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The River: Peoples and Histories of the Omo-Turkana Area edited by Timothy Clack and Marcus Brittain. Paperback; 210x210mm; xii+186 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (121 colour plates). 480 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789690330. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789690347. Book contents pageDownload

The Omo-Turkana area is unlike any place on earth. Spanning parts of Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya, the area is today home to a unique diversity of peoples and cultures. Extraordinary fossil finds from the locale have illuminated the evolutionary origins of our species and archaeological and historical evidence has demonstrated it has been a dynamic crossroads of peoples, languages and identities for millennia. Over the past two decades, development interventions have transformed the environment and presented a threat to local forms of material and intangible heritage. Many local groups now face challenges to the long-term sustainability of their traditional ways of life. This sumptuously illustrated book brings together a remarkable collection of the world’s leading archaeologists, ecologists, historians and ethnographers who specialise in the locale. Recognising the Omo-Turkana area as a crucial resource of global heritage, the authors also acknowledge its current vulnerability.

‘The current socio-economic and political happenings in the Omo-Turkana Basin are profoundly disturbing. Showcasing the area’s global importance, this compilation is a timely and crucial landmark in the pages of African history and archaeology’. - Dr Richard Leakey, Turkana Basin Institute

‘Written by eminent scholars, this book showcases the rich and unique heritage of the Lower Omo Valley from prehistory to the present’. - Prof Tekle Hagos, Addis Ababa University

‘This collection of essays highlights the deep history of the Omo-Turkana basin, and the material and cultural traditions of the region’s inhabitants past and present. The reader is treated to rich, textured insights into the remarkable heritage of this part of the African continent, the many environmental and political challenges facing today’s inhabitants, and their continuing resilience in the face of adversity’. - Prof Paul Lane, University of Cambridge

Early Maritime Cultures in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Papers from a conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (African Studies Program) 23-24 October 2015, with additional contributions by Akshay Sarathi. Paperback; 203x276mm; viii+228 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (60 plates in colour). 66 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784917128. £48.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917135. Book contents pageDownload

The East African coast and the Western Indian Ocean are regions of global historical significance. This volume contains papers first presented at the conference, Early Maritime Cultures of the East African Coast, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 23-24, 2015. Rather than limiting publication to the proceedings of the conference, additional contributions were solicited to expand the scope of the research presented and to place East Africa in its broader geographic and cultural contexts. The resulting volume focuses broadly on East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean and unites the papers under the general themes of movement and connection.

These papers represent a multi-disciplinary effort to examine East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Multiple lines of evidence drawn from linguistics, archaeology, history, art history, and ethnography come together in novel ways to highlight different aspects of the region’s past and offer innovative avenues for future research. The papers cover a diverse array of topics, including but not limited to: subsistence, watercraft traditions, trade and exchange (especially concerning the Silk Routes), migration, food ways, and familial relationships. This volume is unique in that it includes some speculative research as well, intended to present novel methods to deal with data-poor topics and to start important conversations about understudied topics.

The goal of this volume is to showcase aspects of the complex cultures and histories of this vast region and to emphasize its importance to world history. Ideally, it will generate scholarly and popular interest in the histories and cultures of the region and bring to the fore Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s important (yet often overlooked) role in world historical narratives. It may also serve as a more advanced introduction to East Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s history of interaction with other regions of the Old World and as a survey of methods used to understand the region’s past.

