Africa has a vibrant past. It emerges from this book as the proud possessor of a vast and highly complicated interweaving of peoples and cultures, practising an enormous diversity of economic and social strategies in an Extraordinary range of environmental situations.
At long last the archaeology of Africa has revealed enough of Africa's unwritten past to confound preconceptions about this continent and to upset the picture inferred from historic written records. Without an understanding of its past complexities, it is impossible to grasp Africa's present, let alone its future.
'Its immense coverage reveals not just the vibrancy of Africa's rich and diverse archaeological past, but also demolishes many misconceptions about the continent…this is a classic example of how vision and scholarship can be combined.' - New Scientist
'the existence of the volume is now so important, and carries so many implications, that we must record its availability in as many serious journals as possible' - Literary Review
'it will be a superb source for university students' - The Independent
'This is a competently and painstakingly edited volume, which gives the authentic flavour of the archaeological research carried out in Africa in recent years, and concludes with an eighty-page bibliography which will be of great value to the serious student.' - Times Literary Supplement
'… buy a copy of this important work: you will consult it many times.' - Antiquity
'simply a majestic book' - Anthropology Today