Chapter

The Invisible Archaeology of Slavery in the Horn of Africa?

Niall Finneran

in Slavery in Africa

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264782
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754012 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264782.003.0011

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Invisible Archaeology of Slavery in the Horn of Africa?

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Any archaeological study of slavery in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia) must take two factors into account: first, the paucity of archaeological evidence for this system, which is historically attested as being of immense economic importance in the Aksumite and post-Aksumite period; and second, that the ‘social memory’of slavery within the modern Ethiopian psyche has fuelled an ethnohistorical — potentially racist — dichotomy between the ‘Semitic’ highlands and the ‘Cushitic’ lowlands. This dichotomy also broadly mirrors a religious Christian/Muslim separation. This chapter argues that although apparently archaeologically invisible, the long history of slavery within this region of Africa has left a profound and legible cultural imprint upon its peoples and landscapes.

Keywords: archaeological study; slavery; slave systems; Aksumite period; social memory; Semitic highlands; Cushitic lowlands; Ethiopian psyche

Chapter.  11125 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.