TitleMobility and susistence patterns among mid Holocene pastoralists at Koobi Fora, northern Kenya
NameNdiema, Emmanuel Kimuma (author), Harris, John W K (chair), Cachel, Susan (internal member), Cronk, Lee (internal member), Ashley, Gail M (outside member), Kiura, Purity W (outside member), Braun, David R (outside member), Dillian, Carolyn D (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Paleontology--Kenya--Koobi Fora Formation,
Pastoral systems --Kenya--Koobi Fora Formation,
DescriptionThe emergence of managed food production laid the foundation for the emergence of complex economies and social structures in the world today. Land use territorial organization and long distance interaction patterns were important aspects for prehistoric lifeways. The chemical composition of stone artifacts can be used to identify places that ancient people visited and document changes in mobility patterns and scales of their interaction. This study was conducted at Koobi Fora, a UNESCO world heritage site on Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya and addresses the questions of inception of livestock and the mobility patterns of early herders in the region. Survey for obsidian sources and excavations at five Pastoral Neolithic sites were conducted to develop a high-resolution database for obsidian artifacts in the Galana Boi Fm., Koobi Fora. The artifacts and geological reference samples from five sites were analyzed using Energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Artifact distance fall-off curves as well as faunal and ceramic attributes of sample from over 50m2 of excavation were used to document mobility patterns and scales of interaction among early herder population in the Turkana Basin, Sites were dated using Optically Stimulated Luminescence yielding dates from ~4.4 ka BP to ~1,0 ka BP. This period occurs during falling lake level and increasing aridity. The results show different sources of obsidian were used irrespective of distance. There were also other undocumented sources were either coming from within or outside the Turkana Basin. Similarities in ceramic decorations indicate that culture contact was more important than migration to social economic change in Turkana Basin. It would seem that high mobility patterns were extensive but did not destroy hunter gatherer habitat but allowed local hunter-gatherer subsistence and social organization to co-exist. Contact between groups would have maximized use of different micro habitant. It would appear that inception of herding in Turkana Basin therefore was variable, complex and should be understood in the context of local ecological conditions during periods of intense climate variability.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Emmanuel Kimuma Ndiema
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.