Pastoral rock art in the Horn of Africa; making sense of udder chaos

Pastoral rock art in the Horn of Africa; making sense of udder chaos

Seriously, this is the papers title. Unable to cut and paste any, I’ll copy out a few snippets:

Pastoral rock art appears to be a comparatively recent phenomenon in the Horn, spanning only the last four to five thousand years.

The only evidence for cultigens is from Lalibela cave near lake Tana in north central Ethiopia where Dombrowski recovered barley chickpea and legumes from levels dating to no earlier than 2,500 BP.

The archaeological evidence for cattle is largely restricted to dental fragments  from Gobedra and Lalibela in the Ethiopian highlands, lake besaka in the Southern Afar rift, Laga Oda on the Somali plateau near Harar and Gogoshiis Qabe shelter ar Buur Heybe, southern Somalia. None of these faunal remains date to earlier tha 3,500 bp. Clay figurines from the site of Hawlti show that Pre-Axumites were still breeding humpless cattle as late as the first to second century AD. The earliest evidence of a humped Zebu cow is in the form of a small figurine from the 2nd century AD early Axumite site of Zeban Kutur.

It has some info on the rock art in Somalia and Ethiopia, it’s from 1987, but as far as I know no earlier dates have been found in Ethiopia for domesticates. However, some dates fo finger millet and sorghum are older in the Arabian peninsula and India, becoming staples by 2000 BC.


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