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Petek, Nik
Publications (5 of 5) Show all publications
Boles, O. J. C., Shoemaker, A., Courtney Mustaphi, C. J., Petek, N., Ekblom, A. & Lane, P. J. (2019). Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect. Human Ecology, 47(3), 419-434
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect
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2019 (English)In: Human Ecology, ISSN 0300-7839, E-ISSN 1572-9915, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 419-434Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spectre of overgrazing' looms large in historical and political narratives of ecological degradation in savannah ecosystems. While pastoral exploitation is a conspicuous driver of landscape variability and modification, assumptions that such change is inevitable or necessarily negative deserve to be continuously evaluated and challenged. With reference to three case studies from Kenya - the Laikipia Plateau, the Lake Baringo basin, and the Amboseli ecosystem - we argue that the impacts of pastoralism are contingent on the diachronic interactions of locally specific environmental, political, and cultural conditions. The impacts of the compression of rangelands and restrictions on herd mobility driven by misguided conservation and economic policies are emphasised over outdated notions of pastoralist inefficiency. We review the application of overgrazing' in interpretations of the archaeological record and assess its relevance for how we interpret past socio-environmental dynamics. Any discussion of overgrazing, or any form of human-environment interaction, must acknowledge spatio-temporal context and account for historical variability in landscape ontogenies.

Keywords
Historical ecology, Compression effects, Rangeland management, Pastoralist mobility strategies, Eastern Africa, Kenya
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392058 (URN)10.1007/s10745-019-0072-9 (DOI)000475981900009 ()
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2019-09-10 Created: 2019-09-10 Last updated: 2019-09-10Bibliographically approved
Marchant, R., Richer, S., Boles, O., Capitani, C., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Lane, P., . . . Wright, D. (2018). Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews, 178, 322-378
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present
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2018 (English)In: Earth-Science Reviews, ISSN 0012-8252, E-ISSN 1872-6828, Vol. 178, p. 322-378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

East African landscapes today are the result of the cumulative effects of climate and land-use change over millennial timescales. In this review, we compile archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data from East Africa to document land-cover change, and environmental, subsistence and land-use transitions, over the past 6000 years. Throughout East Africa there have been a series of relatively rapid and high-magnitude environmental shifts characterised by changing hydrological budgets during the mid- to late Holocene. For example, pronounced environmental shifts that manifested as a marked change in the rainfall amount or seasonality and subsequent hydrological budget throughout East Africa occurred around 4000, 800 and 300 radiocarbon years before present (yr BP). The past 6000 years have also seen numerous shifts in human interactions with East African ecologies. From the mid-Holocene, land use has both diversified and increased exponentially, this has been associated with the arrival of new subsistence systems, crops, migrants and technologies, all giving rise to a sequence of significant phases of land-cover change. The first large-scale human influences began to occur around 4000 yr BP, associated with the introduction of domesticated livestock and the expansion of pastoral communities. The first widespread and intensive forest clearances were associated with the arrival of iron-using early farming communities around 2500 yr BP, particularly in productive and easily-cleared mid-altitudinal areas. Extensive and pervasive land-cover change has been associated with population growth, immigration and movement of people. The expansion of trading routes between the interior and the coast, starting around 1300 years ago and intensifying in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries CE, was one such process. These caravan routes possibly acted as conduits for spreading New World crops such as maize (Zea mays), tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), although the processes and timings of their introductions remains poorly documented. The introduction of southeast Asian domesticates, especially banana (Musa spp.), rice (Oryza spp.), taro (Colocasia esculenta), and chicken (Gallus gallus), via transoceanic biological transfers around and across the Indian Ocean, from at least around 1300 yr BP, and potentially significantly earlier, also had profound social and ecological consequences across parts of the region. Through an interdisciplinary synthesis of information and metadatasets, we explore the different drivers and directions of changes in land-cover, and the associated environmental histories and interactions with various cultures, technologies, and subsistence strategies through time and across space in East Africa. This review suggests topics for targeted future research that focus on areas and/or time periods where our understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and land-cover change are most contentious and/or poorly resolved. The review also offers a perspective on how knowledge of regional land-use change can be used to inform and provide perspectives on contemporary issues such as climate and ecosystem change models, conservation strategies, and the achievement of nature-based solutions for development purposes.

