Category Archives: Botany

What John H. Speke, Explorer, Can tell Us about Gum Arabic, 2 of 3

As the African explorers Livingston and Burton, the explorer Speke detailed the important uses of gum acacias in local life and in national and international markets.  The potential of gums for colonial powers [read colonial U.K.] reflects the market interests that could … Continue reading

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Posted in Agroforestry, Botany, Colonialism, Ethnography, Food, Richard Burton, Sudan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Botanical – Brews

An interesting blog on botanical brews from Diane O’Donovan and her excellent writeups on the Voynich manuscript. I’d completely forgotten the exchange that we had on botanical brews – as discussed by me here – https://dianabuja.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/banana-beer-and-other-fermented-drinks-in-africa/. Diane carries out the … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Beer, Botany, Europe - medieval | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intercropping in upland Burundi, central Africa

Intercropping in upland Burundi. Banana, manioc, maize, amaranth, etc, are regularly intercropped by smallholders.  This is a traditional method of augmenting soil fertility and porosity, and of assuring seasonally appropriate crops. As well, problems of  brief, radical climate shifts are … Continue reading

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The Filāḥa Texts Project: Medieval Books of Crop and Animal Husbandry

After some months, The Kutub al-Filāḥa – or Books of [Arabic] Husbandry – is back online and with  new materials.  It is the only source (I’m aware of) that has been systematically documenting medieval Arabic manuscripts on these topics – and … Continue reading

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Posted in Andalus, Arabic, Botany, Crop harvests, Egypt - Medieval, Europe - medieval, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Livestock, Manuscripts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday Funnies

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Posted in Botany, Environment, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Wildlife | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Mungo Park Discovers a Toll Bridge made of Bamboo in the Western Sahel, 1797

During the several years of travel in the western Sahel of Africa, Mungo Park kept detailed records of the geography as well as of the people and flora and fauna of the areas through which he traveled. In this brief … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Botany, Colonialism, European explorers, Explorers & exploration, Mungo Park, Research & Development | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Recent Botanical Studies on Plant Materials from Ancient Egypt

 Several items have recently been published or republished on botanical topics relating to ancient Egypt.  I post them below together with links for ordering.  They are all quite good. The last 5 items are available on academia.edu and if you’re not a member … Continue reading

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Posted in Botany, Egypt-Ancient, History-Ancient, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Nile Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments