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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the different archaeological approaches to African urbanism, historical contributions of historians and social scientists on knowledge about urbanism, and the operational concept of urbanism. It surveys the variety of African urban experience in the Nile Valley, the Maghreb, the Guinean zone, the Sahel, the Ethiopian highlands, the Great Lakes region and the Central African interior, the East African coast and western Indian Ocean, and southern Africa. Developments in archaeological field survey, excavation, and analysis and the integration of documentary and oral evidence continue to transform the image of African urbanity. Some key themes are apparent, among them the need for inter- and intra-site analyses and an integrated view of socio-environmental interactions including energy regime, economy, politics, and ideological organising principles, all treated diachronically.

Keywords: African urbanism, African archaeology, southern Africa, Ethiopian highlands, Great Lakes, Nile Valley

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