About the Editor
AKSHAY SARATHI is a graduate student of Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the zooarchaeology of maritime adaptations, Indian Ocean trade and exchange, and East African coastal archaeology. More specifically, his current research project focuses on the island of Zanzibar, where he has excavated the sites of Unguja Ukuu, Kizimkazi Dimbani, and Kuumbi Cave. Data from these sites will form the basis of his dissertation, which will examine how dietary preferences changed over time at each site in response to various stimuli over time. He currently resides in Madison, WI (USA) with his two feline overlords.
Une archéologie des provinces septentrionales du royaume Kongo edited by Bernard Clist, Pierre de Maret and Koen Bostoen. Paperback; 205x290mm; 500pp; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (approx. 205 plates in colour). French text throughout. 465 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784919726. £90.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784919733. Book contents pageDownload

Of all the great kingdoms that flourished in Africa, the Kongo is one of the most famous. It remains an important historical and cultural reference for Africans and their diaspora. The KongoKing inter-university project (2012-2016), funded by the European Research Council, aimed, through an interdisciplinary approach, to understand the origin of the kingdom and to shed light on the phenomena of political centralization, economic integration and linguistic evolution that took place there. This book presents in detail the results of archaeological research carried out by the KongoKing project in the former northern provinces of the Kongo Kingdom, currently located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

French Description: De tous les grands royaumes qui fleurirent en Afrique, le royaume Kongo est l’un des plus célèbres. Il reste une référence historique et culturelle importante pour les Africains et leur diaspora. Entraînés très tôt dans le commerce de traite, les esclaves originaires de la région font que du Brésil à New York, en passant par les Caraïbes, la culture Kongo a laissé de nombreuses traces.

Le projet interuniversitaire KongoKing (2012-2016), financé par le Conseil Européen de la Recherche a été coordonné par Koen Bostoen, tandis que Bernard Clist et Pierre de Maret en ont dirigé le volet archéologique. Ce projet visait par une approche interdisciplinaire à comprendre l’origine du royaume et à éclairer les phénomènes de la centralisation politique, d’intégration économique et d’évolution linguistique qui s’y sont déroulés .

Cet ouvrage présente de façon détaillée les résultats des recherches archéologiques menées par le projet KongoKing dans les anciennes provinces septentrionales du royaume Kongo, situées actuellement en République Démocratique du Congo. Dans une première partie on présente le contexte général, l’évolution du milieu, l’histoire du groupe linguistique kikongo et ce que l'on sait des périodes qui précèdent le royaume, ainsi que des informations récoltées dans diverses sources historiques sur ces provinces. Les prospections et fouilles des différents sites étudiés sont ensuite présentées. Puis vient le bilan des recherches archéologiques avec une synthèse des datations, une esquisse de la séquence chrono-culturelle de la poterie kongo et les études systématiques des différents types de vestiges récoltés. Pour conclure, on présente la synthèse de l'ensemble de ces découvertes et la façon dont celles-ci viennent compléter les données issues des autres disciplines pour éclairer d'un jour nouveau l'histoire du royaume Kongo.

BERNARD CLIST est actuellement professeur invité de l’Université de Gand (UGent). Il est archéologue depuis 38 ans, spécialiste de l’Afrique centrale où il a dirigé des projets de recherches notamment en Angola, Cameroun, Gabon et Guinée-Equatoriale. Entre 1985 et 1995 il a été le responsable du Département d’Archéologie du CICIBA au Gabon qu’il a créé. Il a aussi réalisé de nombreuses Etudes d’Impact Environnemental pour des sociétés américaines, britanniques, françaises au Gabon et en Zambie. Pendant toutes ces années, il a publié ou co-publié plus de 130 articles et 8 ouvrages. Entre 2015 et 2016, il a contribué à la version finale du dossier de classement par l’UNESCO du centre historique de Mbanza Kongo au Patrimoine Mondial de l’Humanité, chose acquise en juillet 2017.

PIERRE DE MARET est professeur d’anthropologie et d’archéologie à l’Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) dont il a été le recteur, et Honorary professor à l’University College de Londres. Il poursuit depuis plus de 45 ans des recherches sur le terrain en Afrique centrale et est l’auteur de nombreuses publications sur l’histoire précoloniale, l’anthropologie économique et appliquée, et la gestion culturelle. Membre de l’Académie Royale de Belgique, il est aussi président du conseil scientifique du Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale (MRAC)
Ceramic manufacturing techniques and cultural traditions in Nubia from the 8th to the 3rd millennium BC Examples from Sai Island by Giulia D’Ercole. xviii+186 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (33 colour plates). 41 2017 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 96. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784916718. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916725. Book contents pageDownload

In Sudan the first ceramic containers appeared at the beginning of the 9th millennium BC, with the earliest dates c. 8700 BC from Sorourab 2, in Central Sudan, and c. 8600 BC from the district of Amara West, in Northern Sudan.

