Island colonization and ecological transformation in prehistoric eastern Africa


Until recently, the small islands lying off the coasts of Tanzania and Kenya have seen little systematic archaeological investigation. Their biogeographic diversity, reflecting various processes and chronologies of formation, nonetheless offers an ideal opportunity to examine processes of prehistoric colonization and anthropogenic impact.We explore the earliest evidence for human activity on three different islands, Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia, and provide the first evidence for early human alterations of these island ecosystems. While the datasets remain preliminary, we are able to show that the types of anthropogenic impacts also seen on other regional island systems, including extinction, extirpation and habitat alteration, were also a feature of early settlement in island east Africa.

Cite this Record

Island colonization and ecological transformation in prehistoric eastern Africa. Nicole Boivin, Mary Prendergast, Jillian Swift, Ceri Shipton, Alison Crowther. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430801)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16929