A Survey of Interlacustrine Chronology
The character and quality of the available evidence on the pre-colonial history of the Interlacustrine region of East Africa limit the possibilities of applying any more than roughly estimated dates or eras to events and persons of the region's pre-colonial past. By pooling and comparing the available chronological evidence (genealogies and tie-ins) relating to the dynastic units of the region, one has the means to test the accuracy of the genealogical evidence as well as the evidence linking rulers in one dynasty with rulers in others. Such pooling permits a closer examination of the ‘average dynastic generation’ which is the most useful chronological measurement for the region's past and which is the basis for the existing chronological constructions. With the available eclipse and carbon dates, it is possible to build a reasonably estimated core chronology for the region on the basis of the average dynastic generation. This core chronology may be extended to include states and dynasties—such as those in Busoga—which are connected to the core through tie-ins but for which no eclipse or carbon dates are available. The ‘average dynastic generation’ is not a useful chronological measurement in those Soga states which are marked by extended fraternal and collateral succession. By working through the tie-ins which suggest contemporaneity between certain Soga rulers and rulers in the Interlacustrine core dynasties (particularly Buganda), it is possible to extend the central chronology, and therefore credibly estimated dates or eras, to events and persons throughout Busoga.