HEEALProject ID: 42704
Historical Ecology of East African Landscapes
Total cost:EUR 0
EU contribution:EUR 1 753 505
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Call for proposal:FP6-2005-MOBILITY-8See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:EXT - Marie Curie actions-Grants for Excellent Teams
This four year project aims to investigate the long-term historical ecology of East African landscapes over the last c. 500 years. This period coincides with the main era of direct European engagement with the region and subsequent colonisation, the spread of post-medieval values and "modernism", and the emergence of independent states. It also witnessed a number of radical transformations of pre-colonial African societies and landscapes driven by a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors. These developments had profound consequences for many contemporary aspects of East Africa's landscapes, and have a direct bearing on current conservation and land-use issues. However, many information gaps and research questions remain as to the relative contributions of different factors in the shaping of these landscapes and ecologies. Current scholarly opinion is thus divided over whether climate change, African land use, the incorporation of the region into the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean world-systems, Euopean colonial polices, or a combination of these were the main driving force. The proposed project seeks to address these lacunae through a unique and highly innovative programme of archaeological research supported by bioarchaeological, historical and paleoecological studies linked to the testing and refinement of current ecologicla theories of resilience and socio-cultural ideas about dwelling and the landscape, so as to develop more appropriate conservation and land management policies for sub-Saharan Africa.