Keywords
Archaeology, Iron technology, Pottery, Pastoralism, Agriculture, Livelihoods, Palaeoenvironments, Savannah, LandCover6k, Sustainable Development Goals, Land use
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387469 (URN)10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.12.010 (DOI)000430774000014 ()
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879-REALSwedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasEU, European Research Council, ERC-2013-StG-337128-AAREAEU, European Research Council, 313797Wenner-Gren Foundations, 9133
Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-24 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved
Armstrong, C., Shoemaker, A., McKechnie, I., Ekblom, A., Szabó, P., Lane, P. J., . . . Crumley, C. L. (2017). Anthropological contributions to historical ecology: 50 questions, infinite prospects. PLoS ONE, 12(2), Article ID e0171883.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anthropological contributions to historical ecology: 50 questions, infinite prospects
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2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 2, article id e0171883Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the results of a consensus-driven process identifying 50 priority research questions for historical ecology obtained through crowdsourcing, literature reviews, and in-person workshopping. A deliberative approach was designed to maximize discussion and debate with defined outcomes. Two in-person workshops (in Sweden and Canada) over the course of two years and online discussions were peer facilitated to define specific key questions for historical ecology from anthropological and archaeological perspectives. The aim of this research is to showcase the variety of questions that reflect the broad scope for historical-ecological research trajectories across scientific disciplines. Historical ecology encompasses research concerned with decadal, centennial, and millennial human-environmental interactions, and the consequences that those relationships have in the formation of contemporary landscapes. Six interrelated themes arose from our consensus-building workshop model: (1) climate and environmental change and variability; (2) multi-scalar, multi-disciplinary; (3) biodiversity and community ecology; (4) resource and environmental management and governance; (5) methods and applications; and (6) communication and policy. The 50 questions represented by these themes highlight meaningful trends in historical ecology that distill the field down to three explicit findings. First, historical ecology is fundamentally an applied research program. Second, this program seeks to understand long-term human-environment interactions with a focus on avoiding, mitigating, and reversing adverse ecological effects. Third, historical ecology is part of convergent trends toward transdisciplinary research science, which erodes scientific boundaries between the cultural and natural.

Keywords
Historical Ecology
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316292 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0171883 (DOI)000394688200037 ()28235093 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-02-28 Created: 2017-02-28 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Petek, N. & Lane, P. (2017). Ethnogenesis and surplus food production: communitas and identity building among nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ilchamus, Lake Baringo, Kenya. World archaeology, 49(1), 40-60
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethnogenesis and surplus food production: communitas and identity building among nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ilchamus, Lake Baringo, Kenya
2017 (English)In: World archaeology, ISSN 0043-8243, E-ISSN 1470-1375, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 40-60Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most archaeological discussions of surplus production tend to focus either on its role in the emergence and maintenance of social complexity (whether among hunter-gatherers, farming communities or incipient states) or on the enabling properties of surplus as a basis for technological advances and aesthetic elaboration. Here, we offer a rather different perspective on surplus as an initiator of communitas and driver of ethnogenesis following a period of intense socio-ecological stress, environmental degradation and localized demographic decline during the nineteenth century. The particular case study concerns the Maa-language-speaking Ilchamus community who currently occupy areas around the southern end of Lake Baringo in the Central Rift Valley, Kenya. Drawing on a combination of new archaeological evidence, oral accounts and archival sources, the paper details the processes whereby destitute groups were drawn together into acts of surplus food production, initially of grain via the implementation of a system of irrigated agriculture and subsequently of cattle through the mobilization of kinship and related ties. In so doing, disparate older identities were abandoned or transformed and a different, unifying ethnicity – Ilchamus – emerged based on a new moral economy of shared prosperity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2017
Keywords
Kenya, Ilchamus, surplus production, communitas, ethnogenesis, irrigation agriculture
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319072 (URN)10.1080/00438243.2016.1259583 (DOI)000413782400004 ()
Projects
Resilience in East African Landscapes
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879
Available from: 2017-03-31 Created: 2017-03-31 Last updated: 2018-12-11Bibliographically approved
Petek, N. (2015). An archaeological survey of the Lake Baringo lowlands 2014: Preliminary results. Nyame Akuma (83), 100-111
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An archaeological survey of the Lake Baringo lowlands 2014: Preliminary results
2015 (English)In: Nyame Akuma, no 83, p. 100-111Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Society of Africanist Archaeologists, 2015
Keywords
Baringo, Kenya, Archaeology, Survey, Fieldwork
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284284 (URN)
Projects
Resilience in East African Landscapes ITN
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2016-04-16 Created: 2016-04-16 Last updated: 2016-04-20Bibliographically approved
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