1. Sahara Trade and Empire Introduction Su2014

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Geography of the Sahara and early development of societies. Early agriculture and metallurgy in West Africa. Rock art of the Sahara and vicinity and transition from hunter to pastoralist and from …

Geography of the Sahara and early development of societies. Early agriculture and metallurgy in West Africa. Rock art of the Sahara and vicinity and transition from hunter to pastoralist and from horse transport to camel transport. The Garamantes and their relationship with Romans.

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  • 1. Sahara: Trade and Empire Summer 2014
  • 2. Themes • Development of African civilizations • Cities – Trade – Environment • Empires and their stories
  • 3. Standard Model – Food production • Exploitation of plants and animals • Cultivation of plants • Domestication of plants • Domestication of animals • Functional pottery
  • 4. Characteristics Urbanism (Location! Location! Location!) Central government Specialization Social hierarchy Complex religion Writing Technology; public works; art and architecture
  • 5. Classical City • Nucleated • Hierarchal - Elites • Low surrounding population
  • 6. Middle Niger pattern of urbanism • Non- nucleated congeries of specialized areas • Separate areas – Artisans – Fishermen – Religious and funerary activities
  • 7. Technologies • Pottery • Specialized tools such as plows • Wheeled vehicles • Metallurgy • Woven textiles
  • 8. Ecozones
  • 9. Becoming the Sahara Desert
  • 10. Ancient Lakes (estimated 10% of Sahara)
  • 11. Climate Change in the Sahara and the Sahel (rock art)
  • 12. Response to climate change
  • 13. Wild fauna Tadrart Acacus, Libya Niger
  • 14. Rock Art Periods - Sahara Roundhead (~7000 – 4600 BCE) Bubalus (end of 6th – mid-4th millennium BCE) – Extinct Algerian buffalo Cattle or Pastoral Period (mid-4th to mid-2nd millennium BCE) Horse Period (from ~1200 BCE) Camel Period (CE)
  • 15. Roundhead
  • 16. Bubalus period Bubulus antiquus,Fezzan, Libya
  • 17. Other animals
  • 18. Pottery Tassili, Algeria 9080 BP Ounjougou, Mali 9400 BCE
  • 19. Wavy line and dotted wavy line pottery
  • 20. Cattle • Introduced to North Africa from Middle East • Later interbred with wild African aurochs • Domestication shown in rock art • ‘Cattle cult’ • Dairying
  • 21. Hunting cattle
  • 22. Herding
  • 23. Domesticated animals, Fezzan
  • 24. Camp life, Tassili, Libya
  • 25. Dairying Find animal fat residues “unequivocal evidence for extensive processing of dairy products in pottery vessels in the Libyan Sahara during the Middle Pastoral period (approximately 5200–3800 BC)” Processing explains use in the presence of lactose intolerance Dunne, Julie, et al. "First dairying in green Saharan Africa in the fifth millennium BC." Nature 486.7403 (2012): 390-394
  • 26. Milking scene Messak, SW Libya
  • 27. Conjectured Sequence • Hunt larger animals • Hunt smaller animals • Penning (possible attempt to domesticate Barbary sheep) • Introduction of domesticated cattle from Middle East • Interbreeding with native aurochs
  • 28. Cattle Cult(s) • First observed in Egyptian desert • Rapid movement west with increasing aridity • Suggest “a social response to cope with droughts and famine, using this precious resource as an offering to superhuman entities.” • Later megalithic burials of people under conditions of social differentiation
  • 29. Messak • Pastoral rock art • Sacrifices • Monumental with cattle bones
  • 30. Figure 2. The sacrifice of a bull at In Erahar. di Lernia S, Tafuri MA, Gallinaro M, Alhaique F, et al. (2013) Inside the “African Cattle Complex”: Animal Burials in the Holocene Central Sahara. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56879. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056879 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0056879
  • 31. Figure 5. Examples of excavated archaeological features. di Lernia S, Tafuri MA, Gallinaro M, Alhaique F, et al. (2013) Inside the “African Cattle Complex”: Animal Burials in the Holocene Central Sahara. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56879. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056879 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0056879
  • 32. Messak, Libya rock art site ~5200 bp
  • 33. Cattle cult bone heap, Mankhor, Algeria
  • 34. Cattle cult in Niger
  • 35. Plant use (Libyan Sahara) • Early – herbs; no cereals • Before cattle – Cattails used for weaving & roofing – Food accumulation • Little change in pastoral period
  • 36. Pearl millet Pennisetum glaucum – Cultivar: longer seed head; varied colors 4500 BP Oldest archaeological remains of cultivated pearl millet found in Mali ~4000 BP Found in India
  • 37. Pearl Millet Wild and Cultivated
  • 38. Fezzan and agricultural imports • Free threshing wheat arrives in late 1st millennium • Pearl millet and sorghum arrive end of first millennium Inland Niger Delta • African rice
  • 39. Metallurgy: Standard Chronology • Copper – native • Copper – smelted • Copper – arsenic and copper-tin • Iron
  • 40. Melting Points Metal Melting Point Copper 1064 Cast Iron 1204 Silver 961 Gold 1063 Bronze 913
