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Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology

Numbered book series consisting of monographs,excavation reports, catalogues of archaeological material, and conference proceedings relating to archaeological researches on the African continent.

Series Editors: Laurence Smith (Cambridge University), Brian Stewart (Cambridge University), Stephanie Wynne-Jones (York University)

Standing order reference: CMAA

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Foragers in the middle Limpopo Valley: Trade, Place-making, and Social Complexity by Tim Forssman. Paperback; 203x276mm; 140 pages; 54 figures, 13 tables (colour throughout). 122 2020 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 100. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789696851. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789696868. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Between the last centuries BC and the early second millennium AD, central southern Africa witnessed massive social change. Several landscapes hosted a variety of socio-political developments that led to the establishment of state-level society at Mapungubwe, c. 1220 AD in the middle Limpopo Valley. These different landscapes were connected through various forms of circuitry, including social, political, economic and topographic networks. While most often these systems and developments are discussed in the context of farmer societies, local forager communities also saw associated shifts. They were present from before the arrival of farmers and not only witnessed but also participated in local systems leading to the appearance of complex society. Despite numerous studies in the valley, this has not been explored; generally, forager involvement in socio-political developments has been ignored and only farmer sequences have been considered. However, from the early first millennium AD, foragers themselves transformed their own society. Changes have been noted in settlement patterns, craft production, trade relations, social interactions, wealth accumulation, and status. Moreover, these changes occurred unevenly across the landscape; at different forager sites, different responses to shifting social networks have been recorded. When viewed together, the spectrum of change suggests that valley foragers developed social complexity.

About the Author
Tim Forssman is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria. Previously, he managed a dam development mitigation project in Lesotho and was a postdoctoral reader at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria. His research interests include forager-farmer interactions, forager economies, trade dynamics, landscape archaeology, and rock art.

Reviews
'In summary, Forssman’s book provides new knowledge of and ideas about hunter-gatherers in the Limpopo Valley during the last 3000 years. His work opens many new avenues for research that I hope will attract students and researchers in the years to come.'—Iris Guillemard, Azania, January 2021
Living with Heritage: The Case of Tsodilo World Heritage Site and Neighbouring Localities by Stella Basinyi. Paperback; 203x276mm; 184 pages; 15 figures; 19 tables (13 pages in colour). (Print RRP £32.00). 95 2019 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 99. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789693041. £32.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789693058. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Cultural Heritage Management in most parts of Africa has been concerned and focused on conservation and preservation of cultural and natural heritage and the development of sites for tourism and economic benefit. In this venture, the tangible heritage such as monuments and landscapes become the focus and of primary significance. Therefore, most efforts have failed to grasp the significance and relevance of cultural heritage to the local communities and the existing traditional and cultural attachment to heritage sites beyond the economic gain. Of late, operational guidelines of the WH Conventions have targeted the engagement of communities in the management of their local heritage and shaping visitor experiences. The major challenge is the implementation of these agreements and restoration of cultural pride in local communities. The communities’ interest in heritage areas has been overshadowed by the perceived idea of economic gain and the global agenda for preservation of monuments for future generation as the foremost primary benefit in heritage over cultural rights and entitlement to heritage sites, present day cultural valuation and traditional use.

In 2008 several heritage sites in Botswana were opened for tourism in addition to the Tsodilo World Heritage Site. Furthermore, in June 2014 the Okavango Delta covering a vast range of land occupied by cultural communities was also inscribed on the World Heritage List, becoming the second World Heritage Site in the country. However, insufficient research and analysis has been undertaken to understand how local communities and local cultures respond to these ventures. The study is case study based, presenting an overview of community transformation and responses to universalized heritage value and collective global view that characterize heritage status of cultural materials and the interactions of local cultures and traditions with the concepts of heritage and culture in heritage sites as globalised platforms. In this regard, it is evident through this study that the interlocutors are aware of their community boundaries and value in response to a national and global process of ‘valuation’ of the heritage site that is not theirs.

