This new revised edition of African Civilizations re-examines the physical evidence for developing social complexity in Africa over the last six thousand years. Unlike the two previous editions, it is not confined to tropical Africa but considers the whole continent. Graham Connah focuses upon the archaeological research of two key aspects of complexity, urbanism and state formation, in ten main areas of Africa: Egypt, North Africa, Nubia, Ethiopia, the West African savanna, the West African forest, the East African coast and islands, the Zimbabwe Plateau, parts of Central Africa and South Africa. The book's main concern is to review the available evidence in its varied environmental settings, and to consider possible explanations of the developments that gave rise to it. Extensively illustrated, including new maps and plans, and offering an extended list of references, this is essential reading for students of archaeology, anthropology, African history, black studies and social geography.
Graham Connah is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of New England, Australia, and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra. His earlier book Three Thousand Years in Africa (1981) won the Amaury Talbot Prize. Other publications include The Archaeology of Benin (1975), The Archaeology of Australia's History (1993), Kibiro: The Salt of Bunyoro, Past and Present (1996), Transformations in Africa (1998), Forgotten Africa: An Introduction to its Archaeology (2004), also translated into German, French, Italian and Portuguese, and Writing about Archaeology (2010). He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2000 for his contributions to African and Australian archaeology.
1. The context; 2. Origins: social change on the lower Nile; 3. The Mediterranean frontier: North Africa; 4. Sudanic genesis: Nubia; 5. Isolation: the Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands; 6. Opportunity and constraint in the West African savanna; 7. Achieving power: the West African forest and its fringes; 8. Indian Ocean networks: the East African coast and islands; 9. Cattle, ivory and gold: social complexity in Zambezia; 10. Central Africa: the Upemba Depression, Interlacustrine region and far west; 11. Settlement growth and emerging polities: South Africa; 12. What are the common denominators?