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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The archaeology of Africa is littered with migration narratives. Migration events from Africa have shaped global history, from the hominin dispersal ‘Out of Africa’ to more recent forced exodus. Despite this prominence and seeming ubiquity, African archaeology has often had a complicated and contested relationship with migration and it remains a potentially divisive issue. Introducing some of the key trends in archaeological approaches to migration, this article outlines some of the past archaeological uses of migration paradigms, and explores theoretical and methodological issues associated with its application to African archaeological contexts. Global archaeology is slowly re-engaging with migration as an explanatory device. Migration is clearly a central dynamic within African society. Researchers need to develop new theoretical approaches to migration, making it much clearer what is meant by the term, as well as reviewing how it is identified archaeologically.

Keywords: African archaeology, African migration events, global archaeology, migration paradigms, Atlantic slave trade

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