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The introduction of domesticated plants and animals to North Africa

Researchers have looked at artefacts found in North Africa to try and understand the region's contribution to domestication of plants and animals.
The introduction of domesticated plants and animals to North Africa
Domesticated plants and animals from the Near East were introduced into North Africa between 8 000 and 4 000 years ago. The timeframe and practical details of this migration during profound climate change remain uncertain.

The EU-funded project AGRINA (Human transitional pathways towards food production in North Africa: Technological and environmental signatures) explored Neolithisation processes in the Egyptian desert. The researchers investigated the first appearance of the Near Eastern domesticates in North Africa and their subsequent spread.

AGRINA conducted field studies in Egypt and Libya where they compared past environments with lithnic technology, looking at stone tools, as well as animal and plant resources. The researchers took advantage of current fieldwork, collecting palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental data for understanding human activities in this period of significant climatic change.

Project researchers found that Holocene North African groups developed different and low-risk economies based on hunting and foraging coupled with domestic animal keeping. They found that this way was preferred over relying on domestic crops and animals, which is highly risky in areas of great climatic variations.

These findings help scientists better understand domestication of plants and animals in the Mediterranean as well as how societies adapt to climate change.

Related information


Plants, animals, North Africa, domestication, climate change, AGRINA, Holocene
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