Abstract and Keywords
Africanist archaeometallurgists have conveniently divided Africa into two sub-regions when discussing the continent’s metallurgical history: north of the Sahara Desert, including the Mediterranean littoral, the Lower Nile Valley, and the Red Sea coast; and south of the Sahara (sub-Saharan Africa), including West, East, Central, and southern Africa. This division reflects the fact that the metallurgical history of the two sub-regions differs. This article begins with a theoretical review of the origins of metallurgy as a background on which the sub-Saharan case is anchored. Its main body is further split in two: the appearance of metallurgy in the region and its subsequent development. The discussion suggests that studying the origins of other technologies, such as basketry, textiles, and pottery may also help shed light on those of metallurgy itself.
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