African Archaeology: From Caves to Capitals
The archaeology of Africa is a rich and complex subject. It dissolves the myth of a ‘dark continent’ devoid of history, and reveals instead the diversity of the African experience. By exploring this largely unwritten past, we discover Africa’s significant contribution to our shared human heritage, and come to better understand the challenges the continent faces in the 21st century.
From human origins to the development of agriculture and the rise of complex societies, this course offers a broad introduction to the archaeology of the African continent. We explore key research themes and engage with interdisciplinary methodologies that include physical and cultural anthropology, written and oral histories, environmental studies and ethnography.
We will examine important archaeological research from the Sahara to South Africa, and learn how the continent has long played a dynamic cultural and economic role on the global stage.
Please note: this is a small group course. Places are limited, and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
In this course we explore the following topics:
- Introducing Africa: An archaeological perspective
- Early hominins and the emergence of modern humans
- The archaeology and achievements of hunter-gatherers
- The development of herding and farming
- Craft production, urbanisation and the rise of political complexity
Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
- Discuss some of the most important archaeological sites of the sub-continent and key events in African prehistory;
- Examine how different peoples and cultures of Africa are represented in the archaeological record;
- Debate some of the key theoretical and methodological issues in African archaeology.
Dr. Mark Anderson specialises in field archaeology, the anthropology of ritual and religion, the formation of complex societies, and the archaeology and cultures of Africa.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.