This book presents a comprehensive critical analysis of diverse ceramic assemblages from Sai Island, in the Middle Nile Valley of Northern Sudan, on the border between ancient Upper and Lower Nubia. The assemblages included in this study cover about five millennia, spanning the period c. 8000 to c. 2500 BC. They go from the initial appearance of ceramic technology within hunting-fishing-gathering communities living in permanent or semi-permanent settlements (locally named ‘Khartoum Variant’ or ‘Mesolithic’ horizon: c. 7600–4800 BC), through the ceramic productions of the first ‘Neolithic’ pastoral societies (Abkan horizon: c. 5550−3700 BC), to those of the Pre-Kerma Nubian culture (c. 3600−2500 BC).

A thorough stylistic macroscopic observation of the finds is integrated with a solid technological approach by means of archaeometric petrographic (OM), mineralogical (XRPD) and chemical (XRF) analyses. Data are discussed and compared across a broad geographical area, including Lower and Upper Nubia, Central Sudan and the Egyptian Western Desert. They provide an original synthesis and interpretation of the ceramic traditions in Nubia and Sudan and propose a critical review of the debate on the invention of pottery and the functional and cultural reasons for the emergence of the ceramic technology.
The Cutting Edge: Khoe-San rock-markings at the Gestoptefontein-Driekuil engraving complex, North West Province, South Africa by Jeremy Charles Hollmann. xx+394 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 40 2017 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 97. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784917036. £60.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917043. Book contents pageDownload

This book addresses the rock engravings on the wonderstone hills just outside Ottosdal, North West province, South Africa. Wonderstone is remarkable rock that is smooth, shiny and very easy to mark. The wonderstone occurs only on two adjacent farms, Gestoptefontein and Driekuil, and thus the rock art on the wonderstone outcrops is referred to as the Gestoptefontein- Driekuil complex (GDC). This rock art is now the only remaining trace of what must once have been a much larger complex of engravings. Sadly, much of the rock art has been destroyed in the course of mining activities, with very few records. The largest remaining outcrop is still threatened by potential mining activities. The study attempts to bring this disastrous and unacceptable situation to the attention of the public and the heritage authorities, who have so far failed to respond to applications to grant the sites protection. It therefore has two main aims: to locate and record as much of the rock art as possible and to understand the significance of the outcrops in the lives of the people who made them.

Based on the rock art itself, as well as what little historical evidence is available, it is argued that the rock art was made by Khoe-San people during the performance of important ceremonies and other activities. The rock art has two main components: engravings of referential motifs and a gestural, or performative, element. The referential motifs depict a range of things: anthropomorphs and zoomorphs, decorative designs, items of clothing, as well as ornaments and decorations. The gestural markings were made by rubbing, cutting and hammering the soft wonderstone, probably in the course of a range of activities that people carried out on the outcrops.
Le massif de Lovo, sur les traces du royaume de Kongo Volume 1 by Geoffroy Heimlich. xiv+196; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white with 76 plates in colour. French text. 500+ page annex volume available online as a free-to-download PDF. 35 2017 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 95. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784916343. £42.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916350. Book contents pageDownload

Unlike the Sahara or Southern Africa, the rock art of Central Africa is still largely unknown today. Despite being reported as early as the 16th century by Diego del Santissimo Sacramento, the rock art of the Kongo Central, an area encompassing parts of modern day Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Gabon, has never been widely researched and its age remains uncertain.

