Ancient African Metallurgy

Author: Michael S. Bisson
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742502611
Format: PDF, Docs
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Gold. Copper. Iron. Metal working in Africa has been the subject of both popular lore and extensive archaeological investigation. In this volume, four leading archaeologists attempt to provide a complete synthesis of current debates and understandings: When, how and where was metal first introduced to the continent? How were iron and copper tools, implements, and objects used in everyday life, in trade, in political and cultural contexts? What role did metals play in the ideological systems of precolonial African peoples? Substantive chapters address the origins of African metal working and analyze the specific uses, technology, and ideology of both copper and iron. An ethnoarchaeological account in the words of a contemporary iron worker enriches the archaeological explanations. The volume will be of great value to scholars and students of archaeology, African history, and the history of technology.

The Evolution of Modern Humans in Africa

Author: Pamela R. Willoughby
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 9780759101197
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A fascinating, detailed study of the origins of modern humans. Includes material from Willoughby's own research in Tanzania.

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

Author: Peter Mitchell
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191626155
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Africa has the longest and arguably the most diverse archaeological record of any of the continents. It is where the human lineage first evolved and from where Homo sapiens spread across the rest of the world. Later, it witnessed novel experiments in food-production and unique trajectories to urbanism and the organisation of large communities that were not always structured along strictly hierarchical lines. Millennia of engagement with societies in other parts of the world confirm Africa's active participation in the construction of the modern world, while the richness of its history, ethnography, and linguistics provide unusually powerful opportunities for constructing interdisciplinary narratives of Africa's past. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of African archaeology, covering the entirety of the continent's past from the beginnings of human evolution to the archaeological legacy of European colonialism. As well as covering almost all periods and regions of the continent, it includes a mixture of key methodological and theoretical issues and debates, and situates the subject's contemporary practice within the discipline's history and the infrastructural challenges now facing its practitioners. Bringing together essays on all these themes from over seventy contributors, many of them living and working in Africa, it offers a highly accessible, contemporary account of the subject for use by scholars and students of not only archaeology, but also history, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Metals in Past Societies

Author: Shadreck Chirikure
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331911641X
Format: PDF
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This book seeks to communicate to both a global and local audience, the key attributes of pre-industrial African metallurgy such as technological variation across space and time, methods of mining and extractive metallurgy and the fabrication of metal objects. These processes were transformative in a physical and metaphoric sense, which made them total social facts. Because the production and use of metals was an accretion of various categories of practice, a chaine operatoire conceptual and theoretical framework that simultaneously considers the embedded technological and anthropological factors was used. The book focuses on Africa’s different regions as roughly defined by cultural geography. On the one hand there is North Africa, Egypt, the Egyptian Sudan, and the Horn of Africa which share cultural inheritances with the Middle East and on the other is Africa south of the Sahara and the Sudan which despite interacting with the former is remarkably different in terms of technological practice. For example, not only is the timing of metallurgy different but so is the infrastructure for working metals and the associated symbolic and sociological factors. The cultural valuation of metals and the social positions of metal workers were different too although there is evidence of some values transfer and multi-directional technological cross borrowing. The multitude of permutations associated with metals production and use amply demonstrates that metals participated in the production and reproduction of society. Despite huge temporal and spatial differences there are so many common factors between African metallurgy and that of other regions of the world. For example, the role of magic and ritual in metal working is almost universal be it in Bolivia, Nepal, Malawi, Timna, Togo or Zimbabwe. Similarly, techniques of mining were constrained by the underlying geology but this should not in any way suggest that Africa’s metallurgy was derivative or that the continent had no initiative. Rather it demonstrates that when confronted with similar challenges, humanity in different regions of the world responded to identical challenges in predictable ways mediated as mediated by the prevailing cultural context. The success of the use of historical and ethnographic data in understanding variation and improvisation in African metallurgical practices flags the potential utility of these sources in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Some nuance is however needed because it is simply naïve to assume that everything depicted in the history or ethnography has a parallel in the past and vice versa. Rather, the confluence of archaeology, history and ethnography becomes a pedestal for dialogue between different sources, subjects and ideas that is important for broadening our knowledge of global categories of metallurgical practice.

Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna

Author: Stephen A. Dueppen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317543653
Format: PDF
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Many West African societies have egalitarian political systems, with non-centralised distributions of power. 'Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna' analyses a wide range of archaeological data to explore the development of such societies. The volume offers a detailed case study of the village settlement of Kirikongo in western Burkina Faso. Over the course of the first millennium, this single homestead extended control over a growing community. The book argues that the decentralization of power in the twelfth century BCE radically transformed this society, changing gender roles, public activities, pottery making and iron-working. 'Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna' will be of interest to students of political science, anthropology, archaeology and the history of West Africa.

Historical archaeology in Africa

Author: Peter Ridgway Schmidt
Publisher: Altamira Pr
ISBN: 9780759109643
Format: PDF, Docs
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Historical Archaeology in Africa is an inquiry into the questions that count, proposing different ways of thinking about historical archaeology. Peter Schmidt challenges readers to expand their horizons beyond the ethnocentrism of archaeology, as it is defined and practiced in North America. Confronting topics of oral traditions, our orientation to archaeology, and the misrepresentation of various cultures, Schmidt calls for a new pathway to an enriched, more nuanced, and more inclusive historical archaeology.

African foragers

Author: Sibel Barut Kusimba
Publisher: Altamira Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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Study of the development of foraging strategies in Africa from the Middle Stone Age to the present.

African herders

Author: Andrew Brown Smith
Publisher: Altamira Pr
ISBN: 9780759107472
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Utilizing almost 40 years' work, Andrew Smith presents a detailed portrait of modern herdsmen and their historical antecedents. Following the assumption that Africa has never been isolated from the rest of the world, Smith illuminates key topics ranging from material culture and rituals, to future prospects for pastoralists. Visit our website for sample chapters!