An Historical Ecological Approach to the Investigation of Early Social Complexity in the Horn of Africa: First Steps

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Papers will present preliminary results of a new investigation initiated by the Eastern Tigrai Archaeological Project (ETAP). We have formed a transdisciplinary research partnership between Simon Fraser University Addis Ababa University, and the University of Kansas, which will integrate the work of archaeologists, palaeoenvironmentalists and ethnoarchaeologists. We aim to blend scientific and traditional knowledge to understand human-environmental interactions taking place at two critical points in the later prehistory of the Horn of Africa: the origins of social complexity during the Pre-Aksumite period (c.1600-800 BCE) and the Pre-Aksumite to Aksumite transition (c. 400 BCE-CE100). Papers will focus on integrating: archaeological studies on ceramics, lithics, grindingstones, zooarchaeology, and archaeobotany; palaeoenvironmental investigations of stable isotopes, soil micromorphology and soil charcoals; and studies of traditional farmer adaptations to environmental stress, completed within a framework of historical ecology.

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