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When Did the Swahili Become Maritime?: A Reply to Fleisher et al. (2015), and to the Resurgence of Maritime Myopia in the Archaeology of the East African Coast

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In this article, we respond to an article by Jeffrey Fleisher et al. (2015) in which they pose the question: When did the Swahili become maritime? We draw from our research findings in coastal and inland Eastern Africa to show that inland African societies were an essential component in the development of Swahili urbanism and maritimity. To understand change in any part of the East African coast requires understanding the entire context of economic, political, and social interaction across the diverse dimensions of this society. By excluding inland Eastern Africa from their analysis, Fleisher et al. omit the interactions between land and sea that were the basis of this society's development. We conclude that Swahili society resulted from intercommunity interaction, socioeconomic networks, and exploitation of diverse regional resources. [trade, maritime, mosaics, urbanism, Swahili]

En este artículo, respondemos al escrito de Jeffrey Fleischer et al. (2015) en el cual hacen la pregunta: ¿Cuándo los swahilis se convirtieron en una sociedad marítima? Nos basamos en los hallazgos de nuestra investigación en África oriental costera e interior para mostrar que las sociedades africanas del interior fueron un componente esencial en el desarrollo del urbanismo y la maritimidad swahili. Entender los cambios en cualquier parte de la costa africana oriental requiere entender el contexto entero de las interacciones económicas, políticas y sociales a través de las diversas dimensiones de esta sociedad. Al excluir África oriental interior de su análisis, Fleisher et al. omiten las interacciones entre el mar y la tierra que fueron la base del desarrollo de esta sociedad. Concluimos que la sociedad swahili resultó de la interacción intercomunitaria, las redes socioeconómicas y la explotación de diversos recursos regionales. [comercio, marítimo, mosaicos, urbanismo, Swahili]
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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