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Animal Remains from Medieval Garumele, Niger

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image of Journal of African Archaeology

The site of Garumele (700–200 years ago approx.), on the north-western shores of Lake Chad, has long been the subject of speculation by archaeologists and historians, due to its supposed link with the history of the Kanem- Borno polity and because of the presence of fragments of baked bricks at the site’s surface, probably the remains of structures. Recently the first detailed archaeological excavations were carried out at Garumele, yielding a great amount of cultural data, including faunal remains which are the subject of this paper. This faunal study is important because no such studies have up to now ever been produced for this part of the Chad Basin. It has shown a predominance of fish, represented by a large diversity of species, and of domestic animals, sheep, goat and cattle. Comparisons with sites on the Nigerian side of the Chad Basin give valuable comparative insights into the palaeo-economy and palaeo-ecology of Garumele; indeed the fauna recovered shows many similarities with that of other recent sites, all seemingly indicating economic specialisation.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Archaeological Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven ; 2: Sainsbury Research Unit, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia


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