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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 8 (2) 2010

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V. Linseele & A. Haour

Animal Remains from Medieval Garumele, Niger

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 8 (2), 2010, pages 167-184, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10165

 

Abstract

The site of Garumele (700–200 years ago approx.), on the north-western shores of Lake Chad, has long been the subject of speculation by archaeologists and historians, due to its supposed link with the history of the Kanem- Borno polity and because of the presence of fragments of baked bricks at the site's surface, probably the remains of structures. Recently the first detailed archaeological excavations were carried out at Garumele, yielding a great amount of cultural data, including faunal remains which are the subject of this paper. This faunal study is important because no such studies have up to now ever been produced for this part of the Chad Basin. It has shown a predominance of fish, represented by a large diversity of species, and of domestic animals, sheep, goat and cattle. Comparisons with sites on the Nigerian side of the Chad Basin give valuable comparative insights into the palaeo-economy and palaeo-ecology of Garumele; indeed the fauna recovered shows many similarities with that of other recent sites, all seemingly indicating economic specialisation.

               Résumé                                                                                                                                                     Le site de Garumele (il y a 700–200 ans environ), sur la rive nord-ouest du lac Tchad, a longtemps été l'objet de spéculations par les archéologues et les historiens, dues à son lien supposé avec l'histoire du Kanem-Borno et à la présence de fragments de briques cuites à la surface du site, probablement représentant des restes de structures. Les premières fouilles archéologiques détaillées ont récemment été menées à Garumele, et ont fourni une grande quantité de données culturelles, dont des restes de faune qui font l'objet du présent article. Cette étude de la faune est importante, car il s'agit de la première qui concerne cette partie du Bassin du Tchad. Elle a indiqué une prédominance de restes de poissons, montrant une grande diversité d'espèces, et de restes d'animaux domestiques, mouton, chèvre et boeuf. Les comparaisons avec des sites du côté nigérian du Bassin du Tchad offrent des informations comparatives utiles concernant la paléo-économie et la paléo-écologie de Garumele; du reste, la faune étudiée manifeste de nombreuses similarités avec celle d'autres sites récents, suggérant tous une spécialisation économique.




Keywords: archaeozoology, economic specialisation, Kanem-Borno, Sahel, settlement mound, West Africa


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Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
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Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
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David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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