  • 41. Controversy • Africans lack lack prior pyrotechnological skills for iron metallurgy • Dates older than 500 BCE are either unreliable or the samples are contaminated – Use of old charcoal – 14C calibration curve • Contrary view – É. Zangato & A.F.C. Holl ‘On the Iron Front: New Evidence from North-Central Africa” Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 8 (1), 2010, pages 7-23 – Holl, Augustin FC. "Early West African metallurgies: new data and old orthodoxy." Journal of World Prehistory 22.4 (2009): 415-438. – Bocoum, Hamady. The origins of iron metallurgy in Africa: new light on its antiquity, West and Central Africa. Unesco, 2004.
  • 42. Diffusion Hypotheses Meroe hypothesis: iron metallurgy spread from around Meroe, Nubia in the Nile Valley to the rest of the continent Carthaginian Origins: “The Phoenicians traded extensively with the Berbers, who in turn bartered with the Neolithic peoples south of the desert. To the existing trade of salt for West African gold and slaves the Berbers probably added Phoenician goods, including iron”
  • 43. Origins of Iron-working • The smelting of iron – More complex than other metals – Needed large quantities of charcoal and special furnaces – Main archaeological evidence: slag from smelting furnaces • The origins of iron-working in Africa – Earliest known origin in western Asia, 1500 BCE – 670 BCE, earliest in Egypt – Recent evidence: 1000 - 600 BCE, Chad/east African lakes region Probably independent African development
  • 44. Furnace with tuyéres Tora-Sira-Tomo 1, Mouhoun Bend NW Burkina Faso
  • 45. Early Iron Age in West Africa • Spread through woodland savannah of west Africa, 500-400 BCE • More efficient clearing of land for agriculture, and weapons for hunting • Development of larger farming settlements • Niger ‘inland delta’: variety of urban farming settlements, e.g. Jenne-Jeno (250 BCE-400 CE) • Specialised production and trade, 400-1000 CE • From 500 BCE Nigerian ‘Nok Culture’
  • 46. Spread of Iron Working technology
  • 47. Uses of Iron 250 BCE – 400 CE 400 - 900 900-1000 100-1400 Decorative 5 9 3 8 Utilitarian 0 10 9 36 Iron Bracelet Kissi, Burkina Faso 700 CE
  • 48. Nok Culture, Nigeria  Iron-working developed by pre-existing stone- working cultures  Terracotta figurines prefiguring later bronzes of Ife and Benin
  • 49. Other Early Metallurgy • c. 2200 to 700 BC Copper metallurgy in the Eghazzer basin in Niger and the Bir Moghrein in north- central Mauritania • Early 2nd millennium BCE Iron metallurgy at Air-Termit in Niger, and the Bouar region in northwest Central African Republic • Iron metallurgy in Niger ~600 BCE
  • 50. Copper spears, Air-Termit, Niger
  • 51. Hunt scene, Air Termit
  • 52. Early copper furnaces 2000-1000 BCE
  • 53. Niger: Copper furnaces, 1000 BCE to 1000 CE
  • 54. Metal working and trade • Copper and iron worked at different sites • Different pottery styles • Evidence for similar life styles
  • 55. Carthaginians and Early trans-Saharan trade • Carthaginian power (800-500 BCE) partly based on trans-Saharan trade? • Berber pastoralists controlled the trade; Indirect contact through Sahara via oases • Saharan salt traded north in exchange for food, cloth, beads, metal; Salt traded south for gold, ivory and captives for sale into slavery • Slavery minor part of trade: used at Saharan salt pans and for north African labour • Transport: donkeys, mules and horses • Problems: water shortages, and raids by Garamantes • Camel, from Arabia, not widely used in north Africa until 1st century CE
  • 56. Garamantes
  • 57. Site Hierarchy Site Type Characteristics Example(s) Town Large agglomerations with several satellite villages, qsur and/or buildings Qasr ash-Sharraba; Jarma Fortified village up to 4 ha Independent substantial villages or satellite villages in prime agricultural locations HHG001 Village with qsur up to 6 ha Independent substantial villages or satellite villages with focal fortified building (qasr) HHG006–008
  • 58. Garama (Jarma)
  • 59. Central Fazzan and Romans
  • 60. Trade Routes
  • 61. Horse and Camel styles
  • 62. Horse rock art ‘flying galllop’
  • 63. Chariot
  • 64. Chariots
  • 65. Jarma, excavated buildings, kite photos
  • 66. Urban Center HHG001 and vicinity
  • 67. Jarma Hinterland
  • 68. Foggara
  • 69. Domestic architecture, 1-400 CE Elite –stone fittings Commoner mudbrick
  • 70. Workshops, houses or combinations, 1-400 CE
  • 71. Fewet
  • 72. Fewet, Excavated Compound
  • 73. Fewet Compound, plan
  • 74. Garamantes dwelling unit, Fewet, Libya
  • 75. Basalt Lamps Charred Mats, Grinding tools
  • 76. Garamante gathering
  • 77. Camel period rock art, Tadrart Acacus
  • 78. Caravan, Acacus Mountains, Algeria
  • 79. Garamantes - Soldiers
  • 80. Changes in Funerary Practice with Time • Space between settlement and cemeteries increases • More grave goods • Increased density follows increase in population and population density • Stratified society • Roman influence, Egyptian influence
  • 81. Al-Hatiya, Tombs
  • 82. Fewet tumulus
  • 83. Garamantean Royal Cemetery, Jarma
  • 84. Tumulus Northern Fazzan
  • 85. Qsar (castle) Abyad, northern Fazzan
  • 86. Tin Hinan, Tomb
  • 87. Tin Hinan Tomb Plan
  • 88. The ‘Princess’
  • 89. Writing • Influenced by Punic • Earliest inscription at Jarma 1st C. BCE • Dougga (Thugga) Monument 139 BCE
  • 90. In situ inscription, Tadrart Acacus, SW Libya
  • 91. Stele, Germa
  • 92. Dougga Mausoleum, 139 BCE
  • 93. Trade To Romans • Slaves • Natron • Cotton • Ivory • Carbuncles From Romans • Oil • Pottery • Glass • Technology