Populated by the Ndibu, one of the Kongo subgroups, the Lovo massif is in the north of the ancient kingdom of Kongo. Even though this kingdom has, since 1500 AD, been one of the best documented in Africa, from historical sources as well as ethnographic and anthropological sources for the more recent periods, it remains largely unrecognized archaeologically. With 102 sites inventoried (including 16 ornate caves), it contains the largest concentration of rock art sites in the region, representing more than 5000 rock art images.

Crossing ethnological, historical, archaeological and mythological points of view, this book illustrates that rock art played an important part in Kongo culture. Like historical sources or oral traditions, it can provide historians with important documentation and contribute significantly to the reconstruction of Africa's past.

French description: À la différence des arts rupestres du Sahara ou d’Afrique australe, ceux d’Afrique centrale restent encore aujourd’hui largement méconnus. Bien que signalé dès le XVIe par Diego del Santissimo Sacramento, l’art rupestre du Kongo Central n’a jamais fait l’objet d’une recherche de grande ampleur et son âge reste toujours incertain. Peuplé par les Ndibu, un des sous-groupes kongo, le massif de Lovo se trouve dans le nord de l’ancien royaume de Kongo. Même si ce royaume est, à partir de 1500, l’un des mieux documentés de toute l’Afrique tant par les sources historiques que par les sources ethnographiques et anthropologiques pour les périodes plus récentes, il reste largement méconnu sur le plan archéologique. Avec 102 sites inventoriés (dont 16 grottes ornées), il contient la plus importante concentration de sites rupestres de toute la région, ce qui représente plus de 5000 images rupestres. En croisant les points de vue ethnologique, historique, archéologique et mythologique, j’ai pu montrer que l’art rupestre a bel et bien une part importante dans la culture kongo. Au même titre que les sources historiques ou les traditions orales, il peut apporter aux historiens une documentation de premier plan et contribuer à reconstruire le passé de l’Afrique.

Biographie: Expert au comité de l’ICOMOS pour l’art rupestre (CAR) et pour la gestion du patrimoine archéologique (ICAHM), Geoffroy Heimlich est docteur en archéologie auprès de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles et en histoire auprès de l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Sous la codirection de Pierre de Maret et Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, sa recherche doctorale a porté sur l’art rupestre du Kongo Central, en République démocratique du Congo. Il est actuellement chercheur associé, en France, à l’Institut des mondes africains (IMAF) et, en Belgique, au Centre de recherches en archéologie et patrimoine (CReA-Patrimoine) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles et au Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale de Tervuren, ainsi qu’en Afrique du Sud, Honorary research fellow au Rock Art Research Institute de l’Université de Witwatersrand, à Johannesburg. Depuis 2016, il est également directeur de la mission archéologique « Lovo » du Ministère français des Affaires étrangères, en République démocratique du Congo et en Angola.
Eastern Sudan in its Setting The archaeology of a region far from the Nile Valley by Andrea Manzo. viii+82 pages; illustrated throughout with 38 colour plates. 24 2017 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 94. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784915582. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915599. Book contents pageDownload

Eastern Sudan, like other regions far away from the Nile valley, has often been overlooked historically on account of a kind of prejudice towards areas lacking in monumental or urban remains or evidence of any literary production. Despite the relevance of the deserts and marginal areas becoming increasingly evident in the last year or so, in Sudan only a few research projects have been conducted in these regions. The ongoing research project in Eastern Sudan by the University ‘L’Orientale’ has provided a preliminary reconstruction of the history of the region from c. 6000 BC to AD 1500. This publication outlines this reconstruction and also considers the more general setting known for the other regions of northeastern Africa. Several issues remain to be clarified and understanding of some phases is still limited, nevertheless it can be safely stated that Eastern Sudan, was in ancient times, as it is now, a crossroads between the Nile basin, Eastern Desert, the Ethio-Eritrean highlands and the Red Sea, represented a crucial region in several respects: the spread of domestic crops and animals towards the Ethio-Eritrean highlands, the spread of the Sahelian crops towards India via the Red Sea and Arabia, as well as the long-distance trade network characterizing northeastern Africa in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC.

