Gender in African Prehistory

Overview

Gender in African Prehistory provides methods and theories for delineating and discussing prehistoric gender relations and their change through time. Sites studied range from Egypt to South Africa and Ghana to Tanzania, while time periods span the Stone Age to the period just prior to colonialization.

Author Biography: Susan Kent is Professor of Anthropology at Old Dominion University.

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Gender in African Prehistory

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Overview

Gender in African Prehistory provides methods and theories for delineating and discussing prehistoric gender relations and their change through time. Sites studied range from Egypt to South Africa and Ghana to Tanzania, while time periods span the Stone Age to the period just prior to colonialization.

Author Biography: Susan Kent is Professor of Anthropology at Old Dominion University.

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Editorial Reviews

Women's Studies Quarterly
Susan Kent should be commended for the bringing us the first edited volume to focus on gender in African archaeology.
Gender in African Prehistory also contributes greatly to the discipline in its focus on social relations as impetus for cultural change.
— Kathryn Weedman
Journal Of Anthropological Research
Kudos to Kent and her contributors for explicitly considering the relevance of gender to the contours of African prehistory....The spatial, temporal, and topical coverage is extremely broad, making the volume attractive to practically anyone interested in African prehistory, ethnoarchaeology or its recent colonial past.
— Marcia-Anne Dobres
Antiquity
A very strong volume. The articles are interesting and challenging in their own right and, together, they become a vibrant and articulate concern with developing approaches that bring the richness out of the archaeological record without framing it within any set discourse, be it colonial or gender.
— M.L. Stig Sorensen, (University of Cambridge)
Booknews
Provides methods and theories for delineating and discussing prehistoric gender relations and their changes through time. Sites studied include Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania, and time periods span the Stone Age to the period just prior to colonialization. Specific topics include gender and early pastoralists in East Africa, gender and craft production in West Central Ghana from 1775 to 1995, and views of gender in African prehistory from a Middle Eastern perspective. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
American Antiquity
A significant contribution to a growing body of literature on the archaeological analysis of gender roles and concepts, and a very welcome addition to the corpus of Africanist archaeological texts.
European Journal Of Archaeology
Gender in African Prehistory is the first attempt to focus archaeological research on this theme in Africa.
Women's Studies Quarterly - Kathryn Weedman
Susan Kent should be commended for the bringing us the first edited volume to focus on gender in African archaeology.
Gender in African Prehistory also contributes greatly to the discipline in its focus on social relations as impetus for cultural change.
Scientific American Discovering Archaeology, Mar./April 2000 - Marcia-Anne Dobres
Gender in African Prehistory is aimed at archaeologists, but anyone interested in the topic should find it useful. Kent demonstrates that everyone can—and should—incorporate gender into research on ancient cultural systems and culture change. There is much food for thought here.
American Anthropologist, Vol. 101, No. 4 - Adria LaViolette
This is a welcome book. It draws attention to gender-specific research going on in African archaeology and some of the reasons why gender has not been at the forefront of reasearch there. The editor and those who wrote for this volume are to be applauded for putting together what surely will be a well-read first step toward taking gender and other social and cognitive issues to the center of African archaeologies.
Journal Of Field Archaeology, Vol. 26 - S. Terry Childs
Gender in African Prehistory brings together the work of a number of excellent scholars who have devoted considerable thought to issues of gender relations in past African societies, their real and possible manifestations in the archaelogical record, and the best methods to tease out relevant data.
Antiquity - M.L. Stig Sorensen
A very strong volume. The articles are interesting and challenging in their own right and, together, they become a vibrant and articulate concern with developing approaches that bring the richness out of the archaeological record without framing it within any set discourse, be it colonial or gender.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761989677
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/1998
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Kent is Professor of Anthropology at Old Dominion University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Ch. 1 Gender and Prehistory in Africa 9
Ch. 2 Resolving the Past: Gender in the Stone Age Archaeological Record of the Western Cape 25
Ch. 3 Invisible Gender - Invisible Foragers: Southern African Hunter-Gatherer Spatial Patterning and the Archaeological Record 39
Ch. 4 The Invisible Meat Providers: Women in the Stone Age of South Africa 69
Ch. 5 Just a Formality: The Presence of Fancy Projectile Points in a Basic Tool Assemblage 83
Ch. 6 Social Variability Among Holocene Saharan Groups: How to Recognize Gender 105
Ch. 7 Gender and Early Pastoralists in East Africa 115
Ch. 8 Reading Gender in the Ancient Iron Technology of Africa 139
Ch. 9 Gendered Technologies and Gendered Activities in the Interlacustrine Early Iron Age 163
Ch. 10 Engendered Spaces Bodily Practices in the Iron Age of Southern African 179
Ch. 11 Men and Women in a Market Economy: Gender and Craft Production in West Central Ghana c. 1775-1995 205
Ch. 12 Daughters of Cattle: The Significance of Herding in the Growth of Complex Societies in Southern Africa Between the 10th and 15th Centuries AD 227
Ch. 13 A Consideration of Gender Relations in the Late Iron Age "Sotho" Sequence of the Western Highveld, South Africa 235
Ch. 14 Toward an Archaeology of Gender in Africa 261
Ch. 15 Views of Gender in African Prehistory from a Middle Eastern Perspective 279
Ch. 16 Reflections on Gender Studies in African and Asian Archaeology 285
Bibliography 295
About the Authors 343
Index 349
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