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date: 07 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Africa’s engagement with the post-AD 1500 Atlantic World has captivated archaeological attention over the past twenty years. Focusing on West Africa, this article gives a sense of the themes and questions that have driven archaeological work on Atlantic processes, reviews some of the trends and insights generated by this research, and explores future directions in this field. The discussion begins by situating historical archaeology in the historiography of the African Atlantic and then considering archaeological contributions to broader debates about the emergence, dynamics, impacts, and long-term consequences of the Atlantic economy on African societies. It then examines five domains of archaeological research on social transformations: political landscapes, cultural life between the coast and interior, urban dynamics, cultural economies, and technological change.

Keywords: African Atlantic, historical archaeology, Atlantic economy, political landscapes, social transformation, cultural economy, technological change

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