For prehistorians of an earlier generation North Africa was an important staging area for the diffusion of neolithic arts into Western Europe, The light of Egyptian civilization was diffused along the southern Mediterranean until it dimly illuminated the cave dwellers of the Maghreb and Iberia (e.g. Vaufrey, 1955, Forde-Johnston, 1959). Spanish prehistorians, beginning with Bosch-Gimpera, were particularly fervent Africanists: even Martínez Santa Olalla's (1946) terms, ‘Hispanomauritano’ (for the Impressed Ware Culture) and ‘Iberosahariano’ (for the Almeria Culture), gained wide acceptance for a time. Under the influence of Tarradell (1959), Africanism has lost ground even in Spain and more recent syntheses (such as McBurney, 1960) have emphasized the continuing mesolithic tradition in North Africa. Still, the idea of close North AfricanISpanish ‘connexions’ persists even among anti-diffusionists (Renfrew, 1967). A brief review of the Neolithic of the Maghreb is appropriate, therefore, in order to indicate its true importance for Western Mediterranean prehistory.