The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters in Eastern Africa

Sarah Croucher

in The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

Published in print July 2013 | ISBN: 9780199569885
Published online September 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters in             Eastern Africa

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This article examines a dynamic and rapidly growing field in African archaeology. It covers a complex period of colonial history from the end of the fifteenth century, when the Portuguese first sailed along the East African coast, to the 1960s, when East African countries finally gained independence. Squeezed between European periods of rule was that of the Omani sultanate, which ruled the coast and caravan routes with variable local powers from the seventeenth century until 1890 when Zanzibar became a British protectorate. These changing systems of rule interacted with local histories in which local African communities were increasingly engaged in the intensification of the caravan trade, especially enslaved persons and ivory, and the introduction of plantation agriculture. The discussion considers colonialism and power, settlement patterns, economic life and artefact studies, and enslavement and resistance.

Keywords: colonial history; Omani sultanate; Zanzibar; caravan trade; slavery; African archaeology; plantation agriculture

Article.  4793 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; African Archaeology

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