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

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $10.30
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 62%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $10.30   
  • New (2) from $81.07   
  • Used (5) from $10.30   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


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

Read More Show Less

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.

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 (
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.

From the Publisher
The text would certainly be the anchor text for an introductory class in African history, or for the segment on Africa in a world history class. ... The introduction to the text is exciting, progressive and engaging. ... The whole narrative is presented in an exceedingly readable way. - Adria La Violette, University of Virginia This clear and comprehensive interpretation of Africa will be the volume from which the early history of Africa will be re-written in all college and high school texts on world history. - Patrick Manning, Northeastern University The Civilizations of Africa/ stands as a fascinating witness to the role that historical linguistics can play in integrated reconstructions of the African past. ...The book's discussions of social and culture processes during that era are sophisticated and thought-provoking. Ehret explicitly addresses a set of assumptions widely held among (at least North American) undergraduates: that African societies were culturally underdeveloped before European contact, that Africans have historically been the recipients of innovations originating outside the continent and that Europeans dominated interactions with Africans from the time of first contact onward. The dynamism of African societies both before and after that contact is well represented. The extensive use of linguistic evidence also allows unusually thorough coverage of some regions where historical and archaeological data are more rare, including parts of the Congo Basin and south-western Africa. ...The book is well written and comprehensive, and abundantly illustrates the richness and complexity of African societies over many thousands of years. It will make a fine introductory text for courses in African history... - Scott Maceachern in JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY ...anyone wanting a chronological overview and synopsis of the historical development of subsistence practices, technologies, and sociopolitical formations could do much worse than start here. Ehret's attempts to integrate different kinds of data drawn as often from linguistics and archaeology as from history, is also to be applauded. ...The text is readable, informative and the layout is attractive. ...On all these terms, then this book is a welcome addition to the field...a worthy and welcome effort... - Paul Lane in ANTHROPOS The Civilizations of Africa is a substantial, comprehensive and accessibly written introductory textbook. ANTIQUITY
Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

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.
Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)