Adderley WP & Simpson I (2005) Cultural Ecology in the Kala-Balge Region, North East Nigeria: ethno-pedological understandings and historical resource use. 2005 American Association of Geographers, Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, 05.04.2005-09.04.2005. http://meridian.aag.org/callforpapers/program/AbstractDetail.cfm?AbstractID=4376
The lacustrine clay-plain of North East Nigeria has an archaeological record of human settlement extending 3000 yr BP. Artefact-based archaeological studies indicate erratic chronologies and the importance of fishing during the earliest periods of settlement relative to later dominance of agricultural economies. Settlement mounds are a key and distinctive feature in the lacustrine plain generally, and are common in the Kala-Balge region. There are many relict mounds of archaeological interest to patterns of and development of regional settlement. Presently, the villages of the Kanuri and Shuwa Arab people in this area exhibit a number of cultural contrasts with the differentiation of farming systems between these peoples allowing comparison of strategies for agrarian production in the same ecological and climatic environment. This paper considers, through combining ethnographic and soil analyses, the management of rain-fed crops planted on the edge of the settlement mound; an area shown to be subject to intensive management including manuring with animal dung and fuel-residues. With optically stimulated luminescence dating providing chronological control, these methodologies give an insight into the rôle of soil management in the historical communities, the contemporary cultural differentiation of the soil resource, and towards contemporary policies of natural resource use.
Lake Chad; Shuwa Arab; Kanuri; manuring; fuel wood; archaeological soils; OSL dating