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The archaeology and ethnoarchaeology of rain-fed cultivation in arid and hyper-arid North Africa

  • Carla Lancelotti (a1), Stefano Biagetti (a1) (a2), Andrea Zerboni (a3), Donatella Usai (a4) and Marco Madella (a1) (a2) (a5)...

Abstract

Rain-fed cultivation in drylands—especially in arid and hyper-arid areas—is often considered to play a minor role in human subsistence. Drawing upon the results of ethnoarchaeological research in North Africa, this paper reviews non-irrigated agricultural practices in the absence of anthropogenic water-harvesting structures, and presents a proposal for how such practices can be identified in the drylands of the past. An improved understanding of the long-term development of rain-fed cultivation augments our knowledge of past land-use strategies and can inform future models of sustainable agriculture in some of the world's driest regions.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence (Email: carla.lancelotti@upf.edu)

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