African archaeology


African archaeology

David W. Phillipson

Cambridge University Press, 2005

3rd ed

  • : pbk
  • : hard
  • : African ed.

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 311-368) and index



Research in Africa is now accepted as an integral part of global archaeological studies. As well as providing archaeologists with the oldest material, Africa is also widely recognised as the birthplace of modern man and his characteristic cultural patterns. Archaeological study of later periods provides unique and valuable evidence for the development of African culture and society, while ongoing research in Africa provides insights relevant to the interpretation of the archaeological record in other parts of the world. In this fully revised and expanded 2005 edition of his seminal archaeological survey, David Phillipson presents a lucid and fully illustrated account of African archaeology from prehistory and the origins of humanity to the age of European colonisation. The work spans the entire continent from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope and demonstrates the relevance of archaeological research to the understanding of Africa today.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The emergence of humankind in Africa
  • 3. The consolidation of basic human culture
  • 4. Regional diversification and specialisation
  • 5. The beginnings of permanent settlement
  • 6. Early farmers
  • 7. Iron-using peoples before 1000
  • 8. The second millennium AD in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Bibliography.

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