9780415084444

The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780415084444

  • ISBN10:

    041508444X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1993-03-10
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Summary

The Archaeology of Africa, an anthology of essays, provides an overview of development in Africa from c. 8,000 B.C. to the present day, and also includes review chapters as well as other in-depth studies. A large proportion of the contributors live in Africa or are natives of the continent and therefore share an intimate knowledge of the region. The Africa which emerges from this book is far different from the vast and barren "dark continent" of popular myth. Although commonly perceived as an identitiless region content to absorb the cultures of its numerous colonizers, Africa instead emerges from this book as the proud possessor of a vast and highly intricate amalgamation of peoples and cultures, an enormous diversity of economic and social strategies, as well as an amazingly heterogeneous number of environments. Archaeologists have unearthed enough of Africa's unwritten past to both confound preconceptions about this continent and further upset the so-called "truth" ofhistoric written records. This book adheres to the principle that, without an understanding of this continent's history, it is impossible to grasp its present, let alone its future.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Foreword
Preface
Radiocarbon dates
Introductionp. 1
Africa's climate in the Holocenep. 32
The climatic and vegetational history of the equatorial regions of Africa during the upper Quaternaryp. 43
The tropical African cerealsp. 53
The spread of domestic animals in Africap. 61
Ethnographic and linguistic evidence for the prehistory of African ruminant livestock, horses and poniesp. 71
Nilo-Saharans and the Saharo-Sudanese Neolithicp. 104
Recent developments in African language classification and their implications for prehistoryp. 126
Linguistic evidence for the use of some tree and tuber food plants in southern Nigeriap. 139
Examination of botanical remains from early neolithic houses at Nabta Playa, Western Desert, Egypt, with special reference to sorghum grainsp. 154
Foraging and farming in Egypt: the transition from hunting and gathering to horticulture in the Nile valleyp. 165
The emergence of a food-producing economy in the Saharap. 227
Identifying early farming traditions of west Africap. 240
The Kintampo complex: a case study of early sedentism and food production in sub-Sahelian west Africap. 255
Intensification in the west African Late Stone Age: a view from central Ghanap. 261
Agriculture and settlement among the Tiv of Nigeria: some ethno-archaeological observationsp. 274
Central Africa and the archaeology of the equatorial rainforest: reflections on some major topicsp. 289
Transition from Late Stone Age to Iron Age in the Sudano-Sahelian zone: a case study from the Perichadian plainp. 330
The antiquity of cultivation and herding in Ethiopiap. 344
The beginnings of food production in southwestern Kenyap. 358
The rise and fall of nomadic pastoralism in the central Namib desertp. 372
The iron age peoples of east-central Botswanap. 386
Iron age settlement and subsistence patterns in southern Malawip. 391
A question of identities: an anthropological enquiry and a historical narrativep. 399
A perspective on archaeological research in Mozambiquep. 409
New evidence on early iron-smelting from southeastern Nigeriap. 432
Changing perspectives on traditional iron production in west Africap. 449
Iron technology in the middle Sahel/Savanna: with emphasis on central Darfurp. 459
Iron-making techniques in the Kivu region of Zaire: some of the differences between the South Maniema region and north Kivup. 468
Ancient iron-working in Madagascarp. 478
The iron-using communities in Kenyap. 484
Metaphors and representations associated with precolonial iron-smelting in eastern and southern Africap. 499
The magical production of iron in the Cameroon Grassfieldsp. 512
Town and village in ancient Egypt: ecology, society and urbanizationp. 551
Urbanism in bronze age Egypt and northeast Africap. 570
The land of Puntp. 587
State development and urbanism in northern Ethiopiap. 609
Cities without citadels: understanding urban origins along the middle Nigerp. 622
Urbanization and state formation in Ghana during the Iron Agep. 642
The salt industries of west Africa: a preliminary studyp. 652
Trade and politics on the eastern littoral of Africa, AD 800-1300p. 658
Exploitation of marine resources: evidence for the origin of the Swahili communities of east Africap. 673
Coast-interior settlements and social relations in the Kenya coastal hinterlandp. 694
Urban trajectories on the Zimbabwean plateaup. 705
Settlement area and communication in African towns and citiesp. 732
Referencesp. 750
Indexp. 835
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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