1st Edition

The Archaeology of Africa Food, Metals and Towns

Edited By Bassey Andah, Alex Okpoko, Thurstan Shaw, Paul Sinclair Copyright 1993
    896 Pages
    by Routledge

    896 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Introduction; 1: Africa's climate in the Holocene; 2: The climatic and vegetational history of the equatorial regions of Africa during the upper Quaternary; 3: The tropical African cereals; 4: The spread of domestic animals in Africa; 5: Ethnographic and linguistic evidence for the prehistory of African ruminant livestock, horses and ponies 1; 6: Nilo-Saharans and the Saharo-Sudanese Neolithic; 7: Recent developments in African language classification and their implications for prehistory; 8: Linguistic evidence for the use of some tree and tuber food plants in southern Nigeria; 9: Examination of botanical remains from early neolithic houses at Nabta Playa, Western Desert, Egypt, with special reference to sorghum grains; 10: Foraging and farming in Egypt: the transition from hunting and gathering to horticulture in the Nile valley; 11: The emergence of a food-producing economy in the Sahara; 12: Identifying early farming traditions of west Africa; 13: The Kintampo complex: a case study of early sedentism and food production in sub-Sahelian west Africa; 14: Intensification in the west African Late Stone Age: a view from central Ghana; 15: Agriculture and settlement among the Tiv of Nigeria: some ethnoarchaeological observations; 16: Central Africa and the archaeology of the equatorial rainforest: reflections on some major topics; 17: Transition from Late Stone Age to Iron Age in the Sudano-Sahelian zone: a case study from the Perichadian plain; 18: The antiquity of cultivation and herding in Ethiopia; 19: The beginnings of food production in southwestern Kenya; 20: The rise and fall of nomadic pastoralism in the central Namib desert; 21: The iron age peoples of east-central Botswana; 22: Iron age settlement and subsistence patterns in southern Malawi; 23: A question of identities: an anthropological enquiry and a historical narrative; 24: A perspective on archaeological research in Mozambique; 25: New evidence on early iron-smelting from southeastern Nigeria; 26: Changing perspectives on traditional iron production in west Africa; 27: Iron technology in the middle Sahel/Savanna: with emphasis on central Darfur; 28: Iron-making techniques in the Kivu region of Zaïre: some of the differences between the South Maniema region and north Kivu; 29: Ancient iron-working in Madagascar; 30: The iron-using communities in Kenya; 31: Metaphors and representations associated with precolonial iron-smelting in eastern and southern Africa; 32: The magical production of iron in the Cameroon Grassfields; 33: Town and village in ancient Egypt: ecology, society and urbanization; 34: Urbanism in bronze age Egypt and northeast Africa; 35: The land of Punt; 36: State development and urbanism in northern Ethiopia; 37: Cities without citadels: understanding urban origins along the middle Niger; 38: Urbanization and state formation in Ghana during the Iron Age; 39: The salt industries of west Africa: a preliminary study; 40: Trade and politics on the eastern littoral of Africa, Ad 800–1300; 41: Exploitation of marine resources: evidence for the origin of the Swahili communities of east Africa; 42: Coast—interior settlements and social relations in the Kenya coastal hinterland; 43: Urban trajectories on the Zimbabwean plateau; 44: Settlement area and communication in African towns and cities


    Thurstan Shaw, Bassey Andah, Alex Okpoko, Paul Sinclair

    '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