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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. 11 (2) 2013

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L. Chaix

The Fauna from the UNO/BU Excavations at Bieta Giyorgis (Aksum) in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: Campaigns 1995–2003; Pre-Aksumite, 700–400 BC to Late Aksumite, AD 800–1200

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 11 (2), 2013, pages 211-241, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10244

Abstract
The excavations of the joint mission of the University of Naples 'L'Orientale' and the Department of Archaeology at Boston University (USA) on the hill of Bieta Giyorgis at Aksum, Ethiopia, recovered numerous animal bones from various contexts dating from Pre-Aksumite to Late Aksumite levels, around 700 BC to AD 1200. The fauna is dominated by domestic mammals. Among them, cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus) are dominant. Age structure and butchering marks indicate an intense exploitation of these animals. Domestic caprines (sheep and goats) are also present. Their exploitation is focused on young individuals. Donkey, dog and domestic fowl were found in small numbers. Wild mammals are very rare. Long-distance contacts are illustrated by remains of marine fish and worked cowries from the Red Sea.

Résumé
Les fouilles de la mission commune de l'Institut d'archéologie orientale de l'Université de Naples (Italie) et du Département d'archéologie de l'Université de Boston (USA) sur la colline de Bieta Giorgys à Aksum (Ethiopie) ont livré de nombreux ossements animaux de divers contextes datés de la période Pré-Aksumite jusqu'au Post-Aksumite, entre 700 BC et 1200 AD. La faune est dominée par les animaux domestiques. Le cheptel voit les bovins (boeuf et zébu) occuper la première place. La distribution des âges ainsi que les traces de boucherie et d'artisanat témoignent d'une exploitation poussée de ces animaux. Les caprinés domestiques (chèvre et mouton) complètent ce tableau. Les jeunes individus sont recherchés en priorité. Anes, chiens et poulets sont attestés en faible nombre. Des contacts à longue distance sont illustrés par la présence de poissons marins ainsi que par des porcelaines provenant de la Mer Rouge.




Keywords: Africa, Aksumite, animal exploitation, archaeozoology, Ethiopia, fauna


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Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
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Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
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Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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