Before Farming

The concepts of ‘Neolithic’ and ‘Neolithisation’ for Africa?

Before Farming (2005), 2005, (1), 1–6.

Abstract

The use of the term ‘Neolithic', although seen by some researchers as a convenient shorthand, has a great deal of baggage associated with it, which makes it problematic for use in Africa. This is particularly true for southern Africa where the process of introduction of food production was probably different from that experienced in the Middle East, Europe, or even North Africa, as no wild progenitors of the domestic plants or animals existed south of the Equator. The suggestion that a southern African ‘Neolithic’ might have existed makes certain assumptions that are dependent on how one interprets the archaeological record.

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Smith, Andrew