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The economic basis of the Qustul splinter state: cash crops, subsistence shifts, and labour demands in the Post-Meroitic transition

Fuller, D; (2015) The economic basis of the Qustul splinter state: cash crops, subsistence shifts, and labour demands in the Post-Meroitic transition. In: Zach, M, (ed.) The Kushite World: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference for Meroitic Studies. (pp. 33-60). Verein der Förderer der Sudanforschung: Vienna, Austria. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper provides a synthetic review of archaeobotanical evidence and other sources of inference on past agricultural systems over the long-term in Nubia, with a focus on the transformations of the Late Meroitic period to the Post-Meroitic period. The adoption of double-cropping in the north, facilitated by saqia irrigation made new labour demands, creating a demographic vacuum, while agricultural innovation and intensification also allowed more effective cash-crop production in Nubia, including cotton and for a period grapes. The resulting increase in population and local wealth production provided the necessary economic foundation for an independent polity. The saqia effect combined with savanna crop effect created a population sink in northern Nubia, which allowed for the emergence of local peasantry on which a state system could base. The foundation of the Qustul-Ballana state can be attributed at least in part to these economic developments.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The economic basis of the Qustul splinter state: cash crops, subsistence shifts, and labour demands in the Post-Meroitic transition
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://sudanforschung.univie.ac.at/frameset.html
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Nubia, Archaeology, Archaeobotany, Agriculture, Sudan
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475211
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