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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article introduces African archaeology and provides a thematic framework for the volume. In 1871, Charles Darwin identified Africa as the continent on which the human evolutionary story had begun. Several generations of archaeological and palaeoanthropological research have confirmed that his intuition was correct. Africa was where both the genus Homo and the species, Homo sapiens, evolved. In that sense, this article suggests that the long-term history of human populations on the African continent that archaeology and its cognate disciplines uncover is of great importance. This book aims to situate African archaeology within its theoretical, methodological, and historical context. It considers the history of human culture on the African continent. The richness of Africa’s ethnographic record permits one to explore the meanings that people have given to material culture for use in the interpretation of the archaeological record of other regions of the world.

Keywords: human evolution, Charles Darwin, African archaeology, Africa, archaeological research, material culture, Homo sapiens

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