African Connections / Edition 1

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Overview

From the exodus of early modern humans to the growth of African diasporas, Africa has had a long and complex relationship with the outside world. More than a passive vessel manipulated by external empires, the African experience has been a complex mix of internal geographic, environmental, sociopolitical and economic factors, and regular interaction with outsiders. Peter Mitchell attempts to outline these factors over the long period of modern human history, to find their commonalities and development over time. He examines African interconnections through Egypt and Nubia with the Near East, through multiple Indian Ocean trading systems, through the trans-Saharan trade, and through more recent incursion of Europeans. The African diaspora is also explored for continuities and resistance to foreign domination. Commonalities abound in the African experience, as do complexities of each individual period and interrelationship. Mitchell’s sweeping analysis of African connections place the continent in context of global prehistory and history. The book should be of interest not only to Africanists, but to many other archaeologists, historians, geographers, linguists, social scientists and their students.
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Editorial Reviews

International Journal Of African Historical Studies
I was quite delighted to come across Peter Mitchell's African Connections as a potential text. . . Mitchell is an archaeologist with a breadth of vision and who sees the material record less as a record of discreet cultures than as a foundation of historical patterns of interaction. His narrative is, in fact, far more lively and comprehensive than one might fear from an archaeologist since he often uses the first person and allows the reader a sense of the interpretive subjectivity that pre-modern history often requires.
CHOICE
Highly recommended.
Journal Of African Archaeology
[Mitchell] does succeed, without fanfare, in destroying entirely the useless boundary between prehistoric and historic archaeology. This success if founded upon an ability to keep the archaeology front and center while niether ignoring nor being overwhelmed by documentary sources. He also manages to steer well away from the tyranny of the ethnographic present and the analogies that lurk therein. Overall, a job well done.
History: Reviews Of New Books
The book is richly complemented by extensive maps, charts, illustrations, and tables. It is required reading for Africanists and world historians, while other archaeologists, historians, and social scientists will find the wealth of information, approach, conclusions and insights richly rewarding.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Having compressed an amazing amount of information into 241 pages of text, this tour-de-force will be a welcome addition to any Africanist's library, and is highly recommended for graduate student use. I hope that African historians get to know about it, as archaeology is too often seen by them as a Cinderella discipline.
Journal Of Anthropological Research
A most welcome effort. . . . Mitchell's command of the literature, sources, theoretical debates in the field and areas of contention is sweeping, and backed up by an extensive familiarity with work in such related fields as historical linguistic reconstruction, botany, and palynology which have played important roles in enriching our knowledge of the African past. His approach is measured and evenhanded in its assessment of the evidence. . . . An immense amount of reading and a great deal of thought and care went into the writing of this book. . . . Mitchell succeeds in bringing to light many specifics of African innovation and independent agency across a variety of areas of culture and history.
Antiquity
Mitchell. . . presents an impressively wide-ranging synthesis around his chosen theme of Africa's centrality to human development.
Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute
In short African Connections is a worthy attempt to synthesize a tremendous amount of information about a continent that is incredibly diverse—both culturally and ecologically.
African Archaeological Review
Peter Mitchell's book must be read by anyone with any interest not only in Africa, but also in archaeology and history. As the world shrinks through telecommunication and mass transportation, Mitchell's book reminds us that we have always been connected and that Africa was always part of the world. To deny or underestimate the role of Africa in the future of humankind would be a grave mistake.
— Fekri Hassan
Choice
Highly recommended.
History: Reviews Of New Books
The book is richly complemented by extensive maps, charts, illustrations, and tables. It is required reading for Africanists and world historians, while other archaeologists, historians, and social scientists will find the wealth of information, approach, conclusions and insights richly rewarding.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Having compressed an amazing amount of information into 241 pages of text, this tour-de-force will be a welcome addition to any Africanist's library, and is highly recommended for graduate student use. I hope that African historians get to know about it, as archaeology is too often seen by them as a Cinderella discipline.
Journal of Anthropological Research
A most welcome effort. . . . Mitchell's command of the literature, sources, theoretical debates in the field and areas of contention is sweeping, and backed up by an extensive familiarity with work in such related fields as historical linguistic reconstruction, botany, and palynology which have played important roles in enriching our knowledge of the African past. His approach is measured and evenhanded in its assessment of the evidence. . . . An immense amount of reading and a great deal of thought and care went into the writing of this book. . . . Mitchell succeeds in bringing to light many specifics of African innovation and independent agency across a variety of areas of culture and history.
African Archaeological Review - Fekri Hassan
Peter Mitchell's book must be read by anyone with any interest not only in Africa, but also in archaeology and history. As the world shrinks through telecommunication and mass transportation, Mitchell's book reminds us that we have always been connected and that Africa was always part of the world. To deny or underestimate the role of Africa in the future of humankind would be a grave mistake.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759102590
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Series: African Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.61 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Mitchell is University Lecturer in African Prehistory at St. Hugh's College and Curator of African Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.
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Table of Contents

1 Foreword by J. O. Vogel 2 Preface 3 1. Introducing Africa: Definitions, Routes, Resources and Interactions 4 2. The Development and Spread of African Farming Systems 5 3. The Nile and Red Sea Corridors 6 4. Africa in the Indian Ocean World System 7 5. Africa's Other Sea: The Sahara and its Shores 8 6. Africa's Opening to the Atlantic 9 7. Out-of-Africa III: The Archaeology of the African Diaspora 10 8. Reconnecting Africa: Patterns, Problems and Potentials 11 References 12 Index 13 About the Author
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