Sahara: Trade and Empire
Summer 2014
Themes
• Development of African civilizations
• Cities
– Trade
– Environment
• Empires and their stories
Standard Model – Food production
• Exploitation of plants and animals
• Cultivation of plants
• Domestication of plants
• ...
Characteristics
Urbanism (Location! Location! Location!)
Central government
Specialization
Social hierarchy
Complex r...
Classical City
• Nucleated
• Hierarchal - Elites
• Low surrounding population
Middle Niger pattern of urbanism
• Non- nucleated congeries of specialized areas
• Separate areas
– Artisans
– Fishermen
–...
Technologies
• Pottery
• Specialized tools such as plows
• Wheeled vehicles
• Metallurgy
• Woven textiles
Ecozones
Becoming the Sahara Desert
Ancient Lakes (estimated 10% of Sahara)
Climate Change in the Sahara and the Sahel
(rock art)
Response to climate change
Wild fauna
Tadrart Acacus, Libya
Niger
Rock Art Periods - Sahara
Roundhead (~7000 – 4600 BCE)
Bubalus (end of 6th – mid-4th millennium BCE)
– Extinct Algerian bu...
Roundhead
Bubalus period
Bubulus antiquus,Fezzan, Libya
Other animals
Pottery
Tassili, Algeria
9080 BP
Ounjougou, Mali
9400 BCE
Wavy line and dotted wavy line pottery
Cattle
• Introduced to North Africa from Middle East
• Later interbred with wild African aurochs
• Domestication shown in ...
Hunting cattle
Herding
Domesticated animals, Fezzan
Camp life, Tassili, Libya
Dairying
Find animal fat residues
“unequivocal evidence for
extensive processing of dairy
products in pottery vessels in t...
Milking scene
Messak, SW Libya
Conjectured Sequence
• Hunt larger animals
• Hunt smaller animals
• Penning (possible attempt to domesticate
Barbary sheep...
Cattle Cult(s)
• First observed in Egyptian desert
• Rapid movement west with increasing aridity
• Suggest “a social respo...
Messak
• Pastoral rock art
• Sacrifices
• Monumental with cattle
bones
Figure 2. The sacrifice of a bull at In Erahar.
di Lernia S, Tafuri MA, Gallinaro M, Alhaique F, et al. (2013) Inside the ...
Figure 5. Examples of excavated archaeological features.
di Lernia S, Tafuri MA, Gallinaro M, Alhaique F, et al. (2013) In...
Messak, Libya rock art site ~5200 bp
Cattle cult bone heap, Mankhor, Algeria
Cattle cult in Niger
Plant use (Libyan Sahara)
• Early – herbs; no cereals
• Before cattle
– Cattails used for weaving & roofing
– Food accumul...
Pearl millet
Pennisetum glaucum
– Cultivar: longer seed head; varied
colors
4500 BP Oldest archaeological
remains of culti...
Pearl Millet
Wild and Cultivated
Fezzan and agricultural imports
• Free threshing wheat arrives in late 1st
millennium
• Pearl millet and sorghum arrive en...
Metallurgy: Standard Chronology
• Copper – native
• Copper – smelted
• Copper – arsenic and copper-tin
• Iron
Melting Points
Metal Melting Point
Copper 1064
Cast Iron 1204
Silver 961
Gold 1063
Bronze 913
Controversy
• Africans lack lack prior pyrotechnological skills for
iron metallurgy
• Dates older than 500 BCE are either ...
Diffusion Hypotheses
Meroe hypothesis: iron metallurgy spread from
around Meroe, Nubia in the Nile Valley to the rest
of ...
Origins of Iron-working
• The smelting of iron
– More complex than other metals
– Needed large quantities of charcoal and ...
Furnace with tuyéres
Tora-Sira-Tomo 1, Mouhoun Bend NW Burkina Faso
Early Iron Age in West Africa
• Spread through woodland savannah of west
Africa, 500-400 BCE
• More efficient clearing of ...
Spread of Iron
Working technology
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, Bu...
