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The First Africans
African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers

£63.00

Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: July 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521847964

£ 63.00
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About the Authors
  • Africa has the longest record - some 2.5 million years - of human occupation of any continent. For nearly all of this time, its inhabitants have made tools from stone and have acquired their food from its rich wild plant and animal resources. Archaeological research in Africa is crucial for understanding the origins of humans and the diversity of hunter-gatherer ways of life. This book is a synthesis of the record left by Africa's earliest hominin inhabitants and hunter-gatherers, combining the insights of archaeology with those of other disciplines, such as genetics and palaeo-environmental science. African evidence is critical to important debates, such as the origins of stone tool making, the emergence of recognisably modern forms of cognition and behaviour, and the expansion of successive hominins from Africa to other parts of the world.

    • Synthesizes the 'Stone Age' archaeology of the whole African continent, without excluding any particular region
    • Does this across the full range of the archaeological record, from the beginnings of stone tool-making to the present day political situation of African foragers
    • Emphasizes the value of developing new analytical frameworks free from the assumptions of older-historical models
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521847964
    • length: 622 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm
    • weight: 1.08kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introducing the African record
    2. Frameworks in space and time
    3. First tool users and makers
    4. Early Pleistocene foragers
    5. Mid-Pleistocene foragers
    6. Transitions and origins
    7. The Big Dry: the archaeology of marine isotope 4-2
    8. Hunting, gathering, intensifying: the mid-Holocene record
    9. Foragers in a world of farmers
    10. The future of the first Africans' past.

  • Authors

    Lawrence Barham, University of Liverpool
    Lawrence Barham is Professor in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. A scholar of the evolution of symbolic behaviours, he is the author of The Middle Stone Age of Zambia and co-author of Human Roots: Africa and Asia in the Middle Pleistocene. Barham serves on the Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa and is editor of the journal Before Farming: The Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers.

    Peter Mitchell, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford
    Peter Mitchell is Professor of African Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Tutor and Fellow in Archaeology at St Hugh's College, Oxford. He is the author of The Archaeology of Southern Africa and African Connections: Archaeological Perspectives on Africa and the Wider World, as well as co-editor of Researching Africa's Past. Mitchell is Honorary Secretary of the British Institute in Eastern Africa and a member of the editorial boards of several leading journals, including Antiquity, World Archaeology and the South African Archaeological Bulletin.

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