The Swahili: The Social Landscape of a Mercantile Society / Edition 1

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This wide-ranging volume integrates documentary sources and contemporary archaeological evidence to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of Swahili history, anthropology, language and culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Horton and Middleton's] portrait of the Swahili is drawn frommultiple sources of data, including archival records, ethnographicfieldwork, and recent archaeological finds expertly providingcomprehensive, up-to-date accounts if African peoples that are bothscholarly and accessible." CHOICE

"Despite their high profile, the identity of the Swahili hasbeen elusive to define. The sensible discussion of this issue byHorton & Middleton should finally put this question to rest ...The Swahili is a fine addition to the series on the peoplesof Africa published by Blackwell. South African ArchaeologicalBulletin

"Well supplied with maps and plates depicting locales,excavations, and architecture, the book will be useful to a generalreadership, as well as to younger scholars interested in theAfrican littoral. The archeological chapters are veryinformative."Greg Cameron, Journal of the Royal AnthropologicalInstitute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631189190
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/13/2001
  • Series: Peoples of Africa Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 7.87 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Horton is a Reader in Archaeology at the University ofBristol. He has conducted research in both Kenya and Tanzania since1980, and directed excavations at Shanga in the Lamu archipelagoand on the islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Tumbatu. Between 1984 and1987 he was a Research Fellow at St Hugh's College, Oxford, andfrom 1987 to 1992 directed a project that investigated the originsof East African Islam for the British Institute in EasternAfrica.

John Middleton retired in 1991 as Professor ofAnthropology and Religious Studies at Yale University, after alsoteaching at the University of London, New York University, andelsewhere. He has carried out anthropological research in Uganda,Nigeria, and Ghana. He worked in Zanzibar in 1958 on land tenureamong the central Swahili (published as Land Tenure in Zanzibar,1961) and later in the 1980s among the northern Swahili of the townof Lamu in Kenya to make a general ethnography that was publishedin 1992 as The World of the Swahili. His other books includeLugbara Religion (1960) and he was editor-in-chief of theEncyclopaedia of Africa South of the Sahara (1997).

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Table of Contents


1. The Swahili Coast.

2. Origins.

3. The Acceptance of Islam.

4. The Swahili Coast and the Indian Ocean World.

5. The Trading System of the Swahili Coast.

6. The Urban Landscape.

7. The Social Landscape.

8. Governance and Politics.

9. The Swahili in a Changing World.

10. Constructing the Mercantile Landscape.




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