Anthropology/humans in Africa


I'm interested in the prehistory of homo sapiens in Africa. We hear a lot about the spread of humans out of Africa to the rest of the world, but most people living at that time stayed in Africa and their descendants continued to live there. Is there a good source of information on African history and culture from say 100,000 years ago to the development and spread of agriculture?  Thanks.

Hi Sheila
There are several very good college-level textbooks on this subject.
The two we use most often at my university are
L. Barham and P. Mitchell The First Africans
D. Phillipson African Archaeology
There are, of course, many others, but these two cover Pleistocene and Holocene (<12,500 BP) very well.
John Shea  


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John Shea


Questions about Old World prehistoric archaeology (especially Stone Age) of Europe, Africa, and Western Asia, prehistoric human and hominid behavior, primitive technology, origin of modern humans, extinction of the Neandertals. IMPORTANT: Between February 14 and September 01, 2014, I will be on sabbatical leave. During this time I will have limited access to email. This means that there may be very long periods (i.e., weeks) between your posting a question and my having time to answer it.


>20 years as a professional anthropologist based at a research university.

Journal of Field Archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science, Lithic Technology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Mitekufat HaEven (Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society), Paléorient, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, American Anthropologist, Geoarchaeology.

Ph.D (Anthropology) Harvard University, 1991.
BA (Archaeology) Boston University, 1982.

Awards and Honors
Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer 2012-2014

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