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By David W. Phillipson

ISBN-10: 0521832365

ISBN-13: 9780521832366

David Phillipson provides an illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity via eu colonization during this revised and accelerated variation of his unique paintings. Phillipson considers Egypt and North Africa of their African context, comprehensively reviewing the archaeology of West, East, crucial and Southern Africa. His publication demonstrates the relevance of archaeological study to figuring out modern Africa and stresses the continent's contribution to the cultural historical past of humankind.

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6 million years ago (H. Roche and Tiercelin 1980; J. W. K. Harris 1983; Kimbel et al. 1996; Semaw 2000). Not far to the south, the Bouri area of the Middle Awash has yielded stone flakes and worked bone fragments from the same locality as remains attributed to A. 5 million years ago (Asfaw et al. 1999; de Heinzelin et al. 1999). These specimens and their associations await full investigation; should preliminary accounts be confirmed, these occurrences are by a substantial margin the earliest known incidence of hominid-made artefacts.

Brown 1994). The area around the lower Omo River, north of the lake in southern Ethiopia, was the first to be investigated (Howell 1976), followed by intensive research in the Koobi Fora area on the northeast shore (M. G. and R. E. Leakey 1978; Wood 1991; Isaac 1997). The focus of research then shifted to the exceptionally significant sites in the western part of the basin (J. M. Harris et al. 1988). At times between 4 and 2 million years ago the area drained to the Indian Ocean, but both before and afterwards it has comprised a closed basin with no outlet except an overflow channel to the Nile which functions only when the Lake Turkana waters reach a very high level (Butzer 1980; Harvey and Grove 1982).

Its surrounding desert constrained the physical expansion of the dense population which the fertile valley could support. Comparable situations prevailed in other centres of early civilisation: the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, the Hwang Ho Valley and Mexico (Trigger 2003). The social stress engendered by a dense population required for its control the development of elaborate socio-political systems, an established and sanctioned order of a complexity which would have been out of keeping with the smaller, less constrained societies of most other parts of the continent.

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African Archaeology by David W. Phillipson


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