Precolonial inhabitation

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Precolonial inhabitation

Post  kosovohp on Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:55 am

The first human inhabitants of the Comoros Islands are thought to have been African and Austronesian settlers who traveled to the islands by boat. These people arrived no later than the sixth century AD, the date of the earliest known archaeological site, found on Nzwani, although settlement beginning as early as the first century has been postulated.[10] The islands of Comoros became populated by a succession of diverse groups from the coast of Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Malay Archipelago, and Madagascar. Swahili settlers first reached the islands as a part of the greater Bantu expansion that took place in Africa throughout the first millennium.

Development of the Comoros is divided into phases, beginning with Swahili influence and settlement in the Dembeni phase (ninth to tenth centuries), during which each island maintained a single, central village.[11] From the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, trade with the island of Madagascar and merchants from the Middle East flourished, smaller villages emerged, and existing towns expanded. The citizens and historians of the Comoros state that early Arab settlements date to even before their known arrival to the archipelago, and Swahili historians frequently trace genealogies back to Arab ancestors who had traveled from Yemen and the ancient kingdom of Saba' in Eden (thought to be the biblical Eden), even though people are unsure if this is fake.

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