Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
When Did the Swahili Become Maritime?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Show others and affiliations
2015 (English)In: American Anthropologist, ISSN 0002-7294, E-ISSN 1548-1433, Vol. 117, no 1, 100-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we examine an assumption about the historic Swahili of the eastern African coast: that they were a maritime society from their beginnings in the first millennium C.E. Based on historical and archaeological data, we suggest that, despite their proximity to and use of the sea, the level of maritimity of Swahili society increased greatly over time and was only fully realized in the early second millennium C.E. Drawing on recent theorizing from other areas of the world about maritimity as well as research on the Swahili, we discuss three arenas that distinguish first- and second-millennium coastal society in terms of their maritime orientation. These are variability and discontinuity in settlement location and permanence; evidence of increased engagement with the sea through fishing and sailing technology; and specialized architectural developments involving port facilities, mosques, and houses. The implications of this study are that we must move beyond coastal location in determining maritimity; consider how the sea and its products were part of social life; and assess whether the marine environment actively influences and is influenced by broader patterns of sociocultural organization, practice, and belief within Swahili and other societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 117, no 1, 100-115 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-248952DOI: 10.1111/aman.12171ISI: 000350139500009OAI: diva2:801349
Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2015-04-09 Last updated: 2015-04-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(991 kB)156 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 991 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lane, Paul
By organisation
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
In the same journal
American Anthropologist

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 156 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 310 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link