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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since historical archaeology gained a foothold in Africa during the late colonial era, the use of oral traditions and oral histories has been a hallmark of African archaeology. Archaeologists in many other regions of Africa soon turned to oral testimonies, both traditions and direct historical accounts, to supplement and question documentary records pertaining to the African past of the last several millennia. Most attempted to verify oral accounts by using archaeological evidence, an approach that often led to ambiguous results, compelling investigators to pay greater attention to oral traditions not only as symbolic commentaries about social and political contests but also as ways to view structural change in societies over time.

Keywords: historical archaeology, African archaeology, structural change, African past

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