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date: 10 December 2022

The Archaeology of Food Production in the West African Forest Zonelocked

The Archaeology of Food Production in the West African Forest Zonelocked

  • Emuobosa Akpo OrijemieEmuobosa Akpo OrijemieUniversity of Ibadan


Food production constitutes a way of life that involves the management of plant and animal resources and related products to ensure food security for the sustenance of a society. Primary data in support of this culture was drawn primarily from archaeobotanical (micro and macro) and linguistics data from the region. Food production began with the hunting of game and the gathering and management of diverse wild fruit trees and vegetables. The strategy adopted during the early period was, or was synonymous with, garden-based agroforestry. Garden-based agroforestry, a process that involves the management of wild fruit trees and vegetables as well animals, is a deliberate and conscious anthropogenic modification of the immediate environment of a people to achieve food security. This strategy was indigenous to the region, began before the practice of a cereal-based subsistence, and did not require environmental changes or forest crises to stimulate its existence. The diversity of the archaeological data and the regularity of occurrence indicate that the peoples experienced significant levels of food security in the past.


  • Archaeology

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