Pastoralists, Warriors and Colonists: The Archaeology of Southern Madagascar. By Mike Parker Pearson with Karen Godden, Ramilisonina, Retsihisatse, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Georges Heurtebize, Chantal Radimilahy and Helen Smith with contributions by Irene de Luis, David Baker, Seth Priestman, Lucien Rakotozafy, Bako Rasoarifetra, Alan Vince, Zoë Crossland and Brian Boyd. BAR International Series 2139, Archaeopress, 2010, 725 pp. ISBN 9781-4073-0608-3. £ 95.00. In terms of African archaeology southern Madagascar is virtually a blank -- or has been until now. It is as near terra incognita to archaeologists as anywhere gets, off-shore, beyond the reaches of the trade winds which otherwise connect up the western Indian Ocean with the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, India and wider oceanic economic and demographic contacts. The island itself was not even properly colonised until the mid to late first century AD, seemingly very late for a landmass of that size, particularly given its location just over the horizon from the African coast. A full survey of northern Madagascar by Pierre véRin (1986) has significantly contributed to knowledge of the interactions taking place right at the southern edge of the Indian Ocean monsoonal wind system with all its maritime implications. Central Madagascar is also well-recorded.
Journal of African Archaeology – Brill
Published: Oct 25, 2011
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