Access Archaeology: This imprint is designed to make archaeological research accessible to all and to present a low-cost (or no-cost) publishing solution for academics from all over the world. Material ranges from theses, conference proceedings, catalogues of archaeological material, excavation reports and beyond. We provide type-setting guidance and templates for authors to prepare material themselves designed to be made available for free online via our Open Access platform and to supply in-print to libraries and academics worldwide at a reasonable price point. Click here to learn more about publishing in Access Archaeology.

Archival Theory, Chronology and Interpretation of Rock Art in the Western Cape, South Africa by Siyakha Mguni. vi+156 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 20 2016 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 93. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784914462. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914479. Book contents pageDownload

Since absolute dating of rock art is limited, relative chronologies remain useful in contextualising interpretations of ancient images. This book advocates the archival capacity of rock art and uses archival perspectives to analyse the chronology of paintings in order to formulate a framework for their historicised interpretations. The Western Cape painting sequence is customarily accepted to include the hunter-gatherer phase from c. 10,000 BP, pastoralism from c. 2,000 BP and finally the historical-cum-colonial period several centuries ago. Painting traditions with distinct depiction manners and content are conventionally linked to these broad periods. This study evaluates this schema in order to refine the diverse hunter-gatherer, herder and colonial era painting contexts and histories. Using superimpositions as one analytical tool, the notion of datum aided the referencing and correlation of layered imagery into a relative sequence. Although broad differences separate painting traditions, and these variations are generally indistinguishable within a single tradition, it is clear that the long-spanning hunter-gatherer segment of painting in this region reflects a hitherto unrecognised sub-tradition. Some painted themes such as elephants, fat-tailed sheep, handprints and possibly finger dots occur within various levels of the sequence, which this study views as shared graphic fragments occurring between and across traditions and sub-traditions. Through the archival concept of respect des fonds such observable complexities were clarified as coherent graphic narratives that run through the entire chronological sequence of the Western Cape rock paintings. Probing archaeological, ethnographic and historical sources revealed that while these themes remained fundamentally consistent throughout the stratigraphic sequence as preferred subject matter, their meanings might have transformed subliminally from earlier to later periods, possibly reflecting layered shifts in the socio-economic, cultural and political circumstances of the region. Fundamentally, the framework of image histories shown by the choice and sustenance of specific themes is understood to mean that their significance and specific graphic contexts throughout the chronological sequence are pivoted and mirrored through the long established hunter-gatherer rock paintings which predate periods of contact with other cultures. The resulting sequence and interpretation of these painted themes is a descriptive and organisational template reflecting the original organic character in the creation of the paintings and ordered cultural continuities in the use of animal/human symbolism. This book’s agenda in part involves reviewing the Western Cape’s changing social and historical landscape to show variation in painting over time and to project possible interpretative transformations. Painting sequences and cultural (dis)continuities are thus intricately entwined and can be disentangled through a recursive analytical relationship between archaeology, ethnography and history. This amalgamated analytical approach produces historicised narratives and contextual meanings for the rock paintings.

Access Archaeology: This imprint is designed to make archaeological research accessible to all and to present a low-cost (or no-cost) publishing solution for academics from all over the world. Material ranges from theses, conference proceedings, catalogues of archaeological material, excavation reports and beyond. We provide type-setting guidance and templates for authors to prepare material themselves designed to be made available for free online via our Open Access platform and to supply in-print to libraries and academics worldwide at a reasonable price point.

