Early Settlement And Trade Patterns in Kenya

Early settlement and trade patterns in Kenya: As people found areas that they were comfortable with, they began to settle down. The earliest settlements, for example, can be seen in the distribution of archaeological materials and sites on the landscape.
Distribution of these sites, tools, and bones on the landscape give us clues into the types of habitations, recording long term versus short term occupations, as well as home bases versus manufacturing or resource utilization sites.
Tools made from obsidian raw material from specific outcrops can be traced in different regions in East Africa.
For example, obsidian tools were recovered in 2011 in caves in Karura Forest, Nairobi. Sources of these obsidian tools have been traced to the central Rift, meaning that there were movement and possible interaction or contacts of people Within these two areas.
Beads, as well as pottery that are indicative of certain cultures or groups of people, have been recovered in different regions, meaning that there were definite interactions among people on the landscape. Then settlements took various forms.
The earliest settlements, as seen in the archaeological discoveries, are associated with various social and cultural activities. The Namorutung burial site of south Turkana, for example, shows the earliest form of burial and ritual practices while the “Sirikwa” holes indicate forms of social structure associated with cattle keeping.
Other early settlements, such as the Chetambe and Muhanda in western Kenya, as well as Thimlich Ohinga in Nyanza, indicate social and political activities.
Thereafter, settlements were built as trading points, while others were constructed as villages and forts made from mud bricks and eventually stones as seen in several ruins at the coast of Kenya. Remains of settlements made from mud bricks have been recovered at Manda (7th century) and Ungwana. These settlements indicate a period of trading between the local people and those from the Persian Gulf.
At the coast both internal and external trade, which enhanced people’s economic abilities, is evident. This trade was either through barter or by using such items as cowrie shells and, thereafter, rupees. In addition, the ruins define different settlements and movements of people within and outside Africa.