About the Author
Stella Basinyi obtained a BA (Humanities) degree in Archaeology and French Language (2006-2009) and Postgraduate Diploma in Education (2010-2011) from the University of Botswana. She pursued an MA in Culture and Environment in Africa (2011-2013) and a PhD in disciplines of Cultural Studies and social Sciences which contributes to a critical inspection of the World Heritage Program.
A Painted Ridge: Rock art and performance in the Maclear District, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa by David Mendel Witelson. Paperback; 203x276mm; x+148 pages; 39 figures (31 colour pages). 91 2019 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 98. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789692440. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789692457. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

A Painted Ridge is a book about the San (Bushmen) practice of rock painting. In it, David Witelson explores a suite of spatially close San rock painting sites in the Maclear District of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. As a suite, the sites are remarkable because, despite their proximity to each other, they share patterns of similarity and simultaneous difference. They are a microcosm that reflects, in a broad sense, a trend found at other painted sites in South Africa. Rather than attempting to explain these patterns chiefly in terms of chronological breaks or cultural discontinuities, this book seeks to understand patterns of similarity and difference primarily in terms of the performative nature of San image-making. In doing so, the bygone and almost unrecorded practice of San rock art is considered relative to ethnographically well-documented and observed forms of San expressive culture. The approach in the book draws on concepts and terminology from the discipline of performance studies to characterise the San practice of image-making as well as to coordinate otherwise disparate ideas about that practice. It is a study that aims to explicate the nuances of what David Lewis-Williams called the ‘production and consumption’ of San rock art.

About the Author
David Mendel Witelson is a doctoral candidate with Professor David Pearce at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Rock Art Research Institute. His doctoral research is on hunter-gatherer rock art in the north Eastern Cape Province of South Africa with a focus on the role that image-making plays in establishing spatial connections and social relations. In addition to rock art, his research interests include the Holocene archaeology of southern Africa, archaeological method and theory, and the intersection of mainstream archaeological and rock art research. He has published previously in the fields of rock art and lithic analysis. David lives in Linden, Johannesburg.
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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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.
Le massif de Lovo, sur les traces du royaume de Kongo – Volume 2: Annexes by Geoffroy Heimlich. 512 pages; full colour throughout. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 95. ISBN 9781784916343vol2. Download Full PDF  

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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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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 Full PDF   Buy Now

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.

Le qṣar, type d’implantation humaine au Sahara: architecture du Sud Algérien by Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya. xiv+340 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 12 colour plates. French text with English abstract. 245 2016 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 91. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784913472. £50.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784913489. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £50.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The qṣar corresponds to a type of human settlement widely distributed in the Sahara desert, including many examples located today in southern Morocco, southern Algeria, southern Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Mali. This architectural model is characterised by its use over a wide-ranging time span – probably since the early first millennium BC according to ancient structures recorded by the archaeologist Mattingly in the Libyan Fazzān.

This volume, through the systematic analysis and comparison of some qṣūr of southeastern Algeria (Rīġ, Mzāb, Miya and al-Manī‘a), reveals common architectural features that can be used to identify a common type of qṣar in this region. The analysis of the construction material shows the primary use of limestone with a local mortar (timchent) and date palm trunks (phoenix dactylifera) for the structural elements (ceilings, doors, arcs, domes). Adobe bricks (ṭūb) are used in the housing and the defence systems punctuated by towers and pierced doors.

Despite a discontinuity within the historical narrative, the establishment of populations in this area of the Sahara appears to be much earlier than the medieval period and the qṣar is certainly not a creation ex nihilo of the modern era. Because of their numerous modifications and extensions over several centuries, the qṣūr problematise the dating of such settlements. However, the comparison of its main components encourages the development of a typology to identify some common characteristics that would help position the qṣar among the urban planning of the dār al-islām.
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