Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Human-woodland interactions during the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite periods in northeastern Tigray, Ethiopia: insights from the wood charcoal analyses from Mezber and Ona Adi

Abstract : The Tigray region in Ethiopia witnessed the rise and fall of the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite communities between the mid 2nd millennium BCE and the late 1st millennium CE. Despite the importance of these entities in recent African prehistory, the issue of how they interacted with their surrounding environment has only been addressed very recently. Here, we present the first systematic anthracological analysis from the region. Wood charcoal samples from two archaeological sites were analysed, the Pre-Aksumite rural site of Mezber (ca. 1600 BCE-1 CE) and Ona Adi (ca. 600 BCE-700 CE), an urban centre occupied continuously from the Late Pre-Aksumite period to the fall of the Aksumite kingdom. A total of 2,708 charcoal fragments from 25 samples and nine archaeological phases were analysed and 19 plant taxa associated with at least three different vegetation types were identified. The results demonstrate rather stable environmental conditions at a local level, with no major or abrupt environmental changes. They also evidence a process of landscape degradation as a result of human activity during the early to mid 1st millennium BCE, as well as a subsequent recovery that occurred gradually during the next ca. 1,500 years. Finally, differences in firewood use were identified in relation to the rural or urban nature of each settlement, showing an evolution in wood selection, management and strategies of use which indicates that both Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite peoples had a significant degree of resilience and adaptive capacity.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-03158480
Contributor : Charlène Bouchaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 2:43:26 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 9:38:08 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 7:41:32 PM

File

 Restricted access
To satisfy the distribution rights of the publisher, the document is embargoed until : 2022-03-03

Please log in to resquest access to the document

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Abel Ruiz-Giralt, Charlène Bouchaud, Aurélie Salavert, Carla Lancelotti, A. Catherine D’andrea. Human-woodland interactions during the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite periods in northeastern Tigray, Ethiopia: insights from the wood charcoal analyses from Mezber and Ona Adi. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s00334-021-00825-2⟩. ⟨mnhn-03158480⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

109