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An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Traditional Farmer Knowledge and Fire Ecology in Eastern Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia

Author(s): Zoe Walder-Hoge

Year: 2017

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This study will conduct ethnoarchaeological interviews of Eastern Tigrai rural consultants on traditional farmer knowledge, risk management and fire ecology. The data will enable the integration of farmer knowledge within an historical ecology framework to understand human-environment interactions taking place during the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite periods (>800 BCE- CE 700). A previous palaeoenvironmental study examined extensive charcoalized wood and burned matter in the region, however an ethnoarchaeological study has yet to be conducted as to farmer’s potential use of fire. Interviews will concentrate on Elders and other community members practicing non-mechanised agriculture. The research will focus on human agency in regard to risk management and periods of resource stress, most notably from climate, soil erosion and increasing demographic pressures. Questions will probe the significance of cereals and the importance of crop diversity. The study will also document changes in land use and approaches to crop cultivation. The knowledge gained is intended to further elucidate human-environmental interactions of early complex societies in the Horn of Africa. The results will assist in generating hypotheses on the role of human intervention and decision making in past human-environment interactions.

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An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Traditional Farmer Knowledge and Fire Ecology in Eastern Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia. Zoe Walder-Hoge. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430985)


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): 15992

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