African archaeology: a critical introduction

2005 ChoiceReviews  
Not very long ago Africa's history was considered short; and if "men existed" in the "dark centuries" preceding the advent of the Portuguese, it was felt that they fell more within the province of anthropology than of history. Such was the view of historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, cited in the preface to a work offered as a corrective, the groundbreaking 1969 Oxford History of South Africa. [1] As notoriously, the continent's pre-colonial past was characterized by Trevor-Roper as "the unrewarding
more » ... ations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrelevant corners of the globe" (quoted, pp. 11, 24). Archaeologists could demonstrate a different view. Indeed, Thurston Shaw would respond to historians who were dubious about archaeology's role in writing African history, that "there is much more information about the African past waiting to be revealed by archaeological methods than historical"; and "there ought," he challenged, "to be more archaeologists in African universities than historians."[2]
doi:10.5860/choice.43-1670 fatcat:ubhtww52xbhtpls6chh75hsxza