East Africa and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean world

Boivin, Nicole, Crowther, Alison, Helm, Richard and Fuller, Dorian Q. (2013) East Africa and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean world. Journal of World Prehistory, 26 3: 213-281. doi:10.1007/s10963-013-9067-4

Author Boivin, Nicole
Crowther, Alison
Helm, Richard
Fuller, Dorian Q.
Title East Africa and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean world
Journal name Journal of World Prehistory   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-7537
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10963-013-9067-4
Volume 26
Issue 3
Start page 213
End page 281
Total pages 69
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract The Indian Ocean has long been a forum for contact, trade and the transfer of goods, technologies and ideas between geographically distant groups of people. Another, less studied, outcome of expanding maritime connectivity in the region is the translocation of a range of species of plants and animals, both domestic and wild. A significant number of these translocations can now be seen to involve Africa, either providing or receiving species, suggesting that Africa's role in the emergence of an increasingly connected Indian Ocean world deserves more systematic consideration. While the earliest international contacts with the East African coast remain poorly understood, in part due to a paucity of archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological studies, some evidence for early African coastal activity is provided by the discovery of early hunter-gatherer sites on offshore islands, and, possibly, by the translocation of wild animals among these islands, and between them and the mainland. From the seventh century, however, clear evidence for participation in the Indian Ocean world emerges, in the form of a range of introduced species, including commensal and domestic animals, and agricultural crops. New genetic studies demonstrate that the flow of species to the coast is complex, with more than one source frequently indicated. The East African coast and Madagascar appear to have been significant centres of genetic admixture, drawing upon Southeast Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern genetic varieties, and sometimes yielding unique hybrid species. The biological patterns reflect a deeply networked trade and contact situation, and support East Africa's key role in the events and transformations of the early Indian Ocean world.
Keyword Archaeobotany
Biological translocations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 30 Jul 2015, 10:05:19 EST by Alison Crowther on behalf of School of Social Science