This text presents new knowledge from fieldwork within the de facto state of Somaliland, a area within the Horn of Africa traditionally inhabited by nomadic pastoralists who performed a key position in industrial trade from the primary century BCE onward. Relations between historical empires and nomadic populations have acquired comparatively little consideration in relation to different teams dwelling inside or outdoors imperial boundaries. Our understanding of those interactions has been coloured by stereotypes from classical authors and the elusive nature of their archaeological document. It’s thus not shocking that the position of nomadic teams in long-distance commerce networks in antiquity has been typically downplayed. That is the case within the Western Indian Ocean area. Archaeological proof from survey and excavation work performed between 2018 and 2020 in Xiis and the Berbera space reveals the sturdy integration of the area within the Indian Ocean community, the excessive buying energy of the nomads, and their heterogeneity. Participation in long-distance commerce appears to have provoked necessary social modifications in native communities that didn’t, nevertheless, put them on the trail to sedentism and political centralization.
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Nomads Trading with Empires: Intercultural Trade in Ancient Somaliland in the First to Seventh Centuries CE
By Alfredo González-Ruibal, Jorge de Torres, Candela Martínez Barrio, Manuel Antonio Franco Fernández, Adolfo Fernández Fernández, Pablo Gutiérrez de León Juberías, José Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros, Michela Gaudiello, and Ahmed Jama Dualeh
American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 126, No. 1 (January 2022), pp. 103-138
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