Subsistence strategies of Kanazi lacustrine society: an ethno archaeological approach

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University of Dar es Salaam
The evidence of Iron Age (both working and using) has come to light in the western lacustrine region of north western Tanzania where Kanazi is located for decades now. However, there is no study done on the exploitation of animal resources to establish with absolute certainty this mode of subsistence. This research aimed at establishing explicitly the subsistence strategies of Kanazi lacustrine society upon the dependence on either wild, aquatic and domestic resources or mixed economy integrating all the available resources so as to unveil the actual diet of the people of Lake Victoria Basin particularly the Tanzanian side during the Iron Age period. To accomplish this task, various techniques of obtaining data were employed which were tested against the hypotheses. These included survey, mapping, excavation, ethnography inquiry and later on careful data analysis. Excavations and surveys yielded bones which were analyzed and interpreted with the help of ethnography. It is concluded that while domestication is generally assumed to be preferred by Iron Age people, at Kanazi Iron Age site the story is different. Fishing outweighs domestication and any other form of animal subsistence hence it forms the basic part of Kanazi subsistence. The research emphasizes the role of education to the public on what archaeologists are doing. There are a number of people in developing countries who do not understand non-native languages like English which are used for archaeological publications. Therefore, archaeologists should educate the public on site and exibit the finds using simple local languages so as to publicize archaeology within their vicinity.
Available in print form
Majimaji war, Archaeological evidence, Archaeologists, Historians
Alexander, N (2010) Subsistence strategies of Kanazi lacustrine society: an ethno archaeological approach master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at