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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Climate Change and the Rise of Political Complexity in Western Uganda
Authors:Robertshaw, PeterISNI
Taylor, David
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:subsistence economy
climate change
Iron Age
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183507
Abstract:Climate changes, particularly droughts, have long been thought to have been profoundly influential in the precolonial history of the Great Lakes region. However, previous attempts at explaining the history of the region by reference to climate change have been thwarted by the paucity of data. The results of recent archaeological excavations, particularly in western Uganda, have now provided a wealth of new information concerning the settlement histories of various sites and their political economies. It is clear, for example, that agriculture was more important in the economy of the inhabitants of the Cwezi shrine sites and the earthworks that succeeded them than has been thought previously. The authors present a new synthesis of the political economy of western Uganda during the Iron Age. In contrast to previous authors, they argue that agriculture rather than pastoralism lay at the core of the subsistence economy of the inhabitants of the earthworks. A survey of the evidence on climate and vegetation change over the course of the Iron Age is followed by a preliminary synthesis of the various disciplinary perspectives in which the authors show how climate change, to some extent, shaped the demographic, economic and political history of precolonial western Uganda. Notes, ref., sum.