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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

Ancient Developments in the Middle Senegal Valley and the Inland Niger Delta  

Alioune Dème

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
The study of West Africa has contributed to the expansion of comparative arid-lands floodplain prehistory, from both the data collection (cultural and historical) and the theoretical ... More

The Archaeology of Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa  

Lyn Wadley

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
The meaning and context of gender is contested even in the 21st century. No generalizations about gender are applicable through time or across space. Even where gender roles are defined by ... 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

The Bantu Expansion  

Koen Bostoen

The Bantu Expansion stands for the concurrent dispersal of Bantu languages and Bantu-speaking people from an ancestral homeland situated in the Grassfields region in the borderland between ... 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

Development of Plant Food Production in the West African Savannas: Archaeobotanical Perspectives  

Katharina Neumann

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
The West African savannas are a major area of independent plant domestication, with pearl millet, African rice, fonio, several legumes, and vegetable crops originating there. For ... 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

Farming and Herding in Eastern Africa: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives  

Freda Nkirote M'Mbogori

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
The inception of agriculture in eastern Africa is a major topic of discussion among Africanist archaeologists, although very sparse evidence exists. Questions range from whether ... More

Food Production in the Forest Zone of West Africa: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives  

Richard T. Chia and A. Catherine D'Andrea

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Recent narratives on the origin of food production in the West African forest zone have replaced earlier diffusion-based models with viewpoints that emphasize the diversity of sources for ... More

Heritage and the Use of the Past in East Africa  

John Giblin

This article outlines historical and ongoing uses of the past and academic heritage research into those activities within eastern Africa. The use of the past will be discussed as a deep ... More

Interactions among Precolonial Foragers, Herders, and Farmers in Southern Africa  

James R. Denbow

Online publication date:
Aug 2017
Present data indicate that the domestication of wild cattle indigenous to the northern Sahara took place approximately eight to nine thousand years ago. This was followed around seven ... 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

Precolonial Metallurgy and Mining across Africa  

Shadreck Chirikure

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
Since their inception, precolonial mining and metallurgy gradually became essential social, technological, and even politico-economic pillars of African communities of varying time ... 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

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