Network Approaches to Cosmopolitanism in Ancient Ethiopia (50-700 AD)

Author(s): Dil Basanti

Year: 2017


This paper looks at how ideas of cosmopolitanism can be applied to the African context using Aksum (50-700 AD) in northern Ethiopia as case study. While there is much interest in issues of cosmopolitanism, or the making of a "world citizen" or a "world community" as drawn from 18th-19th century conceptualizations, such issues become difficult to study on the African continent given the strong emphasis on personhoods configured around local, corporate contexts. Burial practices from ancient Aksum demonstrate particularly strong corporate personhoods, even while the kingdom was engaged in extra-local trade. Instead, using network theory, this paper looks at how the social dynamics implied by Aksumite burial practices would configure Aksum’s regional connections across Tigray. In doing so, this paper seeks to understand what African case studies tell us about cosmopolitanism, and how these understandings highlight a wider range of ways that societies may be cosmopolitan

Cite this Record

Network Approaches to Cosmopolitanism in Ancient Ethiopia (50-700 AD). Dil Basanti. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429856)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15089