African Archaeological Review

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 319–353 | Cite as

Some Thoughts on a ‘Useable’ African Archaeology: Settlement, Population and Intensive Farming among the Pokot of Northwest Kenya

  • Matthew I. J. Davies
Original Article


The desirability of a ‘useable’ African past which engages with the social and economic conditions of the present has been expressed many times but has yet to be fully realised. This paper presents new archaeological data on long-term settlement, demography and land-use in the Pokot region of northwest Kenya which engages with a number of present-day socio-economic and development concerns.


Kenya Intensive agriculture Applied archaeology Economy Ecology Settlement patterns Population 


L'attrait d'un passé africain 'utile', engagé dans les conditions sociales et économiques du présent, a été exprimé à plusieurs reprises, mais n'a pas été atteint. Cet article présente de nouvelles données archéologiques sur l'habitat à long terme, la démographie et l'utilisation des terres dans la région Pokot du nord-ouest du Kenya en intégrant une série de préoccupations socio-économiques actuelles.



This research was supported by a doctoral award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. Radiometric dates were funded by ORADS. Financial and logistical support was provided by the Tweedie Exploration Fund, University of Edinburgh, the Meyerstien Fund, University of Oxford, and the British Institute in Eastern Africa. I am also indebted to the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for research clearance (MOEST 13/001/35 C 592/2) and to the support of the National Museums of Kenya. My deepest gratitude is due to Peter Mitchell for his supervision, and to Emanuel, Joel, William, Abel, Josphat, Irene, and, of course, Laura.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fellow in East African Archaeology, British Institute in Eastern AfricaNairobiKenya
  2. 2.McDonald Institute for Archaeological ResearchUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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