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Early Farming Communities in East Africa and the Horn: new zooarchaeological evidence from Mezber, northern Ethiopia

Author(s): Helina Woldekiros

Year: 2017

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Summary

Animal herding formed a central component of pre-Aksumite (>800 B.C.E – 450 B.C.E) and Aksumite (450 B.C.E-800 C.E.) subsistence economies in the North Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands. Despite this, detailed understanding of animal utilization and diversity of species is lacking for this period. New data on species abundance and radiocarbon date from the site of Mezber in the North Ethiopian highland throws a new light on the earliest mixed farming communities in the Horn of Africa over the last 3000 years. This rural settlement site provides faunal evidence for herd management strategies. Cattle, sheep, and goats are integrated with chickens originating from the Red Sea area. Cattle make up a high proportion of the assemblage through time. This relative high abundance of cattle indicates an environment that was stable and supported stock keeping for at least 1000 years. The presence of a small percentage of wild animals in the Mezber assemblage shows animal husbandry that was complemented by hunting systems.


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Cite this Record

Early Farming Communities in East Africa and the Horn: new zooarchaeological evidence from Mezber, northern Ethiopia. Helina Woldekiros. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430980)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15119

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America