Synopses & Reviews
This detailed handbook to the Iron Age covers the last 2,000 years in Southern Africa. The first part of the book outlines essential topics such as settlement organization, stonewalled patterns, ritual residues, long-distance trade, and ancient mining. Part two presents a comprehensive culture-history sequence through ceramic analyses, showing distributions, stylistic types, and characteristic pieces. The final section reviews and updates the main debates about black prehistory, including migration vs. diffusion, the role of cattle, the origins of Mapungubwe, the rise and fall of Great Zimbabwe, as well as the archaeology of the Venda, the Sotho-Tswana, and the Nguni speakers. Handbook to the Iron Age is an abundantly illustrated study that is accessible to a wide range of people interested in African prehistory.