Resilience and identity: the ethnoarchaeology of the Kel Tadrart Tuareg (SW Libya)

Author(s): Stefano Biagetti

Year: 2015


In the Tadrart Acacus (SW Libya), ethnoarchaeological research carried out between 2003-2011 has shown that its current inhabitants, the Kel Tadrart Tuareg, are a successful example of adaptation to extreme climatic and environmental conditions. Their exceptional resilience, characterized by high degree of variability and opportunism, escapes some of the traditional assumptions often done in ethnography and archaeology regarding the classification and identification of societies, such as mobility, food security, or interaction with neighboring groups. Indeed, this study demonstrates that identity and self-representation play major role in shaping individual and communal choices in the Kel Tadrart society, leaving specific material correlates that might elude our traditional interpretive tools. These data reveal the often underestimated complexity of arid zones pastoral societies of the present, raising issues related to mainstream approaches to Saharan Holocene archaeology, where arid times are generally associated with marked drops in both cultural and social level of communities.

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Cite this Record

Resilience and identity: the ethnoarchaeology of the Kel Tadrart Tuareg (SW Libya). Stefano Biagetti. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396726)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;