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PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, AFRICAN HISTORY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 September 2020

Summary and Keywords

Studies of food and diet across the African continent primarily include the shift from foraging, or hunting and gathering, to plant and animal domestication. Many researchers have concentrated on (1) hunter gatherer subsistence, (2) origins and patterns of agriculture (animals and plants), and (3) influences of geography, climate, and environment. Such studies utilize methods and sources from traditional historiography (i.e., primary documentary sources) as well as oral and archaeological materials. While linguistic analysis is limited, the bulk of the evidence used to determine the origins of food production and transition from procurement lies in the archaeological record and involves methods ranging from basic analysis of faunal and botanical remains to chemical and DNA analysis.

Keywords: domestication, subsistence, ethnoarchaeology, environmental reconstruction, food procurement

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