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Power and Landscape in Atlantic West Africa
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Book description

This volume examines the archaeology of precolonial West African societies in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Using historical and archaeological perspectives on landscape, this collection of essays sheds light on how involvement in the commercial revolutions of the early modern period dramatically reshaped the regional contours of political organization across West Africa. The essays examine how social and political transformations occurred at the regional level by exploring regional economic networks, population shifts, cultural values and ideologies. The book demonstrates the importance of anthropological insights not only to the broad political history of West Africa, but also to an understanding of political culture as a form of meaningful social practice.


'The maps and illustrations are excellent throughout the volume and the quality of production is very high … It is a very successful product; the chapters combine strong theoretical backbone, drawing on a range of literature worldwide yet never overwhelming, with a detailed, well thought-out presentation of data. These chapters are well-rounded and mature contributions, which demonstrate a remarkable convergence on the themes of landscape and interdisciplinarity. Chances are high that the volume will indeed - as suggested in the foreword - become a reference point in the archaeology of West Africa.'

Anne Haour Source: Antiquity

‘… a remarkably coherent work that has not a single weak or tangenital chapter … this is a praiseworth volume … also handsomely produced.’

Source: Journal of African History

'This is a good and useful collection presenting much innovative and important work on Atlantic era social and political transformations in a range of West African settings. The contributions clearly articulate the necessity of a perspective that looks beyond single sites and considers regional perspectives diachronically in order to derive appropriate (both culturally and politically) frameworks to explain the archaeological and historical trajectories of the various regions. The contributions shed light on new regions of study, as well as previously explored areas, and thus the volume will be useful to scholars of West Africa. By foregrounding the landscape perspective, the contributions in this book will also be of interest to a wider range of archaeologists and historians.'

Source: Journal of African Archaeology

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