Jclark Desmond

General History of Africa/Volume 1/From the Earliest Times to c. 500 B.C.

J. Clark Desmond
J. Desmond Clark. 1916-2002

The Cambridge History of Africa
Volume 1. From the Earliest Times to c. 500 B.C.

J. Desmond Clark, ed. 1982. illus. 58 maps 27 tables. 1173 pages

Cambridge History of Africa. Volume 1

This volume of the Cambrigde History of Africa provides the first relatively complete and authoritative survey of African prehistory from the time of the first hominids in the Plio-Pleistone up to the spread of iron technology after c.500 B.C. The volume therefore sets the stage for the history of the continent contained in the subsequent volumes. The material remains of past human life recovered by excavation are described and interpreted in the light of palaeo-ecological evidence, primate studies and ethnographic observation, to provide a record of the evolving skills and adaptive behaviour of the prehistoric populations. The unique discoveries in East and South Africa of early hominid fossils, stone tools and other surviving evidence are discussed with full documentation, leading on to the coming of Modern Man (with new evidence showing the much greater antiquity of the ‘Middle Stone Age’ in the continent than had previously been thought) and the beginning of regional patterning. The volume provides a survey of the now considerable material showing the different ways of life in the forests, savannas and arid zones during the ‘Later Stone Age’, from its beginnings some 20,000 years ago. The divergence in cultural patternings between northern Africa and those parts of the continent south of the Sahara now becomes more apparent. Following an account of the evidence for the origins and spread of domesticates and the beginnings of village farming, the volume concludes with three chapters that trace the development of urban centres and of the political state in the Nile Valley and the changing administrative, socio-economic and religious aspects of Egyptian civilization from the Pre-Dynastic up to the Late Period.


List of figures

List of plates

  1. The palaeo-ecology of the African continent: the physical environment of Africa from the earliest geological to Later Stone Age times
    by Karl W. Butzer, Department of Anthropology, Universie of Chicago, Illinois, and H. B. S. Cooke, Department of Geology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
    The evolution of the continent
    The Africa of the earliest tool-makers
    The Africa of Acheulian man
    The Africa of the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age
  2. Origins and evolution of African Hominidae
    by F. Clark Howell, Department of Anthropology, University of Caliornia, Berkeley
    Stratigraphic and geographic setting
    The genus Homo Linnaeus, 1758
    Coexistence of hominid taxa
    Cultural associations
    Palaeo-environmental settings
  3. The earliest archaeological traces
    by Glynn Ll. Isaac, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
    Introduction to the evidence
    East Africa
    Southern Africa
    The Congo basin and adjoining areas
    Tropical West Africa
    Northwest Africa and the Sahara
    The Nile Valley and adjoining desert oases
    Some generalizations and interpretations
  4. The cultures of the Middle Palaeolithic/Middle Stone Age
    by J. Desmond Clark, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
    Origins and chronology
    North Africa
    Ethiopia and the Horn
    East Africa
    West Africa and the forest/savanna regions of Equatoria
    The woodlands and grasslands of south central Africa
    Southern Africa
    Middle Stone Age traditions
    Human remains
    Middle Stone Age regional patterning, behaviour and economy
  5. The Late Palaeolithic and Epi-Palaeolithic of northern Africa
    by Philip E. L. Smith, Département d’Anthropologie, Université de Montréal
    Cyrenaica and northern Libya
    The lower Nile Valley and adjacent oases
    The Maghrib
    The Sahara
    The early art of North Africa
    Physical types and races in North Africa
    Conclusions and interpretations
  6. The Later Stone Age in sub-Saharan Africa
    by D. W. Phillipson, Department of Archaeology, Ethnography and History, Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries
    Archaeological evidence for the Later Stone Age of sub-Saharan Africa
    West Africa
    The central Sudan and the Congo basin
    Eastern Africa
    Ethiopia and the Horn
    South central Africa
    Southern Africa
    The industrial successions
    Physical anthropology
    Economic summary
    Rock art
  7. The rise of civilization in Egypt
    by B. G. Trigger, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal
    Predynastic Egypt
    Early Dynastic Egypt
    Appendix: chronology of the Early Dynastic Period
  8. Beginnings of pastoralism and cultivation in north-west Africa and the Sahara: origins of the Berbers
    translated from the French of G. Camps, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie et de Préhistoire des Pays de la Méditerranée occidentale, Université de Provence
    The spread of the Neolithic
    The Saharan- Sudanese Neolithic
    The pastoral Neolithic of the Bovidians and the Ténéréan
    The Mediterranean Neolithic
    The Neolithic of Capsian Tradition and the rock art of the Atlas
    The Metal Age and the origins of the Berbers
  9. The origins of indigenous African agriculture
    by Jack R. Harlan, Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Urbana, Illinois
    Nature of the evidence
    Principles of plant domestication
    The savanna complex
    The forest-margin complex
    The Ethiopian complex
    Migration of African crops to Asia
    Imported crop complexes
    Indigenous agricultural techniques
    Agriculture and religious outlook
  10. Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period in Egypt
    by Barry J. Kemp, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge
    Divine kingship
    The royal family
    The central administration
    Pious foundations
    The Memphite court cemeteries
    Provincial Egypt
    The First Intermediate Period
    The African hinterland
    Egypt and the Mediterranean world
    The Second Intermediate Period in Egypt
    The Second Intermediate Period in Nubia
    The Theban defeat of the Hyksos and of Kush
    Explanations of historical change in the Old and Middle Kingdoms
  11. Early food production in sub-Saharan Africa
    by D. W. Phillipson
    West Africa
    The Congo basin
    Eastern Africa
    South central Africa
    South Africa
  12. Egypt, 1552—664 BC
    by David O’Connor, University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
    The Egyptian world-view
    Internal history
    The New Kingdom
    The Third Intermediate Period
    The onset of the Late Period
    Egypt’s relations with Africa
    Relations with Kush and the eastern desert
    Egypt and Punt
    Egypt and Libya
    Appendix: the toponyms of Nubia and of contiguous regions in the New Kingdom

Bibliographical essays




Bienvenue dans mon monde d'exploration et de découverte ! Je suis Ingrid Allain, une voyageuse passionnée avec une curiosité insatiable pour la riche tapisserie de la culture africaine. Pour moi, l'Afrique n'est pas juste une destination ; c'est une fascination de toute une vie et une source d'inspiration. Des rythmes vibrants des cercles de tambours d'Afrique de l'Ouest à la perlerie complexe des artisans Maasaï, chaque coin de ce continent détient un trésor de traditions à découvrir. À travers mes écrits, je vise à partager la beauté, la diversité et la résilience des cultures africaines avec le monde. E-mail: [email protected] / Linkedin
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