The Animal Economy of Prehistoric Early and Later Farming Communities


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




This project investigates the animal economy of prehistoric farming communities in Manicaland, eastern Zimbabwe, within a culture historical methodological framework. It examines behaviors of farming communities in terms of procurement, use, and discard of animal food through time and space through archaeological evidence, ethnographic inquiries, observations, and historical sources. The project argues that animal meat consumption by these communities was not ordinary meat eating, but a practice deeply rooted in their belief systems and cosmology, and embedded in sociocultural practices of these communities. Unlike previous research, which was basically quantitative, this research adopts a qualitative approach that allows for the study of prehistoric behavior and ways of thinking. The results of intergrating archaeological data, ethnographic inquiries including observations and historical information provides more keys to unraveling the behavior of the Early and Later Farming Communities.