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African Civilizations: An Archaeological Perspective [Paperback]

Graham Connah , Douglas Hobbs
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 20, 2013 0521596904 978-0521596909 2
This major new revised edition of African Civilizations reexamines the physical evidence for developing social complexity in tropical Africa over the past four thousand years and considers possible explanations of the developments that gave rise to it. Graham Connah focuses on urbanism and state formation in seven main areas of Africa: Nubia, Ethiopia, the West African savanna, the West African forest, the East African coast and islands, the Zimbabwe Plateau, and parts of Central Africa. Extensively illustrated and offering an extended bibliography, this book provides essential reading on the topic.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The text is intelligible to laymen, the illustrations excellent, and the case studies intriguing." Africa Today

"Graham Connah states in the introduction of this work that his purpose is to overcome the widespread stereotype that Africa represents a continent 'of scattered groups of people living in small villages of grass or mud "huts,"' but 'is about the material evidence of cities and states,' that is 'civilization.' The author succeeds admirably in this goal. The organization of the study is unique. The writing is integrated, lucid and eminently readable." The International Journal of African Historical Studies

Book Description

This major new revised edition of African Civilizations re-examines the physical evidence for developing social complexity in tropical Africa over the last four thousand years and considers possible explanations of the developments that gave rise to it. Graham Connah focuses upon urbanism and state formation in seven main areas of Africa: Nubia, Ethiopia, the West African savanna, the West African forest, the East African coast and islands, the Zimbabwe Plateau, and parts of Central Africa. Extensively illustrated and offering an extended bibliography, this book provides essential reading on the topic.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (November 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521596904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521596909
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars from what little archeaology December 25, 2006
Format:Paperback
The approach Connah takes with this text is that he is discussing Africa, excluding Egypt and the Maghreb which he considers not ever being a part of "black" Africa. It is here that he makes his first folly. Secondly he attempts to discuss tropical Africa primarily from archaeological evidence. This works well, since few historians focus on history in this way. The problem with this is that Africa's story is a million times more complex and dynamic than archaeological evidence has provided. Not because of some elusive romantic idea of Africa but from the simple fact, which Connah admits, that archaelogical/anthropological research in Africa is next to nothing in comparison to other places. The majority of such studies focus on pre-modern man's existence in Africa and not on modern man's civilization in Africa. For this reason alone such an approach to African history, as good as its intentions and scholarly methods may sound can be revealing in some senses, but extremely limiting.

I do recommend this text, for the simple fact that there is a fair amount of knowledge an Africanist can learn from some of the archaeological work discussed but I warn you that this should not be considered a well-rounded text for studying Africa's history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought boring got something totally different December 29, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had this as a textbook for my Ancient African Civilization class and I was amazed to find that I thought I was taking a class to fill a requirement and this book and some others made me change my entire major to African History/African Studies... this book is so interesting and offers so much insight into African history and the different populations that resided there over the last couple milleniums...
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