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This is an ambitious, imaginative, and impressive book. Using especially the evidence and methods of historical linguistics, Ehret reconstructs a remarkably rich social and cultural history of eastern and southern Africa, from 1000 B.C.E. to 400 C.E. He provides broad, provocative interpretations of social, cultural, and economic developments and interactions over this long period among the major ethnolinguistic groups [and] on the historical stage--Khoisan gatherer-hunters, Central Sudanians, Eastern Sahelians, Southern Cushites, and the various Bantu-speaking communities that spread throughout the region.... This is a major work.