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Urban Chronology at a Human Scale on the Coast of East Africa in the 1st Millennium a.d.

Wynne-Jones, Stephanie; Sulas, Federica; Out, Welmoed A; Kristiansen, Søren Munch; Fitton, Tom; Ali, Abdallah K; Olsen, Jesper; (2021) Urban Chronology at a Human Scale on the Coast of East Africa in the 1st Millennium a.d. Journal of Field Archaeology , 46 (1) pp. 21-35. 10.1080/00934690.2020.1854549. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper presents a new high-resolution excavation sequence of a house at the 1st millennium a.d. site of Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar, with implications for a new and detailed understanding of the period between the 7th and 9th centuries a.d. on the East African coast. This is an important period associated with a broad and distinctive cultural tradition, often seen as a pre- or proto-urban phase. Household excavations at Unguja Ukuu revealed two occupation phases, spanning less than 40 years each. The results here thus present an unprecedented temporal resolution on the site, at the scale of human experience. Excavation and microstratigraphic analyses of multiple floor layers reveal decadal change in occupation at this house. Positioning this house into the broader settlement sequence, we argue for episodic settlement at the site of Unguja Ukuu and draw out detail on how we can explore change at this generational scale.

Type: Article
Title: Urban Chronology at a Human Scale on the Coast of East Africa in the 1st Millennium a.d.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00934690.2020.1854549
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2020.1854549
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: household archaeology, radiocarbon, Bayesian analysis, Swahili, geoarchaeology, spatial analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10157838
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