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African Archaeology : A Critical Introduction - Ann Brower Stahl

African Archaeology

A Critical Introduction


Published: 13th August 2004
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A landmark introduction to the archaeology of Africa that challenges misconceptions & claims about Africa’s past and teaches students how to evaluate these claims.

  • Provides an unprecedented and exciting introduction to the archaeology of Africa

  • Challenges misconceptions & claims about Africa’s past and teaches students how to evaluate these claims

  • Includes a thoughtful introduction that explores the contexts that have shaped archaeological knowledge of Africa's past

  • Lays out research questions that have shaped the contours of African archaeology

  • Comprised of chapters specifically written for this volume by prominent archaeologists with regional and topical expertise

"Ann Stahl has brought together a set of researchers at theheight of their powers and incited them to write chapters thatbring home to readers the challenge of the archaeologicalenterprise. This is the book I would give as a text toseniors and to which I would constantly refer if teaching thearchaeology of sub-Saharan Africa to students of any and alllevels."
Nicholas David, University of Calgary

"This book moves beyond the usual seamless syntheses andlooks critically at the quality of the evidence, the questionsasked and unasked, and how these have been fashioned intonarratives about the African past. It is a unique and indispensableresource for Africanist archaeologists, historians, and students ofthese disciplines." Susan McIntosh, RiceUniversity

"I have long desired a text for African archaeology thatpresents a summary of African prehistory while highlighting theresearch questions and debates that make the study of the Africanpast exciting; that book is now available. The book'scoverage of sub-Saharan Africa is exemplary."
Peter Robertshaw, California State University, SanBernardino

"This book is a showcase for African Archaeology and deserves aplace on the bookshelves of all who teach world archaeology, aswell as those who study biodiversity of wild and domesticresources, or care about the linguistics or history of Africa. Irecommend 'African Archaeology' to you enthusiastically."
Journal of African Archaeology

"This book achieves its main goals admirably. The twenty-threecontributing authors (African, European, and North American) areall specialists in their respected fields... The individualchapters are remarkably consistent in tone, which I suspect shows astrong editorial hand, and really do summarize not only vastamounts of information, but also the current debates aroundsignificance and interpretation of the archaeological record. It isdifficult to imagine a more comprehensive introduction withoutresorting to an encyclopedia format. The references are copious andup-to-date, which will make this a valuable resource for bothlecturers and students."
African Studies Review

"The great strength of the volume is its critical stance.Evidence is presented within its context, warts and all, not as'the final truth'... The geographic coverage is remarkable...Insummary, African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction is asuccess. It does exactly what its name suggests: leading studentsby example in evaluating evidence, and dismissing long-heldmisconceptions about the African past."
African History

"A most welcome addition to the few available text-bookson archaeologies of the African continent."

"The first ... stated objective ... [is] to givesome account of the breadth of history ... .The book does soadmirably well." H-Net Reviews

Series Editors? Preface.



Notes on Contributors.

1 Introduction. Changing Perspectives on Africa?s Pasts: Ann Brower Stahl (State University of New York at Binghamton).

2 Barbarous Tribes and Unrewarding Gyrations? The Changing Role of Ethnographic Imagination in African Archaeology: Paul J. Lane (British Institute in Eastern Africa).

3 Discord after Discard. Reconstructing Aspects of Oldowan Hominin Behavior: Thomas Plummer (City University of New York).

4 The Middle and Upper Pleistocene African Record for the Biological and Behavioral Origins of Modern Humans: Curtis W. Marean and Zelalem Assefa (Arizona State University; SUNY at Stony Brook.

5 A Late Pleistocene Archive of Life at the Coast, Klasies River: H. J. Deacon and Sarah Wurz (University of Stellenbosch; University of Stellenbosch).

6 Modeling Later Stone Age Societies in Southern Africa: Peter Mitchell (University of Oxford).

7 Holocene ?Aquatic? Adaptations in North Tropical Africa: Augustin F. C. Holl (University of Michigan).

8 Pastoralism and its Consequences: Diane Gifford-Gonzalez (University of California, Santa Cruz).

9 Holocene Occupations of the Forest and Savanna: Joanna Casey (University of South Carolina).

10 The Romance of Farming--Plant Cultivation and Domestication in Africa: Katharina Neumann (J. W. Goethe-Universitat).

11 Metallurgy and its Consequences: S. Terry Childs and Eugenia W. Herbert (National Park Service, Mount Holyoke College).

12 The Bantu Problem and African Archaeology: Manfred Eggert (Institut fur Ur- und Fruhgeschichte und Archaologie des Mittelalters).

13 The Archaeology of Sub-Saharan Urbanism: Cities and their Countrysides: Adria LaViolette and Jeff Fleisher (University of Virginia; University of Virginia).

14 Interaction, Marginalization, and the Archaeology of the Kalahari: Andrew Reid (University College London).

15 Southern Africa and the East African Coast: Gilbert Pwiti (University of Zimbabwe).

16 Mosaics and Interactions: East Africa, 2000 B.P. to the Present: Chapurukha M. Kusimba and Sibel B. Kusimba (The Field Museum, Chicago; Northern Illinois University).

17 From Pottery Groups to Ethnic Groups in Central Africa: Pierre de Maret (Universite Libre de Bruxelles).

18 Two Thousand Years of West African History: Scott MacEachern (Bowdoin College).


ISBN: 9781405101561
ISBN-10: 1405101563
Series: Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 508
Published: 13th August 2004
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.49 x 17.07  x 2.72
Weight (kg): 0.87
Edition Number: 1