Namibia Digital Repository

Cattle for Beads: The Archaeology of Historical Contact and Trade on the Namib Coast

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Title

Cattle for Beads: The Archaeology of Historical Contact and Trade on the Namib Coast

Description

"Walvis Bay, the largest and safest harbour on the Namib coast, was known to maritime explorers as early as the fifteenth century European voyages of discovery. This study centres on 58 archaeological sites in the IKhuiscb Delta around Walvis Bay and Sandwich Harbour. The variety and distribution of trade goods among the sites reveal the indigenous response to the outside world, previously known only from written records documenting the attitudes and opinions of the foreigners. Walvis Bay was the port of access; the IKhuiseb River led to the interior. Because little modern development took place in the delta or the environs of the town before the late 1980s, the area provided an excellent opportunity for archaeological investigation of contact between indigenous society and the seafaring nations of western Europe. The voyages of discovery in the fifteenth century opened a maritime route which drew the people of the African coast directly into a network of trade with Europe (Wallerstein 1989) (Fig. 1.1). With new markets for cheap raw materials and their mass-produced goods, European mercantile interests expanded to dominate the world economy in succeeding centuries. During this process, some African societies diversified their economies and increased production as a result of the expanded external trade (Spear 1978; Kjekshus 1996) but ultimately, indigenous societies suffered major disruption and collapse (Wolf 1982). The growth of European hegemony is extensively documented, while the changes to indigenous society are not well understood."

Creator

Jill Kinahan

Publisher

Namibia Archaeological Trust & Department of Archaeology & Ancient History, Uppsala

Date

2000

Contributor

Bernard C. Moore

Rights

© Jill Kinahan

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Published PhD Dissertation

Files

Citation

Jill Kinahan, “Cattle for Beads: The Archaeology of Historical Contact and Trade on the Namib Coast,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed December 19, 2018, http://namibia.leadr.msu.edu/items/show/197.

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