The Graduate School of
Asian and African
Area Studies (ASAFAS) Kyoto University Tembea (Staff Only)
15th Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture
“Ecological Anthropology of the Foundation of the Ethiopian Highlands Civilization”
All dynasties that have prospered in Ethiopia have arisen in the highlands, around 2,500 meters above sea level, from the D’mt kingdom that arose around 3,000 years ago to the last emperor, Haile Selassie I (1892–1975), who died in Addis Ababa. As many have noted, the highlands may have been the site of the center of power in Ethiopia because they were easy to defend against external aggressors, such as lowland groups; their cool or even cold climate was comfortable and hosted fewer pests to humans and livestock; they possessed rich forests whose resources were used for construction and fuel; they could host cultivated plants that were adapted to highland climates (such as barley, oats, fava beans, peas, flaxes, and Abyssinian mustard); and they had plentiful water, relative to the lowlands. However, it is interesting to note that, among the above factors, major food plants of Ethiopian origin, such as tef, enset, and coffee, which supported city livelihoods, were produced at relatively low altitudes and transported to the highlands. In this talk, I contend that for the importance of the lowlands that surround high-altitude civilization, using ecological–anthropological observations. Discussion of Ethiopian highland civilization must include ecology, livelihoods and production, governing power and land systems, and trade and means of transportation.
Speaker: Prof. Masayoshi SHIGETA
Commentator: Dr. Christoph Bergmann
Date: 18:15-20:00, Wednesday 26th June, 2019 (Reception 18.00-)
Venue: Hörsaal 06, Neue Universität, Universitätsplatz 1, Heidelberg
Prof. Masayoshi SHIGETA
Dr. Christoph Bergmann
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