Nok Culture,
Nigeria
 Iron-working developed
by pre-existing stone-
working cultures
 Terracotta figurines
prefiguring l...
Other Early Metallurgy
• c. 2200 to 700 BC Copper metallurgy in the
Eghazzer basin in Niger and the Bir Moghrein
in north-...
Copper spears, Air-Termit, Niger
Hunt scene, Air Termit
Early copper furnaces
2000-1000 BCE
Niger: Copper furnaces, 1000 BCE to 1000 CE
Metal working and trade
• Copper and iron worked at different sites
• Different pottery styles
• Evidence for similar life...
Carthaginians and Early trans-Saharan trade
• Carthaginian power (800-500 BCE) partly based on trans-Saharan
trade?
• Berb...
Garamantes
Site Hierarchy
Site Type Characteristics Example(s)
Town Large agglomerations with
several satellite villages,
qsur and/or...
Garama (Jarma)
Central Fazzan and Romans
Trade Routes
Horse and Camel styles
Horse rock art ‘flying galllop’
Chariot
Chariots
Jarma, excavated
buildings, kite photos
Urban Center HHG001 and vicinity
Jarma
Hinterland
Foggara
Domestic architecture, 1-400 CE
Elite –stone fittings Commoner
mudbrick
Workshops, houses or combinations, 1-400 CE
Fewet
Fewet, Excavated Compound
Fewet Compound, plan
Garamantes dwelling unit, Fewet, Libya
Basalt Lamps Charred Mats, Grinding tools
Garamante gathering
Camel period rock art, Tadrart Acacus
Caravan, Acacus Mountains, Algeria
Garamantes - Soldiers
Changes in Funerary Practice with Time
• Space between settlement and cemeteries
increases
• More grave goods
• Increased ...
Al-Hatiya, Tombs
Fewet tumulus
Garamantean Royal
Cemetery, Jarma
Tumulus Northern Fazzan
Qsar (castle) Abyad, northern Fazzan
Tin Hinan, Tomb
Tin Hinan Tomb Plan
The ‘Princess’
Writing
• Influenced by Punic
• Earliest inscription at Jarma
1st C. BCE
• Dougga (Thugga) Monument
139 BCE
In situ inscription, Tadrart Acacus, SW Libya
Stele, Germa
Dougga Mausoleum, 139 BCE
Trade
To Romans
• Slaves
• Natron
• Cotton
• Ivory
• Carbuncles
From Romans
• Oil
• Pottery
• Glass
• Technology
1. Sahara Trade and Empire Introduction Su2014
1. Sahara Trade and Empire Introduction Su2014
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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 horse transport to camel transport. The Garamantes and their relationship with Romans.

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1. Sahara Trade and Empire Introduction Su2014

  1. 1. Sahara: Trade and Empire Summer 2014
  2. 2. Themes • Development of African civilizations • Cities – Trade – Environment • Empires and their stories
  3. 3. Standard Model – Food production • Exploitation of plants and animals • Cultivation of plants • Domestication of plants • Domestication of animals • Functional pottery
  4. 4. Characteristics Urbanism (Location! Location! Location!) Central government Specialization Social hierarchy Complex religion Writing Technology; public works; art and architecture
  5. 5. Classical City • Nucleated • Hierarchal - Elites • Low surrounding population
  6. 6. Middle Niger pattern of urbanism • Non- nucleated congeries of specialized areas • Separate areas – Artisans – Fishermen – Religious and funerary activities
  7. 7. Technologies • Pottery • Specialized tools such as plows • Wheeled vehicles • Metallurgy • Woven textiles
  8. 8. Ecozones
  9. 9. Becoming the Sahara Desert
  10. 10. Ancient Lakes (estimated 10% of Sahara)
  11. 11. Climate Change in the Sahara and the Sahel (rock art)
  12. 12. Response to climate change
  13. 13. Wild fauna Tadrart Acacus, Libya Niger
  14. 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. 15. Roundhead
  16. 16. Bubalus period Bubulus antiquus,Fezzan, Libya
  17. 17. Other animals
  18. 18. Pottery Tassili, Algeria 9080 BP Ounjougou, Mali 9400 BCE
  19. 19. Wavy line and dotted wavy line pottery
  20. 20. Cattle • Introduced to North Africa from Middle East • Later interbred with wild African aurochs • Domestication shown in rock art • ‘Cattle cult’ • Dairying
