been home to Marakwet communities for the last three hundred years. Many of these communities inhabit settlements which span diverse ecosystems, from semi-arid bush to highland forests. In tandem with changes in local lifeways and...


Landscape Evolution, Digital Terrain Analysis, and the Integrity of Surface Assemblages: A Case Study from the Koobi Fora Formation (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jonathan Reeves. Matthew Douglass. Seminew Asrat. Melissa Miller. David R. Braun.

Lithic surface scatters comprise a large proportion of the archaeological record but their value for understanding human behavior is often doubted. Modern geomorphological processes often laterally displace and selectively bias surface assemblages of artifacts. The predictable effects of displacement on the condition, weathering and size distributions of lithic assemblages is better understood. While topography is known to play a role in this process, the degree to which topographic variables...