Reinterpreting chronology and society at the mortuary complex of Jebel Moya (Sudan) by Michael Jonathan Brass. xii+192 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 18 2016 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 92. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784914318. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914325. Book contents pageDownload

Jebel Moya (south-central Sudan) is the largest known pastoral cemetery in sub- Saharan Africa with more than 3100 excavated human burials. This research revises our understanding of Jebel Moya and its context. After reviewing previous applications of social complexity theory to mortuary data, new questions are posed for the applicability of such theory to pastoral cemeteries. Reliable radiometric dating of Jebel Moya for the first time by luminescence dates is tied in to an attribute-based approach to discern three distinctive pottery assemblages. Three distinct phases of occupation are recognised: the first two (early fifth millennium BC, and the mid-second to early first millennium BC) from pottery sherds, and the third (first century BC - sixth century AD) with habitation and the vast majority of the mortuary remains. Analytically, new statistical and spatial analyses such as cross-pair correlation function and multi-dimensional scaling provide information on zones of interaction across the mortuary assemblages. Finally, an analysis of mortuary locales contemporary with phase three (Meroitic and post-Meroitic periods) from the central Sudan and Upper and Lower Nubia are examined to show how changing social, economic and power relations were conceptualised, and to highlight Jebel Moya’s potential to serve as a chronological and cultural reference point for future studies in south-central and southern Sudan.

Access Archaeology: Our newest imprint is designed to make archaeological research accessible to all and to present a low-cost (or no-cost) publishing solution for academics from all over the world. Material will range from theses, conference proceedings, catalogues of archaeological material, excavation reports and beyond. We will provide type-setting guidance and templates for authors to prepare material themselves designed to be made available for free online via our Open Access platform and to supply in-print to libraries and academics worldwide at a reasonable price point. Click here to learn more about publishing in Access Archaeology.

Sailing the Red Sea: ships, infrastructure, seafarers and society Chapter 5.1 from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea by Cheryl Ward. 115-123.Download

Sailing along the coast reinforces the benefits of long-established Indian Ocean monsoon and trade patterns that extended into the Red Sea. Vastly profitable and culturally significant expeditions and fleets channelled people and exotic animals from giraffes to elephants, Chinese porcelains, coffee, incense, textiles and other goods into a durable, if episodic, infrastructure of coastal sites in a pattern that endured for thousands of years. The acquisition and influx of exotic materials established economic and social interactions illuminated by recent archaeological exploration of anchorages, harbours, shipwrecks and other installations. New data from Red Sea sites offer a basis for examining the development of extensive maritime systems from the middle of the third millennium BCE through the early modern era.

This paper is taken from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea edited by Dionisius A. Agius, Timmy Gambin and Athena Trakadas with contributions by Harriet Nash, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Kenyan Stone Age: the Louis Leakey Collection Chapter 3 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Ceri Shipton. 35-51.Download

This chapter begins by briefly outlining Leakey’s early career, from which the PRM collections largely derive (3.2). It then outlines the unprovenanced and mixed assemblages (3.3), and Neolithic (3.4), Late Stone Age (LSA) (3.5), Middle Stone Age (MSA) (3.6), and Early Stone Age (ESA) material. A Conclusion (3.8) considers the significance and potential of the Kenyan material. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Later Holocene Africa Chapter 8 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Paul Lane. 122-168.Download

The Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) holds an assorted range of post-‘Stone Age’/later Holocene archaeological materials from Africa. Overall, the PRM database indicates that the total possible number of later Holocene archaeological objects from Africa is c. 7,419 (c. 69% is currently confirmed as archaeological on the database and c. 31% is possibly archaeological). In all, only 11 countries are definitely represented, if one includes Egypt and Sudan (see also Chapters 5, 6 and 7), by a total of c. 5,112 items. With the exception of Cape Verde and Algeria, all of these were either former British colonies or subject to periods of shared British rule. A further c. 2,307 items that are probably of a post-Stone Age archaeological origin are recorded as possibly ‘archaeological’ on the PRM database. These derive from 22 countries, with the largest collections (> 50 objects) being from Zimbabwe (c. 4,484 artefacts), South Africa (c. 961 artefacts), Sudan (c. 693 artefacts), Ghana (c. 318 artefacts), Nigeria (c. 286 artefacts), the Canaries (c. 217 artefacts), Egypt (c. 212 artefacts), Tanzania (c. 142 artefacts) and Cape Verde (c. 59 artefacts) (Figure 8.1). Of these 22 countries, 13 were either former British Colonies or subject to periods of shared British rule, and it is material from these territories that dominate. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Stone Age North Africa Chapter 4 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Nick Barton. 52-59.Download

