By Ann Brower Stahl

ISBN-10: 1405101555

ISBN-13: 9781405101554

ISBN-10: 1405101563

ISBN-13: 9781405101561

A landmark creation to the archaeology of Africa that demanding situations misconceptions & claims approximately Africa’s previous and teaches scholars easy methods to overview those claims.

  • Provides an unheard of and fascinating advent to the archaeology of Africa
  • Challenges misconceptions & claims approximately Africa’s previous and teaches scholars tips on how to evaluation those claims
  • Includes a considerate advent that explores the contexts that experience formed archaeological wisdom of Africa's past
  • Lays out study questions that experience formed the contours of African archaeology
  • Comprised of chapters in particular written for this quantity through sought after archaeologists with local and topical expertise

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In other words, any material thing from a pot to a T-shirt can operate as a sign with the potential to bear meaning, but the relationship between an object (signifier) and its meaning/s (signified) is arbitrary and independent from the formal and material constituents of the object (see Stahl 2002 on the implications for analogical modeling). A related concern of many of these ethnoarchaeological studies was with the symbolic meanings of things and places, and how this contributed to the con- THE ROLE OF ETHNOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION 39 struction of age, gender, class, and ethnic identities.

Whereas such comparisons are an inevitable component of any attempt to produce a culture history for a given area, if used uncritically without due regard for the evidence for change, the “direct historical approach” is especially prone to reinforcing, albeit unwittingly, stereotypical views of African societies as conservative and unchanging. The Direct Historical Approach The strengths and weaknesses of the direct historical approach as commonly applied (cf. Stahl 2001:19–40) can be illustrated by the use of normative ethnographic models in southern African archaeology, known respectively as the Central Cattle Pattern and Zimbabwe Pattern, to infer aspects of social organization, THE ROLE OF ETHNOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION 31 ideology, and worldview of the prehistoric inhabitants of the region.

History in Africa 19:309–326. Goodwin, A. J. , and C. van Riet Lowe, 1929 The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa. Annals of the South African Museum 27:1–289. Goody, J. , 1990 The Political Systems of the Tallensi and their Neighbours 1888–1915. Cambridge Anthropology 14(2):1–25. —— 1998 Establishing Control: Violence along the Black Volta at the Beginning of Colonial Rule. Cahiers d’Études Africaines 150–152:38(2–4):227–244. , 1981 The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W. W. Norton. INTRODUCTION: CHANGING PERSPECTIVES 19 Gowlett, J.

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