Zooarchaeological perspectives on the historical ecology of the 19th century caravan trade in East Africa

  • Author: Thomas John Biginagwa
  • Topic: Zooarchaeology
  • Country: Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Zooarchaeological results indicate that during the zenith of the caravan trade both domestic and wild animals as well as fish were all being consumed at these sites. The mortality profiles for cattle and sheep/goat do not suggest any evidence for pressure on domestic stock for meat that could lead to slaughtering of younger livestock. Importantly, NISP data suggest that wild fauna, especially medium-sized antelopes and rodents made an important dietary contribution. This suggests that communities along the routes were able to meet the demands of the caravans through mixed utilization of wild and domestic resources.

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