A substantial part of North Africa lies within the confines of the Sahara, which today covers a land area of over nine million km2. Only a tiny fraction of this area has been adequately surveyed or mapped for archaeological sites, which makes the Stone Age material in the Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) collections of particular value for researchers into the Palaeolithic. The majority of artefacts derived from the activities of collectors during the colonial periods of the 1920s and 1930s, and during the occupation of North Africa by Allied forces in the Second World War. The existence of related collections of Stone Age material in other UK museums, especially the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the British Museum, further enhances the historical importance of the PRM collection from this region. Of relevance too are the archives of individual collectors that survive in various institutions, and could provide useful sources for future work such as the C.G. Seligman diaries in the London School of Economics.1 The North African finds complement the PRM’s Stone Age holdings from sub-Saharan Africa (cf. Chapter 2).

This Chapter introduces the PRM collection and collectors from Stone Age North Africa (4.2), and a series of overviews of the collections by country (4.3), before drawing brief conclusions about the character and significance of the collections (4.4).Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Stone Age Sub-Saharan Africa Chapter 2 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Peter Mitchell. 16-34.Download

With over 17,611 artefacts, the Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) has, after the British Museum, one of the United Kingdom’s largest and most diverse collections of ‘Stone Age’ archaeological finds from sub-Saharan Africa. These artefacts – almost all of them stone tools – come from a wide variety of countries and span virtually all periods of the African past, from the early hominins who made Oldowan choppers to the last few centuries of hunter-gatherer presence in South Africa (cf. Chapter 8). These collections and their accompanying documentation provide insights not only into the history of the PRM, but also into the broader history of collecting Africa’s past, its recognition by European science as a worthwhile subject of study, and the formative stages of African archaeology as a recognizable academic discipline. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Egypt and Sudan: Mesolithic to Early Dynastic Period Chapter 5 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Alive Stevenson. 60-89.Download

W.M. Flinders Petrie, the pioneering archaeologist, was suspicious of museums. He suggested that they were ‘dangerous places’: ‘ghastly charnel-houses of murdered evidence’ (Petrie 1904a: 48). Reflecting upon these concerns a century later, however, we might have a more positive outlook. In large measure this is due to the opportunities afforded by some of the earliest fieldwork documentation practices instituted by Petrie and his colleagues, which sought to ensure that ‘a fit curator may succeed in reuniting the long-severed information’ (ibid.: 49). Many Egyptian archaeological collections today thus have significant research potential, including those at the Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM). Today, the PRM holds c. 15,639 archaeological artefacts from Egypt and Sudan (excluding Palaeolithic material – see Chapter 4 above). Ancient Egypt often has a prominent position in western museum displays. Even in the PRM, where objects from different times and places jostle for visibility, Egyptian artefacts have their own dedicated space in Case 7A of the Court. Within this cabinet are presented some examples of the most iconic of Egyptian objects – mummified remains and coffins (e.g. 1887.1.481, 1945.6.1). And elsewhere in the PRM, ancient Egyptian material culture is also well represented relative to other areas and periods of archaeology. There are some 280 further Egyptian archaeological artefacts interspersed throughout the thematic cases of the galleries, many of which are as equally recognizable as the coffins and mummies, such as those objects that have hieroglyphs or hieratic inscribed upon them. They include the Oxford Bowl (1887.27.1, Figure 5.1), upon which is written one of only about twenty known ‘Letters to the Dead’ (Gardiner and Seth 1928; see 6.4.1 below). Other types of items on display in the PRM, and commonly found in other museums, are Predynastic black-topped and painted vessels, and bronze statuettes of deities and priests made in the first millennium BCE, such as the bronze figure of a cat representing the goddess Bast, from the PRM founding collection (1884.58.79; Figure 5.2). Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
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