  21. 21. Hunting cattle
  22. 22. Herding
  23. 23. Domesticated animals, Fezzan
  24. 24. Camp life, Tassili, Libya
  25. 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. 26. Milking scene Messak, SW Libya
  27. 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. 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. 29. Messak • Pastoral rock art • Sacrifices • Monumental with cattle bones
  30. 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. 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. 32. Messak, Libya rock art site ~5200 bp
  33. 33. Cattle cult bone heap, Mankhor, Algeria
  34. 34. Cattle cult in Niger
  35. 35. Plant use (Libyan Sahara) • Early – herbs; no cereals • Before cattle – Cattails used for weaving & roofing – Food accumulation • Little change in pastoral period
  36. 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. 37. Pearl Millet Wild and Cultivated
  38. 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. 39. Metallurgy: Standard Chronology • Copper – native • Copper – smelted • Copper – arsenic and copper-tin • Iron
  40. 40. Melting Points Metal Melting Point Copper 1064 Cast Iron 1204 Silver 961 Gold 1063 Bronze 913
  41. 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. 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. 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. 44. Furnace with tuyéres Tora-Sira-Tomo 1, Mouhoun Bend NW Burkina Faso
  45. 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. 46. Spread of Iron Working technology
  47. 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. 48. Nok Culture, Nigeria  Iron-working developed by pre-existing stone- working cultures  Terracotta figurines prefiguring later bronzes of Ife and Benin
  49. 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. 50. Copper spears, Air-Termit, Niger
  51. 51. Hunt scene, Air Termit
  52. 52. Early copper furnaces 2000-1000 BCE
  53. 53. Niger: Copper furnaces, 1000 BCE to 1000 CE
  54. 54. Metal working and trade • Copper and iron worked at different sites • Different pottery styles • Evidence for similar life styles
  55. 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. 56. Garamantes
  57. 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. 58. Garama (Jarma)
  59. 59. Central Fazzan and Romans
  60. 60. Trade Routes
  61. 61. Horse and Camel styles
  62. 62. Horse rock art ‘flying galllop’
  63. 63. Chariot
  64. 64. Chariots
  65. 65. Jarma, excavated buildings, kite photos
  66. 66. Urban Center HHG001 and vicinity
  67. 67. Jarma Hinterland
  68. 68. Foggara
  69. 69. Domestic architecture, 1-400 CE Elite –stone fittings Commoner mudbrick
  70. 70. Workshops, houses or combinations, 1-400 CE
  71. 71. Fewet
  72. 72. Fewet, Excavated Compound
  73. 73. Fewet Compound, plan
  74. 74. Garamantes dwelling unit, Fewet, Libya
  75. 75. Basalt Lamps Charred Mats, Grinding tools
  76. 76. Garamante gathering
  77. 77. Camel period rock art, Tadrart Acacus
  78. 78. Caravan, Acacus Mountains, Algeria
  79. 79. Garamantes - Soldiers
  80. 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. 81. Al-Hatiya, Tombs
  82. 82. Fewet tumulus
  83. 83. Garamantean Royal Cemetery, Jarma
  84. 84. Tumulus Northern Fazzan
  85. 85. Qsar (castle) Abyad, northern Fazzan
  86. 86. Tin Hinan, Tomb
  87. 87. Tin Hinan Tomb Plan
  88. 88. The ‘Princess’
  89. 89. Writing • Influenced by Punic • Earliest inscription at Jarma 1st C. BCE • Dougga (Thugga) Monument 139 BCE
  90. 90. In situ inscription, Tadrart Acacus, SW Libya
  91. 91. Stele, Germa
  92. 92. Dougga Mausoleum, 139 BCE
  93. 93. Trade To Romans • Slaves • Natron • Cotton • Ivory • Carbuncles From Romans • Oil • Pottery • Glass • Technology

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