A decade, or slightly more, after his first book devoted to African pastoralism (SMITH A.B. 1992, Pastoralism in Africa: origins and development ecology. Hurst, London), Andrew Smith collected and organized a new work entirely devoted to this crucial subject. Looking at the recent literature, we are well aware of a renewed interest in the historical background of pastoral societies in the African continent, as well as cultural trajectories and social problems all of them based on `archaeological' data, but with an eye on ethno-archaeological comparisons, animal diseases, rock art studies, and so on (e.g., MARSHALL & HILDEBRAND 2000; GIFFORD-GONZALEZ 2000; HOLL 2004). The work by Andrew Smith is different. Consisting of 8 chapters, the book opens with an introduction to African herders (Chapter 1), followed by a series of discussions related to the material culture of nomads (Chapter 2); the problem of domestication is analyzed for both Old World (i.e., Near East) and North Africa (Chapters 3 and 4); ethnographic and ethno- archaeological problems are discussed in the chapter devoted to modern Saharan herders (Chapter 5); while the spread of domestic animals across Africa is central to Chapter 6; the position of cattle within African pastoral societies,
Journal of African Archaeology – Brill
Published: Oct 25, 2005
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