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Ethnographic Analogy in Archaeology: Methodological Insights from Southern Africa  

Mark McGranaghan

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Analogical arguments are central to and pervasive within archaeological discourse. Within these arguments, ethnographic analogies are often seen as being particularly problematic exercises ... More

Exploring Present Pasts: Popular Arts as Historical Sources  

Bogumil Jewsiewicki and Allen F. Roberts

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
To incorporate sub-Saharan senses of artistic production and practice into scholarly reconstruction of African pasts, distance must be sought from deeply embedded positivist notions of ... More

Historical Linguistics: Loanwords and Borrowing  

Birgit Ricquier

Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The study of loanwords, and of language contact more generally, is a useful tool in tracing encounters and exchanges between different communities in the past. Loanwords often come in sets ... More

Historical Linguistics: Words and Things  

Rhonda M. Gonzales

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Comparative historical linguistics is an approach comprising a set of methods that historians who have training in linguistics employ to reconstruct histories for periods of history for ... More

Historiography in the Maghrib in the 19th and Early 20th Century  

Sahar Bazzaz

Online publication date:
Sep 2017
The Maghrebi tradition of historical literary production extends back to the early centuries of Islamic expansion and conquest in North Africa and comprises a rich corpus including ... More

The History and Historiography of Science  

Helen Tilley

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
There is no escaping the fact that the history of science took European places and people, broadly construed, as its original object of study. There is also no escaping that in African ... More

African Intellectual History and Historiography  

Jonathon L. Earle

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Intellectual historians of Africa are principally concerned with how Africans have understood and contested the contexts that they inhabited in the past, and how ideas and vernacular ... More

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Precolonial Sub-Saharan African Farming and Herding Communities  

Paul Lane and Anna Shoemaker

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Agricultural practices on the African continent are exceptionally diverse and have deep histories spanning at least eight millennia. Over time, farmers and herders have independently ... More

Introduction to Archaeological Methods and Sources  

Peter Mitchell

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Archaeology’s focus on material culture provides it with unparalleled opportunities to investigate the entire span of the human past. For periods for which historical records (verbal as ... More

Islamic Historical Sources: Manuscripts and Online  

Amidu Olalekan Sanni

Of central interest here are the historical sources on Islam and Africa, the role and contributions of manuscripts to the narrative, and how the new cyber world has become a domain for ... More

Kingdoms of South-Central Africa: Sources, Historiography, and History  

David M. Gordon

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
In his influential book, Kingdoms of the Savanna (1966), Jan Vansina described the rise of the kingdoms of the south-central African interior from the 15th century. These include the Luba ... More

Legal History and Historiography in Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa  

Richard Waller

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Increasingly, the study of law in colonial Africa has moved out of the domain of legal scholarship per se, where it had its origins in the 1940s, and into that of social and cultural ... More

Material Culture as a Historical Source  

Robert Ross

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Over the last couple of centuries, there has been a profound shift in the things which Africans have around them, or in other words their material culture. At differing speeds and to ... More

Climatology: Methods  

Sharon E. Nicholson

Environmental constraints have large impacts on populations, especially in semi-arid regions such as Africa. Climate and weather have long affected African societies, but unfortunately the ... More

Methods in the Study of African Historical Geography, Landscapes, and Environmental Change  

Katherine Homewood

Increasingly, methods not traditionally used by historians are becoming available for the study of African historical geography, landscapes, and environmental change. Starting with an ... More

Migration History and Historiography  

Benedetta Rossi

Migration has been a central factor in African history. It is likely that the human species started spreading on the planet within and outside of Africa between 2 and 2.5 million years ... More

Numerical Data and Statistical Sources  

Leigh Gardner

The use of numerical data and statistical sources in African history has expanded in recent decades, facilitated by technological advances and the digitization of primary sources. This ... More

Oral History and Life History as Sources  

Mary Dillard

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Historians, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and independent scholars have used oral history and life history, two slightly different but complementary methods, in order to ... More

Oral Traditions as Sources  

Stephen Belcher

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
The use of oral tradition is a distinctive and essential element in many fields of African studies. History must acknowledge it; literature sees it as the medium for much of the indigenous ... More

Paleoenvironmental Science: Methods  

David K. Wright

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
Understanding paleoclimates has been an important component of archaeological research for over a century. Human settlement, mobility, and subsistence activities are predicated on ... More

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