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Development of Craft Specialization during the Pre-Aksumite Period in Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia: Insights from Modern Hide-Workers

Author(s): Elizabeth Peterson

Year: 2017

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Summary

The pre-Aksumite period in Eastern Tigrai witnessed social and economic changes that have been traditionally attributed to the impacts ofexternal influences, in particular the Sabaeans. Recent studies are exploring internal or indigenous factors influencing the development of economies and early social inequality/complexity in the northern Horn. One such factor may have been the local development of craft specialists to cope with increasing demands for certain goods, such as hides. The export and trading of hides has continued as an important aspect of the modern Ethiopian economy, with possible roots in the early development of the Aksumite state. This paper presents the results of ethnoarchaeological and archaeological studies of stone scrapers used to processes hides. Through incorporating morphological analysis, low-power use-wear, interviews and observations, identifiable trends associated with hide processing are evaluated. Studying the formation of craft specialists within this framework creates one means by which the development of social complexity/inequality can be explored for the Pre-Aksumite through the Early Aksumite periods allowing a focus to be placed on indigenous influences operating within the region.


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Development of Craft Specialization during the Pre-Aksumite Period in Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia: Insights from Modern Hide-Workers. Elizabeth Peterson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430986)


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): 15007

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