Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Archaeology of Southern Africa

The Archaeology of Southern Africa


Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: November 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521633895

£ 53.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Some of the earliest human populations lived in Southern Africa, and evidence from sites there has inspired key debates on human origins and on the emergence of modern humans. The sub-continent has one of the world's richest heritages of rock art, and specialists have developed innovative theories about its meaning and significance that have influenced the understanding of rock art everywhere. Passionate arguments about the hunter-gatherer way of life have centred on Southern African cases, and the relationship between archaeological and anthropological data is also central to understanding the past of Southern Africa's pastoralist and farmer communities. The pre-colonial states of the region provide some of the best documented cases of the influence of external trade on the development of African polities. This book is a comprehensive modern synthesis of the sub-continent's archaeology. It offers a thorough-going overview of three million years of Southern African history.

    • The first updated book on the subject for over forty years
    • Covers all periods from paleoarchaeology to the present
    • Well illustrated with maps, line drawings, photographs
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a synthesis of southern African archaeology was long overdue … Mitchell's book is timely and it will make a significant contribution to the growing corpus of published material on southern African archaeology. It represents the state of knowledge at the turn of the millennium, and is an invaluable tool for scholars, teachers and students with an interest in the long and rich archaeological history of southern Africa. I recommend that it finds its way on to bookshelves, and I will certainly be pleased to have it on mine.' Before Farming: The Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers

    'This could be the most influential publication on the archaeology of Africa for decades to come to come. … this extensive survey of the archaeology in Southern Africa is as interesting and informative as the geographical span of its contents.' Open History

    '… well written, very generously referenced and sensibly balanced … Mitchell … should be congratulated in making a very great deal of food for thought available in an interesting and digestible form.' Antiquity

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521633895
    • length: 532 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 27 mm
    • weight: 1.04kg
    • contains: 204 b/w illus. 29 maps 19 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Frameworks
    3. Origins
    4. Modern humans, modern behaviour?
    5. Living through the late Pleistocene
    6. From the Pleistocene into the Holocene: social and ecological models of cultural change
    7. Hunting, gathering and intensifying: Holocene foragers in Southern Africa
    8. History from the rocks, ethnography from the desert
    9. Taking stock: the introduction and impact of pastoralism
    10. Early farming communities
    11. The Zimbabwe tradition
    12. Later farming communities of southernmost Africa
    13. The archaeology of colonialism
    14. Southern African archaeology today.

  • Author

    Peter Mitchell, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford
    Peter Mitchell is Lecturer in African Prehistory at the University of Oxford, and Tutor and a Fellow of St Hugh's College, Oxford.

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.