Landscape Transformations and the Archaeology of Impact: Social Disruption and State Formation in Southern Africa / Edition 1

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An attempt to use archaeological materials to investigate the colonization of southeastern Africa during the period 1500 to 1900. Perry demonstrates the usefulness of archaeology in bypassing the biases of the ethnohistorical and documentary record and generating a more comprehensive understanding of history. Special attention is paid to the period of state formation in Swaziland and a critique of the 'Settler Model', which the author finds to be invalid.

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In 1984, Perry went to Swaziland, in southern Africa, to do archaeological fieldwork on the emergence of the Swazi state. He concentrated on the unsanctioned realms of the recent history, the Mfecane/Difaqane period, and soon discovered that no archaeology had been undertaken and that the official records were incomplete. He suspected political and ideological reasons for hiding the involvement of whites in international trade, especially the slave trade. Here are his findings, revised from his 1996 doctoral dissertation for the University of New York, Archaeology of the Mfecane/Difaqane. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Table of Contents

1: Southern Africa and the Archaeology of Impact. Introduction: The Research Question. The Settler Model and Its Problems. Middle-Range Theory: Archaeological Data and the Documentary Record. 2: The Mfecane/Difaqane Problem and the Documentary Record. The Standard Story of the Mfecane/Difaqane. Demographic Emphasis. Ecological Emphasis. Vindicationist Arguments. External Trade. Cobbing's Reanalysis. Summary. 3: Archaeological Correlates of the Settler Model. Ethnographic and Ethnohistorical Descriptions. Pre-Mfecane/Difaqane Groups of Eastern Southern Africa. Differences between Settlement Layouts, by Ethnicity. Archaeological Implications for Pre-Mfecane/Difaqane: Nguni, Sotho-Tswana, and Ju/'hoansi. Archaeological Implications for Post-Mfecane/Difaqane Communities. Summary of the Mfecane/Difaqane Archaeological Expectations. Conclusion. 4: Previous Archaeological Research. The Archaeology of the Mfecane/Difaqane Problem: Approaches to an Archaeology of Impact. The Archaeological Survey of Swaziland and the Mfecane/Difaqane Problem. Artifact Processing and Analysis. Summary. Combining The Swazi and Other Surveys., Archaeological Results. Summary and Conclusions. 5: Using Archaeology to Study the Processes of the Mfecane/Difaqane. Contrasting the Settler Model with the Archaeological Record. Observed Settlement Typology. Site Types and Locations Predicted by the Settler Model. Regional Demography and Population Movements Predicted by the Settler Model. Archaeological Analysis. Social Hierarchy Predicted by the Settler Model. Interpretations of Social Hierarchy Based on Histograms, Oral Traditions, and Artifacts. Cattle Enclosure Sizes. Analysis and Results. Scale of Interaction Predicted by the Settler Model: External Versus Internal Relations. Results and Interpretations. Beyond the Hinterlands. Conclusions. 6: Toward an Archaeology of Impact. Summary of the Results. Racial Commodity Slavery and African Incorporation. Regional Landscapes and Articulating Modes of Production. A Comparative Archaeological Look at Southern Africa. Prospects for an Archaeology of Impact. Summary and Conclusions. References. Index.

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