Forgotten Africa : An Introduction to its Archaeology book cover
1st Edition

Forgotten Africa
An Introduction to its Archaeology

ISBN 9780415305914
Published October 11, 2004 by Routledge
208 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Forgotten Africa introduces the general reader and beginning student to Africa's past, emphasizing those aspects only known or best known from archaeological and related evidence. It covers four million years of history across the continent, examining important aspects of Africa's momentous human story. Graham Connah is concerned to raise public awareness, both inside and outside Africa, to this frequently overlooked and often forgotten subject.

Forgotten Africa examines: 

* human origins,
* the material culture of hunter gatherers
* the beginnings of African farming, the development of metallurgy
* the emergence of distinctive artistic traditions
* the growth of cities and states
* the expansion of trading networks
* the impact of European and other external contacts.

The result is a fascinating and important story told in a straightforward and readable manner.

Table of Contents

1. Africa: The Birthplace of Humanity  2. Stone Tools and Adaptation: The Origins of the Genus Homo  3. Africa's Gift to the World: The Earliest Homo Sapiens  4. Living off The Land: Later Hunter Gatherers in Africa  5. Putting Ideas on Stone: The Rock Art of Southern Africa  6. Pictures from a Lost World: The Rock Art of the Sahara  7. Producing Food: Early Developments in North and West Africa  8. Producing Food: Adaptation in North East and East Africa  9. The Power of Metal: The Origins of African Iron-Working  10. Ancient Egypt: 3000 Years of Achievement  11. Nubia: A Meeting Place of Different People  12. Aksum: A Trading Metropolis on the Ethiopian Plateau  13. Church and State: Survival in Ethiopia  14. Opportunity and Constraint: The Lake Chad Story  15. Facing the Mediterranean: Carthaginian, Greek and Roman North Africa  16. Qsar es-Seghir: Front Door to Europe, Front Door to Africa  17. Jenné-Jeno: An Early City on the Middle Niger  18. Voyages in the Sahara: The Desert Trade with West Africa  19. Igbo-Ukwu: A Challenge from the Past  20. Ancestral Faces: Ancient Sculpture in Nigeria  21. Benin City: From Forest Power to World Fame  22. Pots and People: Early Farmers South of the Equator  23. The Testimony of the Dead: Life in the Upemba Depression  24. 'One Beautiful Garden': Production and Power amongst the Great Lakes  25. Facing Two Worlds: The Trading Settlements of the East African Coast  26. Projecting Power: Great Zimbabwe and Related Sites  27. Deserted Settlements with a Story: Later Farmers in Southern Africa  28. Outsiders on the Inside: The Impact of European Expansion  29. Remembering Africa's Past

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Graham Connah's books include The Archaeology of Benin, Three Thousand Years in Africa, African Civilizations, Kibiro and Transformations in Africa. Currently a visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra, he was awarded the Order of Australia in 2000.


'The book will, indeed, provide a valuable and up-to-date guide ... Graham Connah's book is a worthy and useful contribution.' – Journal of African Archaeology

'Connah is explicit in his aim of introducing the general readerand beginning student to Africa's past, and this he does in a straightforward, enjoyable and readable manner.' – South African Archaeological Bulletin

'This is a book that does exactly what it sets out to do and does it with the benefit of a flawless presentation and numerous, crystal clear photographs, drawings and maps ... [Connah] is to be congratulated on producing an excellent synthesis that convincingly argues for the unity of the African past ... and its relevance to the present of us all.' – The Australasian Review of African Studies

'Forgotten Africa is rooted in impressive scholarship, demonstrating the author's familiarity with a wide range of archaeological data from accross a huge region. The author avoids the temptation to generalise, wisely opting to present the archaeology of the continent in all its diversity. The presentation is excellent, with many good-quality illustrations and maps. - Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Antiquity