Genealogies of Practice in and of the Environment in Banda, Ghana

Amanda L. Logan*, Ann B. Stahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Despite recent emphases on both environmental archaeology and practice theory in archaeology, the two are rarely combined. In this paper, we illustrate a genealogies of environmental practice approach that seeks to understand how human actions grounded in familiar repertoires make sense of environmental and political economic change. Employing archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data, we first examine taxon-specific genealogies of practice and then compare them to one another as well as to broader climatic, political, and economic contexts of the last millennium in Banda, west central Ghana. In focusing on the interactivities between different kinds of data, we coax out the strategies used by Banda’s inhabitants to cope with fluctuating environmental and political conditions. We argue that during a several centuries long drought in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries ad, Banda villagers took advantage of a diverse set of economic activities to cope with turbulence, but by the late nineteenth century, these opportunities had dwindled, diminishing the villagers’ practical options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1399
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Archaeological Method and Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Africa
  • Archaeobotany
  • Environmental archaeology
  • Ghana
  • Practice theory
  • Zooarchaeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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