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TOWARDS A COMPARATIVE ARCHAEOLOGY OF AFRICA’S ISLANDS

TOWARDS A COMPARATIVE ARCHAEOLOGY OF AFRICA’S ISLANDS Island archaeology is a well-established and increasingly active field of the wider discipline. Most studies, however, draw solely upon Pacific and Mediterranean examples, with Africa’s islands correspondingly neglected. This paper reviews previous archaeological work on Africa’s islands and asks what could be obtained from more systematic research on them. Several themes are identified, to all of which a comparative archaeology of Africa’s islands could contribute: patterns of colonisation and abandonment; transformations of island ecology wrought by human settlement; the role of islands in systems of international trade; the establishment of plantation economies; and the constitution and development of distinctive island cultures. Emphasis is also placed on the contribution that such a comparative archaeology could make to island archaeology as a whole and to enhancing the global profile of Africanist archaeological research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

TOWARDS A COMPARATIVE ARCHAEOLOGY OF AFRICA’S ISLANDS

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 2 (2): 229 – Oct 25, 2004

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2004 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Island archaeology is a well-established and increasingly active field of the wider discipline. Most studies, however, draw solely upon Pacific and Mediterranean examples, with Africa’s islands correspondingly neglected. This paper reviews previous archaeological work on Africa’s islands and asks what could be obtained from more systematic research on them. Several themes are identified, to all of which a comparative archaeology of Africa’s islands could contribute: patterns of colonisation and abandonment; transformations of island ecology wrought by human settlement; the role of islands in systems of international trade; the establishment of plantation economies; and the constitution and development of distinctive island cultures. Emphasis is also placed on the contribution that such a comparative archaeology could make to island archaeology as a whole and to enhancing the global profile of Africanist archaeological research.

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2004

Keywords: African islands; island archaeology; colonisation; trade; island ecology; plantation slavery; Creole communities

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