Inference of emergent cattle pastoralism in the southern Sahara desert based on localized hypoplasia of the primary canine

Christopher Stojanowski, Charisse L. Carver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There are limited data on the health effects of the transition to food production in North Africa where Middle Holocene peoples adopted pastoralism to mitigate a deteriorating climate. Unlike other areas of domestication the advent of food production throughout the Sahara, and much of Africa, was decoupled from increasing sedentism and population aggregation. Here, we consider the effects of this dietary transition on early childhood health by examining localized hypoplasia of the primary canine (LHPC). We focus on the Gobero region of Niger which preserves cemeteries containing skeletal remains from two occupation phases: (1) an Early Holocene/Kiffian fisher-forager phase, and (2) a Middle Holocene/Tenerian cattle pastoralism phase. The fisher-foragers exhibited one of the highest recorded frequencies of LHPC which we interpret as reflecting a diet of aquatic and terrestrial taxa of low fat content. The Middle Holocene population had a significantly lower frequency of LHPC, consistent with cattle providing much needed dietary fat. Because cattle remains were uncommon at Gobero, the most parsimonious interpretation suggests these peoples were incipient cattle pastoralists who had yet to develop into ideological pastoralists. The health benefits of cattle pastoralism demonstrate the importance of pastoral products for peoples coping with a deteriorating desert climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Paleopathology
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Northern Africa
Canidae
Desert Climate
Cemeteries
Health Transition
Food
Niger
Dietary Fats
Insurance Benefits
Climate
Occupations
Population
Fats
Sahara
Hypoplasia
Inference
Pastoralism
Cattle
Diet
Health

Keywords

  • Enamel hypoplasia
  • North Africa
  • Pastoralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

@article{e23ac8955bb14a719bddd07f2307b249,
title = "Inference of emergent cattle pastoralism in the southern Sahara desert based on localized hypoplasia of the primary canine",
abstract = "There are limited data on the health effects of the transition to food production in North Africa where Middle Holocene peoples adopted pastoralism to mitigate a deteriorating climate. Unlike other areas of domestication the advent of food production throughout the Sahara, and much of Africa, was decoupled from increasing sedentism and population aggregation. Here, we consider the effects of this dietary transition on early childhood health by examining localized hypoplasia of the primary canine (LHPC). We focus on the Gobero region of Niger which preserves cemeteries containing skeletal remains from two occupation phases: (1) an Early Holocene/Kiffian fisher-forager phase, and (2) a Middle Holocene/Tenerian cattle pastoralism phase. The fisher-foragers exhibited one of the highest recorded frequencies of LHPC which we interpret as reflecting a diet of aquatic and terrestrial taxa of low fat content. The Middle Holocene population had a significantly lower frequency of LHPC, consistent with cattle providing much needed dietary fat. Because cattle remains were uncommon at Gobero, the most parsimonious interpretation suggests these peoples were incipient cattle pastoralists who had yet to develop into ideological pastoralists. The health benefits of cattle pastoralism demonstrate the importance of pastoral products for peoples coping with a deteriorating desert climate.",
keywords = "Enamel hypoplasia, North Africa, Pastoralism",
author = "Christopher Stojanowski and Carver, {Charisse L.}",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.06.001",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "1",
pages = "89--97",
journal = "International Journal of Paleopathology",
issn = "1879-9817",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Inference of emergent cattle pastoralism in the southern Sahara desert based on localized hypoplasia of the primary canine

AU - Stojanowski, Christopher

AU - Carver, Charisse L.

PY - 2011/10

Y1 - 2011/10

N2 - There are limited data on the health effects of the transition to food production in North Africa where Middle Holocene peoples adopted pastoralism to mitigate a deteriorating climate. Unlike other areas of domestication the advent of food production throughout the Sahara, and much of Africa, was decoupled from increasing sedentism and population aggregation. Here, we consider the effects of this dietary transition on early childhood health by examining localized hypoplasia of the primary canine (LHPC). We focus on the Gobero region of Niger which preserves cemeteries containing skeletal remains from two occupation phases: (1) an Early Holocene/Kiffian fisher-forager phase, and (2) a Middle Holocene/Tenerian cattle pastoralism phase. The fisher-foragers exhibited one of the highest recorded frequencies of LHPC which we interpret as reflecting a diet of aquatic and terrestrial taxa of low fat content. The Middle Holocene population had a significantly lower frequency of LHPC, consistent with cattle providing much needed dietary fat. Because cattle remains were uncommon at Gobero, the most parsimonious interpretation suggests these peoples were incipient cattle pastoralists who had yet to develop into ideological pastoralists. The health benefits of cattle pastoralism demonstrate the importance of pastoral products for peoples coping with a deteriorating desert climate.

AB - There are limited data on the health effects of the transition to food production in North Africa where Middle Holocene peoples adopted pastoralism to mitigate a deteriorating climate. Unlike other areas of domestication the advent of food production throughout the Sahara, and much of Africa, was decoupled from increasing sedentism and population aggregation. Here, we consider the effects of this dietary transition on early childhood health by examining localized hypoplasia of the primary canine (LHPC). We focus on the Gobero region of Niger which preserves cemeteries containing skeletal remains from two occupation phases: (1) an Early Holocene/Kiffian fisher-forager phase, and (2) a Middle Holocene/Tenerian cattle pastoralism phase. The fisher-foragers exhibited one of the highest recorded frequencies of LHPC which we interpret as reflecting a diet of aquatic and terrestrial taxa of low fat content. The Middle Holocene population had a significantly lower frequency of LHPC, consistent with cattle providing much needed dietary fat. Because cattle remains were uncommon at Gobero, the most parsimonious interpretation suggests these peoples were incipient cattle pastoralists who had yet to develop into ideological pastoralists. The health benefits of cattle pastoralism demonstrate the importance of pastoral products for peoples coping with a deteriorating desert climate.

KW - Enamel hypoplasia

KW - North Africa

KW - Pastoralism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82655162073&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82655162073&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.06.001

DO - 10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.06.001

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:82655162073

VL - 1

SP - 89

EP - 97

JO - International Journal of Paleopathology

JF - International Journal of Paleopathology

SN - 1879-9817

IS - 2

ER -