The following report is a brief introduction to reconnaissance survey work carried out in Western Tanzania in July 2006 to investigate caravan routes that ran from the East African coast inland as far as the Congo during the 18th and 19th centuries. These routes were tied to the trading of captive Africans from inland areas to the Indian Ocean coast. When they reached the coast, enslaved individuals were either kept to work on local Arab-run plantations, or traded out into the Indian Ocean. Although it has proved difficult to quantify the number of slaves being traded from this region during the 18th and 19th centuries, the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean region has been described as "one of the most neglected aspects of the global diaspora of African peoples" (Alpers, 2000: 84). The reconnaissance survey in the areas of Ujiji and Tabora (see Figure 1 for a map of the trade routes in the area) had the aim of locating sites related to the caravan trade along which these slaves were traded. In addition it aimed to locate earlier sites of settlement in the region, and thus contextualising later colonial changes within the longer time scale of history.
Croucher, Sarah and Wynne-Jones, Stephanie
"Slave Routes in Western Tanzania: A Preliminary Report on Survey in Tabora and Ujiji,"
African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter:
4, Article 18.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/adan/vol9/iss4/18