Things haven’t been quite so quiet around here as my silence would suggest. We managed to gather some very useful ethnoarchaeological data on the Western Mongolia Archaeology Project, but while I was away my laptop broke: hence the deafening silence here.
In that time I’ve had copies of book reviews published of Living With Herds by Natasha Fijn (in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society) and Food, Craft and Status in Medieval Winchester by Dale Serjeantson and Helen Rees (in Hortulus). Both are available now via my Academia.edu profile.
In terms of the dissemination of research, I also heard that a paper jointly presented with Mary Prendergast, Oula Seitsonen, Katherine Grillo and Audax Mabulla has been accepted for this year’s AEA conference in Reading, concerning the spread of Pastoralism in East Africa. A full copy of the abstract for this is given after the break.
On the teaching front, the next Introduction to Zooarchaeology short course at the University of Sheffield has now been fully booked, dates about the next one will be published here when they are settled. Bookings are now open though for both the Introduction to Zooarchaeology and Introduction to Ethnoarchaeology courses at the University of York.
After such a lightening round up it only remains for me to excuse myself for another absence. My bag is now packed and I’m about to leave for more fieldwork as part of the Archaeological Investigation of a “Moving Frontier” of Early Herding in Northern Tanzania project. Before returning home and teaching in Sheffield I’ll be visiting Helsinki for the EAA conference; I may be able to access the internet and post something from there but otherwise I’ll be out of contact until the second week of September.
No Flies on Us: The Diffusion of the Neolithic in Africa
BRODERICK, Lee G.1; PRENDERGAST, Mary2; SEITSONEN, Oula3; GRILLO, Katherine4; MABULLA, Audax5
The emergence of the Neolithic in Sub-Saharan Africa was not accompanied by a move towards sedentism, as in many other parts of the world, but instead accompanied the diffusion of a nomadic pastoralist lifestyle. Although pastoralist Neolithic sites are known in both East and West Africa as well as in Southern Africa, the precise route, timing and method of this diffusion through a tropical environment which would require acclimatisation to different ecologies and diseases is still the subject of some conjecture but two competing models have gained wide support among archaeologists working in the area. The more favoured model supposes that livestock (and, therefore, pastoralists) could have moved relatively freely through a tse-tse fly free corridor in the eastern side of the continent stretching from modern day Kenya to South Africa.
The Archaeological Investigation of a “Moving Frontier” of Early Herding in Northern Tanzania project was conceived to identify sites in the northern most part of this corridor in order to test this theory and to examine issues of Neolithic – Hunter-Gatherer interaction. This presentation aims to highlight the on-going work to answer some of these questions through the initial results of the zooarchaeological analysis of the sites identified thus far.
1, Department of Archaeology, University of York, The King’s Manor, York. YO1 7EP. UK. 2, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, St. Louis University in Madrid, Avenida del Valle, 34 28003 Madrid. Spain. 3, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014. Finland. 4, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1114, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA. 5, Archaeology Unit, P.O. Box 35050, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam. Tanzania.