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The Archaeology of Tanzanian Coastal Landscapes in the 6th to 15th Centuries AD

The Middle Iron Age of the Region

Edward John David Pollard
Publication Year:
391pp, Includes 147 figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs, 30 figures, 5 data Appendices Gazetteer
Sub-series name:
Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology, 76
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This study seeks insights into the peoples and traditions of the Tanzanian coast, East Africa, during the 6th to 15th century through the application of archaeological survey and excavation techniques in the vicinity of the two important trading centres of Kaole and Kilwa. It adopts a maritime cultural landscape perspective, an approach that has seen very limited previous application to the East African coast, despite the central role played by the sea in the development of its port settlements and exploitation of its resources. Six themes are covered, namely the identification of coastal settlement sites and establishment of their chronology; recognition of principal phases in settlement development; exploitation of maritime resources and economy; identification of settlement location in relationship to the physical environment of the coast; establishment of the hierarchical nature of coastal settlement; and recognition of the principal harbour and port types.