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African Iron Production and Iron-Working Technologies: Methods  

Louise Iles

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
Iron production was a particularly important precolonial African technology, with iron becoming a central component of socioeconomic life in many societies across the continent. ... More

Archaeobotany: Methods  

Louis Champion and Dorian Q. Fuller

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Archaeobotany’s goals are to investigate the interactions between human societies and the plant world in the past from the botanical remains preserved in archaeological sites, including ... More

Archaeozoology: Methods  

Veerle Linseele

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Archaeozoology is the study of animal remains, mainly bones and other hard parts, from archaeological sites. It contributes to a more complete understanding of various aspects ... More

Ceramics, Foodways, and Consumption: Methods  

Liza Gijanto

Online publication date:
Sep 2017
Analysis of ceramics in archaeological contexts has provided a range of information regarding African history. Archaeologists have approached ceramics as a craft as well as an indicator of ... More

Community-Based Approaches to African History  

Peter R. Schmidt and Kathryn Weedman Arthur

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Several trends in the historical scholarship of Africa require recognition and remediation. The first is a quickly shrinking interest in African history of the past two millennia, with a ... More

Documenting Precolonial Trade in Africa  

Shadreck Chirikure

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
Promoted by necessity, scarcity, and/or abundance, trade is one of the most essential cultural behaviors that promoted contact and exchange of ideas, commodities, and services between ... More

Early African Pasts: Sources, Interpretations, and Meanings  

David Schoenbrun

Writing Africa’s history before the 10th century almost always means relying on sources other than written documents, which increase in number especially from the 16th century onward. ... More

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

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

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

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

Pottery chaînes opératoires as Historical Documents  

Olivier P. Gosselain

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Technical processes—or chaînes opératoires—are heterogeneous cultural aggregates articulating raw materials, tools, knowledge, representations, and agents. The nature and arrangement of ... More

Primary Historical Sources in Archaeology: Methods  

Rachel King

While there are a handful of defined methods for working with primary historical sources in archaeology, few archaeologists take these as their main points of departure or rely upon them ... More

Rock Art Research Methods  

Jeremy Hollmann

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Rock art is an archaeological resource with the potential to reconstruct aspects of the ideologies of prehistoric societies. Research methods are distinguished here from theoretical, ... More

Scientific Dating Methods in African Archaeology  

Vincent J. Hare and Emma Loftus

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
The African archaeological record is particularly remarkable in that it covers timescales relevant to all human history and prehistory. Different dating techniques are therefore ... More

Stone Tools: Their Relevance for Historians and the Study of Historical Processes  

Justin Pargeter

From at least 3.4 million years ago to historic periods, humans and their ancestors used stone as the raw material for tool production. Archeologists find stone tools on all the planet’s ... More

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