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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Archaeological and Environmental Observations in Rora Habab, Eritrea
Author:Jones, Scott
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Northeast Africa
Anthropology and Archaeology
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Archaeological sites
Rora Habab Plateau (Eritrea)
Environmental monitoring
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00672709109511423
Abstract:Oral histories, rock carvings and ruins of ancient sculptures on the Rora Habab plateau, northern Eritrea, indicate settlement there for many hundreds of years, and provide a perspective from which to assess the environmental and social changes currently taking place. On Rora Habab there are several dozen rocks etched with animals and symbols whose significance is unknown. Two sculpted lion statues and at least one part of an inscribed stele survive. Historical records and these artefacts suggest that previous civilization(s) were 'advanced' and relied on settled agriculture. They point to at least two periods of prolonged settlement on the plateau since the early centuries AD, perhaps before. The first relates to the Aksumite period and the second to the arrival of Asghede in the 16th century and the later prominence of the Habab people. The evidence implies that Rora has previously been able to support extensive civilization(s), probably based on settled agriculture. Such settled culture(s) may well have thrived in a wetter environment than is found in Rora now. Rora Habab is now marginal for agriculture and in a zone of somewhat more reduced and variable rainfall than those of the farming communities further south. The author carried out research in the area in 1984-1986. Bibliogr.