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Around 10, BCE, African hunter-gatherer societies developed microlith technologies. Composite microlithic tools were useful for harvesting wild grasses and also permitted the production of fine shell and bone fish hooks, which may have allowed for the exploitation of a broader range of food resources. All of the specimens belonged to maternal clades associated with either North Africa or the northern and southern Mediterranean littoral, indicating gene flow between these areas since the Epipaleolithic. Cultural developments during the early Neolithic led nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles to be slowly supplanted by pastoralism in northern Africa.


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Farming societies in Africa developed after the origins and spread of livestock pastoralism throughout the continent. Likewise, the early use of metallurgy by farming communities was not developed independently in Africa until around BCE. Pockets of iron usage appeared in subsequent millennia but metal did not supplant stone in the south of the continent until around BCE, when both iron and copper spread southwards through the continent, reaching the Cape around CE.

Although some details regarding the Bantu expansion are still controversial amongst archaeologists, linguists, and historians, the widespread use of iron does seem to have played a major role in the spread of Bantu farming communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This maternal clade is today most closely associated with the Ju, a subgroup of the indigenous San people , which points to population continuity in the region.

Trade with the Near East and Europe led to strong mercantile empires growing such as the Ethiopian kingdom of Axum. The north of the continent had close cultural and economic ties with the Classical and medieval Mediterranean. Cattle herding became important in the Horn of Africa and huge earthwork enclosures were built to corral the animals.

Art and Archeology of Ancient Nubia

The people of Christian Ethiopia produced impressive rock-cut monolithic churches such as that of St George at Lalibela during the 13th century and the first Portuguese forts appeared soon after this, penetrating as far south as Zambia. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archaeology conducted in Africa.

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Main article: Middle Stone Age. Main article: Later Stone Age. Main article: Pastoral Neolithic. Main articles: Iron metallurgy in Africa and Copper metallurgy in Africa. Main article: History of Africa. Africa portal History portal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barham, Lawrence and Mitchell, Peter. Retrieved Journal of Human Evolution.

Lucy: The beginnings of humankind.

The First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers

Simon and Schuster. The archaeology of mind: Standardization and symmetry in lithics and their implications for the study of the evolution of the human mind Order No. Nature : — But How? To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The First Africans African Archaeology From The Earliest Toolmakers To Most Recent Foragers

To ask other readers questions about The First Africans , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 17, Captain Sir Roddy, R. This was a very interesting book, and one that I'm glad that I own and can now access when necessary. The book starts off with an up-to-date interpretation of Pliocene-Pleistocene hominin phylogeny starting with the australopithicines and ending with anatomically mo This was a very interesting book, and one that I'm glad that I own and can now access when necessary.

The book starts off with an up-to-date interpretation of Pliocene-Pleistocene hominin phylogeny starting with the australopithicines and ending with anatomically modern humans.

African Studies Review

The anthropological and archaeological information is very successfully melded with a truly superb assessment of the paleoclimate and ecological conditions across Africa. Additionally, the authors discuss the fossil and archeological evidence in the chronological context of Marine Isotope Stages rather than using the stages of Early, Middle, and Late Stone Age.

This now easily permits comparisons at locales across Europe or Asia. I also appreciated that the authors, as they moved through the archaeological record, continually looped back and described the climate and ecological conditions as well as faunal assemblages that affected hominin life and behavior.

The authors also utilize a regional perspective in describing the fossil and archaeological evidence, backed up with numerous maps, photographs, illustrations and data tables. While this book is probably intended to be used as a textbook in an upper-level undergraduate or graduate school environment, it is eminently readable and even readers with a general understanding of the current state of human origins will find this an interesting and informative book.

My big takeaway in reading this book is that Barham and Mitchell generally adhere to the concept that the "behavioral modernity" of Homo sapiens evolved in a step-wise fashion along with our anatomical modernity. In other words, with the speciation event that gave rise to Homo sapiens about thousand years ago we modern humans began down the road toward behavioral modernity.

Current Anthropology.

The dating and interpretation of a Mode 1 site in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Journal of Human Evolution, 60 5 , Genetic perspectives on forager-farmer interaction in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. Social Brain and Distributed Mind. Dunbar, C. Gowlett Eds. London: British Academy.

Recent excavations at Kalambo Falls, Zambia. Antiquity, , Project gallery. New York: Cambridge University Press. Modern is as modern does? Technological trends and thresholds in the South Central African record. Mellars, C. Boyle Eds. Cambridge: McDonald Institute. The Middle and Later Stone Ages.