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Aksum: Environmental Archaeology

  • Federica SulasEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_863-2
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Introduction

Rising above the Sudanese lowlands to the north and the Red Sea coastal plains to the east, the highlands of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea have long been recognized as a center of plant domestication and host of some of the earliest complex societies of sub-Saharan Africa. The intensification of contacts with southern Arabia in the first millennium BCE favored the development of complex societies and, later, the emergence of the Kingdom of Aksum (c. BCE 140–CE 800). Aksum is located on a gentle plain at the heart of the Tigray highlands (Fig. 1) which provided excellent ground for the new kingdom to thrive for almost a 1000 years by engaging in long-distance trade and commerce, developing literacy and coinage. The adoption of Christianity in the early fourth century CE furthered Aksum’s importance within and beyond northeast Africa. This historical significance has fostered intensive archaeological research in the region, but the history of its diverse environment has...
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Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Danish National Research Foundation under the grant DNRF119 - Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet).

References

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Further Reading

  1. Anfray, F. 1990. Les anciens éthiopiennes. Paris: Armand Colin.
  2. Bard, K.A., ed. 1997. The environmental history and human ecology of northern Ethiopia in the Late Holocene. Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale.
  3. Cain, C.P. 1999. Results from zooarchaeological analysis at Axum, Ethiopia. ArchaeoZoologia 10 (1–2): 24–45.
  4. de Contenson, H. 2005. Antiquités éthiopiennes d’Axoum à Haoulti. Éd. Sépia: Saint-Maur-des-Fosses.
  5. Finneran, N. 2007. The archaeology of Ethiopia. Abingdon: Routledge.
  6. French, C. 2010. People, societies, and landscapes. Science 328: 443–444.
  7. Machado, M.J., A. Pérez – González, and G. Benito. 1998. Palaeoenvironmental changes during the last 4,000 years in the Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Quaternary Research 49: 312–321.
  8. Sulas, F. 2016. Soils, plants and texts: An archaeologist’s toolbox. In Oxford handbook of historical ecology and applied archaeology, ed. C. Isendahl and D. Stump. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  .

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Urban Network EvolutionsAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Anthropology and ArchaeologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Manuel Arroyo-Kalin
    • 1
  • Dorian Q. Fuller
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK