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African Civilizations
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  • 59 b/w illus. 18 maps
  • Page extent: 358 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 967/.01
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: DT352.3 .C66 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Africa, Sub-Saharan--Antiquities
    • Africa, Sub-Saharan--Civilization
    • Prehistoric peoples--Africa, Sub-Saharan
    • Excavations (Archaeology)--Africa, Sub-Saharan

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521596909 | ISBN-10: 0521596904)

DOI: 10.2277/0521596904

  • Also available in Hardback
  • Published March 2001

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)



This edition of African Civilizations, first published in 2001, re-examines the physical evidence for developing social complexity in tropical Africa over the last four thousand years. Graham Connah focuses upon the archaeological research of two key aspects of complexity, urbanism and state formation, in seven main areas of Africa: Nubia, Ethiopia, the West African savanna, the West African forest, the East African coast and islands, the Zimbabwe Plateau, and parts of Central Africa. The book's main concern is to review the available evidence in its varied environmental setting, and to consider possible explanations of the developments that gave rise to it. Extensively illustrated, including new maps and plans, and offering an extended bibliography, this book provides essential reading for students of archaeology, anthropology, African history, black studies, and social geography.

• Second edition of a book reprinted nine times since original publication in 1987 and still in print, now thoroughly revised, updated and restructured • Discusses archaeological evidence for cultural sophistication in precolonial tropical Africa, and the dynamic relationships between human societies and their environment • Extensively illustrated, with specially drawn maps and plans, and contains detailed bibliography providing vital introduction to relevant literature


1. The context; 2. Birth on the Nile: the Nubian achievement; 3. The benefits of isolation: the Ethiopian Highlands; 4. An optimal zone: the West African savanna; 5. Brilliance beneath the trees: the West African forest and its fringes; 6. The edge or the centre: cities of the East African coast and islands; 7. A question of context: Great Zimbabwe and related sites; 8. In the heart of Africa: the Upemba Depression and the Interlacustrine Region; 9. What are the common denominators?


'Professor Connah's new edition retains the broad vision of his first and the organizing principles so convenient for archaeologists.' Antiquity

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