Landcover Change and Economic Change During the Iron Age in Western Kenya

Author(s): Ryan Szymanski

Year: 2016


Archaeological evidence from numerous sites throughout Western Kenya show that the Iron Age was a time of considerable environmental and cultural change in this region. A short sediment core derived from lower Kingwal Swamp was collected and analyzed for its microbotanical, fungal, and charcoal content with the goal of clarifying the duration, context, and extent of these changes as visible through landscape modification. These sediments capture approximately the last 1800 years of ecological history in this area, and indicate that significant clearance for cultivation has taken place through this period, and particularly in recent centuries associated with maize agriculture. Additionally, microbial evidence suggests that considerable fluctuation in the local presence of large herbivores has occurred through time. A more nuanced picture of the ecology of a region with relatively poorly known archaeology is further made available.

Cite this Record

Landcover Change and Economic Change During the Iron Age in Western Kenya. Ryan Szymanski. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405192)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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