Publikation: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire – Thinking about Farming and Farmscapes

Artikel – Projekt 05 – Cultivated Landscapes

Höhn, A. / Mushayikwa, E. / Schoeman, A. Earth, Water, Air, and Fire – Thinking about Farming and Farmscapes, Afr Archaeol Rev, 2023, DOI: 10.1007/s10437-023-09542-9

Farming has changed the face of the earth in Africa as much as elsewhere. But histories of African farmscapes, shaped by millennia of agriculture, are obscured by narratives of pristine landscapes, whether of forests or savanna, and the role of farming in transforming African farmscapes is seldom taught in schools. We present examples of farming strategies and systems from western and southern Africa, which we hope are inspiring and maybe, at times, even surprising. Our exploration of the farmscapes, structured along the classical elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air, describes how plants and people deal with the influence these elements have on successful farming and how these influences show up in farmscapes. We hope these stories of flexibility, adaptation, and success and failure motivate teachers and students to think out of the box in grappling with the challenges our world is facing. These stories also provide opportunities for teaching about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the goals of Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), and Life on Land (SDG 15).

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