The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800 / Edition 1

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Overview

With his focus on precolonial Africa, Christopher Ehret provides in The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800 a remarkably complete and original overview of African history during the long periods sparsely covered in most other general histories of the continent. He examines African inventions and civilizations from 16,000 BCE to 1800 CE from the northern tip of Tunisia to the Cape of Good Hope in the south.

Logically organized by topic and era, Ehret’s heavily illustrated and easily accessible text reveals the diversity of African history. It explores the wide range of social and cultural as well as technological and economic change in Africa, and it depicts African agricultural, social, political, cultural, technological, and economic history in relation to developments in the rest of the world. Designed to address the glaring lack of texts concentrating on Africa before 1800, this book can be fruitfully combined with histories of Africa since 1800 to build a full and well-rounded understanding of the roles of Africa’s peoples in human history.

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick ManningNortheastern University
An authoritative and strikingly original overview of African history up to 1800, written at a level that will be accessible to entering college students.
African Studies Review
[C]hallenging and innovative..thorough and masterful... One hopes that Christopher Ehret has initiated a new trend in the writing of African history textbooks,one that challenges previously accepted chronologies and ideas and presents us with an interpretation that connects social, economic, political, and cultural history.
Booknews
Ehret (history, U. of California) concentrates on the oft-neglected pre-colonial history of the African continent, surveying the rise and fall of civilizations and discussing the cultural artifacts and structures that characterized those civilizations. Chapters are arranged chronologically, with discussions of particular regions grouped together under time periods. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
International Journal of African Historical Studies

C]hallenges historians to rethink how they teach the African past.... Ehret goes boldly where no writer of an African history textbook has ever gone before.... [The book] has convinced me teachers should stress the deep past, the past that produced the intellectual, cultural, and—yes—spiritual resources that are the bedrock hope of an Africa battered by the past few centuries.

Patrick Manning

An authoritative and strikingly original overview of African history up to 1800, written at a level that will be accessible to entering college students.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813920856
  • Publisher: Univ of Virginia Pr
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Ehret is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of An African Classical Age: Eastern and Southern Africa in World History, 1000 B.C. to A.D. 400 (Virginia).

University of Virginia Press

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Read an Excerpt

Africa lies at the heart of human history. It is the continent from which the distant ancestors of every one of us, no matter who we are today, originally came. Its peoples participated integrally in the great transformations of world history... Bigger than the United States, China, India, Australia, and Europe combined, the African continent presents us with a historical panorama of surpassing richness and diversity.
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Table of Contents

Introducing Africa and Its History Africa in a Global Frame Getting the Terms of Our Discourse Straight Themes in History: What to Look For in Our Reading Africa and Human Origins

Africa before the Agricultural Age, 16,000–9000 BCE Africa and the World: From Gathering to Farming Geography and Climate in African History Afrasan Civilization Nilo-Saharan Peoples and the Middle Nile Archeological Tradition Niger-Congo Civilization Khoisan Civilization Summing Up the Period 16,000–9000 bce in Africa

Culture and Technology in Africa, 9000–3500 BCE The Environments of Agricultural Invention Inventing Agriculture: The Eastern Sahara, 9000–5500 BCE The Aquatic Tradition of the Sudan, 9000–5500 BCE Sudanic Civilization: The Intertwining of the Sudanic Agripastoral and the Aquatic Traditions Inventing Agriculture: The Horn of Africa and the Northern Sahara, 9000–5500 BCE Agricultural Invention: West African Planting Agriculture, 9000–5500 BCE Livelihood and Culture History in Africa, 5500–3500 BCE Themes in the History of Culture, 9000–3500 BCE Persistent Gatherer-Hunters: The Southern Third of Africa Africa 9000–3500 bce in the Context of World History

Diverging Paths of History: Africa, 3500–1000 BCE Africa in Comparative Historical Perspective The Spread of Agriculture into Central Africa Cultivation and Herding Come to Eastern Africa The Middle Frontier: Early Agriculture in the Upper Nile Region Sahara, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa, 3500–1000 BCE New Ways of Life in Northeastern Africa Crops and Metals in West Africa Lands of States and Towns: Nubia and Egypt Africa, 3500–1000 BCE: What Have We Learned?

An Age of Commerce, an Age of Iron: Africa, 1000 BCE to 300 CE Africa in World History, 1000 bce to 300 CE Eastern Africa in Its Classical Age Western Equatorial Africa: Social and Economic Repercussions of Agricultural Expansion Commerce, Merchants, and States: Northeastern Africa North Africa in the Carthaginian and Roman Eras An African Development of Commerce: West Africa, 1000 BCE to 300 BCE

Southern, Central, and Eastern Africa: The Middle Centuries, 300–1450 Africa and the World: Issues and Themes of the Age Subsistence and Society in Southern Africa, 300–1450 Growth of Political Scale: The Southern Woodland Savannas and Equatorial Rainforest, 600–1450 Eastern Africa, 300–1450 Southern, Central, and Eastern Africa: Taking the Long View

Northeastern, West, and North Africa: The Middle Centuries, 300–1450 Themes of Change Northeastern Africa, 300–1450 West Africa, 300–1450 North Africa and the Sahara, 300–1450: Competing Legitimacies, Competing Hegemonies Agriculture, Technology, and Culture: A Continental Overview, 300–1450

The Early Atlantic Age, 1450–1640 Africa and the World Enter a New Historical Era Western Africa, 1450–1640 Atlantic Commerce and the Coastal Hinterlands of Africa Commerce, Religion, and Political Struggle in Northeastern Africa Northern Africa and the Sahara History in the Eastern and Central Sudan, 1450–1640 History in the African Interior, 1450–1640

Africa in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1640–1800 The Middle Era of the Atlantic Age: Themes and Issues West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade Central Africa: The Expanding Impact of Atlantic Commerce Southern Africa: New Pastoral and Trading Frontiers Eastern Africa: States and Stateless Societies Northeastern Africa: An Age of Political and Cultural Realignment North Africa: The Decline of Ottoman Rule The Close of the Eighteenth Century: A New Era Begins

University of Virginia Press

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