The 15th Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture: “Ecological Anthropology of the Foundation of the Ethiopian Highlands Civilization” (Heidelberg University, 26 June)

“Ecological Anthropology of the Foundation of the Ethiopian Highlands Civilization” was the title of the 15th Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture held in Heidelberg on June 26th. The lecture was given by Prof. Shigeta Masayoshi, who is amongst other capacities Director of Center for African Area Studies. As an expert in the field of African agriculture, he is currently at Leiden University (Netherlands).

Prof. Shigeta introduced his lecture by showing various unique historical connections between Japan and Ethiopia. He then further explained the cultural development of Ethiopian civilization from the standpoint of hardware (farming tools) and software (farming skills and environmental awareness).

Following the main lecture, Dr. Christoph Bergmann (Center for South Asian Studies, Heidelberg University) provided some inside on the topic of ecological anthropology from the perspective of his research on the Vietnamese Son-La highland. Contrary to the Ethiopian highlands, where civilization flourished, Son-La highland was the destination for people wanting to retreat from civilization.

It was a hot summer day in Heidelberg with temperatures reaching up to 37 degrees. Nevertheless, despite the heat Prof. Shigeta – having inserted a presentation slide containing the expression “Cool Africa, Cool Ethiopia” – gave a cool and scholarly lecture on plant cultivation and the environment in Africa.

We greatly appreciate the attendance of everybody, who managed to join the lecture despite of the glistening heat.



Further information on the lecture and the program can be found here.