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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The causes, origin, and diffusion of pastoralism in Africa have been fervently discussed over the last decades. Recent syntheses and comments on the origins and spread of animal herding in Africa have clearly revitalised the debate. Most theoretical models and explanatory inferences remain based, however, on weak foundations. This article examines the analytical basis of recent papers. Some themes are constant: the relations between climate change and the origins and spread of herding activities; the role of intensification in resource exploitation; the relevance of ideological aspects, particularly rock art and ritual monuments; and the potential of ethnographic analogy.

Keywords: African pastoralism, animal herding, climate change, resource exploitation, rock art, ethnographic analogy

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