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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hunting on the margins of medieval West African states: a preliminary study of the zooarchaeological record at Diouboye, Senegal
Authors:Dueppen, Stephen A.
Gokee, Cameron
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa (ISSN 1945-5534)
Geographic term:Senegal
hides and skins
archaeological artefacts
Middle Ages
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2014.931628
Abstract:Leather, animal skins and ivory were important components of the economies of medieval West African societies. Despite the prominent role of hunters in diverse oral histories throughout the region, little is known about the actual production of animal products, in particular those derived from wild animals. This paper presents a preliminary examination of the zooarchaeological record of Diouboye, an eleventh- to fourteenth-century AD settlement located along the Falémé River in eastern Senegal. Analyses of a representative sample of the large and diverse faunal assemblage at Diouboye indicate that, in addition to keeping domestic livestock and dogs, the site's occupants hunted large numbers of animals found in riverine ecosystems. In comparison with contemporary West African sites located in similar environmental zones, the economy at Diouboye is particularly focused on medium-sized bovids, animals yielding thick skins and ivory, and carnivores. The authors argue that this hunting strategy may indicate an emphasis at the site on secondary products, an interpretation strengthened by the excavation of pit features and stone tools that may have been used in the soaking and scraping skins and furs. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]