Download PDF by David W. Phillipson: African Archaeology

By David W. Phillipson

David Phillipson offers an illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity via eu colonization during this revised and extended variation of his unique paintings. Phillipson considers Egypt and North Africa of their African context, comprehensively reviewing the archaeology of West, East, valuable and Southern Africa. His booklet demonstrates the relevance of archaeological study to knowing modern Africa and stresses the continent's contribution to the cultural history of humankind.

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The most widely accepted evolutionary relationships are indicated by hatched lines; discontinuities by continuous lines. (Australopithecus robustus and A. ) discoveries may necessitate substantial revisions of current interpretations. Figure 6 attempts a summary representation of the system now proposed. It is important to realise that in both southern and eastern Africa the majority of the fossil discoveries have been made within recent years. Study of many is as yet at a preliminary stage, and there is often considerable 24 afric an archaeolog y controversy about their attribution to named species and, on occasion, their dating.

Particularly important examples relate to socio-political evolution and people’s views of history (S. K. McIntosh 1999a; Stahl 2001). It is far more relevant to consider what Africa did achieve, than what it did not (cf. Shaw 1971). It is also pertinent to view the development of African societies, as revealed by archaeology and other disciplines, from an essentially internal viewpoint before comparison is made with their counterparts in other parts of the world. Thus we are able to evaluate African achievements in terms of their African context and to appreciate the range of economic practices, technologies, socio-political systems and beliefs which 14 afric an archaeolog y was developed in the context of varied population densities, physical boundaries, communications and available resources.

10: Skeletons, to the same scale, of 1, gorilla; 2, Australopithecus africanus; 3, Homo sapiens about 450 cubic centimetres, which is approximately the same size as the modern gorilla’s brain. In the gorilla the brain is placed behind the face, and the neck-muscle attachment is at the back of the skull. In modern people, the brain extends above the face, with the development of a true forehead, and the muscle is attached to the base of the skull. In both respects, australopithecines occupy a position intermediate between the gorilla and modern humans.

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