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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Agricultural Terracing South of the Sahara
Authors:Grove, Alfred T.
Sutton, John E.G.ISNI
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:agricultural history
land use
agricultural land
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Agriculture, Agronomy, Forestry
Soil conservation
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00672708909511402
Abstract:In many parts of the world, including Africa, hillsides are terraced for agriculture. Drawing on existing and defunct examples of local agricultural communities whose systems have combined terracing and other specialized features in different parts of Africa, the authors argue that the tendency of such systems towards cultural and physical introversion imposes limits to their potential for technical progress. However, such an impression of stone terracing as not progressive, or antimodernizing in the broad sense, cannot be applied universally. In northern Ethiopia, terraced agriculture appears to belong now, and to have belonged over the centuries, within the broad and dominant tradition of its region. Elsewhere in Africa in the present century the virtues of terracing and contouring have been sung by agricultural departments and enthusiastic officials. The authors stress the importance of research into 'indigenous' terracing systems, both existing and archaeological. In conclusion, they present a brief survey of present and past agricultural terracing in Nigeria and West Africa, Darfur and Kordofan (Sudan), Ethiopia, the East African highlands and the eastern Rift Valley, the Lakes Region and western Rift Valley, and Nyanga (eastern Zimbabwe).