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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Historical ecology has resulted in an increased engagement by archaeologists in present-day discussions concerned with environmental change, local livelihoods, and sustainable rural development. This chapter discusses the pastoral land-use history of the Eastern Communal Area in north-eastern Namibia, southern Africa, and argues that the lack of a detailed historical analysis of the current land organization has resulted in a rather static image of people and land-use in this area. This in turn has fed into current rural development efforts, which seem to reinforce a colonial heritage. Hence, the main objective of the case study is to situate current discussions concerning rural development and conservation efforts in eastern Namibia in a historically rooted landscape. The chapter exemplifies how archaeology in combination with a landscape approach can contribute to a better understanding of the processes that have shaped the present setting of rural development efforts.

Keywords: historical ecology, Namibia, Eastern Communal Area, landscape archaeology, rural development, conservation

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