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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 2 (2) 2004

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P. Mitchell

Towards a comparative archaeology of Africa’s islands

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 2 (2), 2004, pages 229-250, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10029

Abstract
Island archaeology is a well-established and increasingly active field of the wider discipline. Most studies, however, draw solely upon Pacific and Mediterranean examples, with Africa's islands correspondingly neglected. This paper reviews previous archaeological work on Africa's islands and asks what could be obtained from more systematic research on them. Several themes are identified, to all of which a comparative archaeology of Africa's islands could contribute: patterns of colonisation and abandonment; transformations of island ecology wrought by human settlement; the role of islands in systems of international trade; the establishment of plantation economies; and the constitution and development of distinctive island cultures. Emphasis is also placed on the contribution that such a comparative archaeology could make to island archaeology as a whole and to enhancing the global profile of Africanist archaeological research.

Résumé
L'archéologie des îles est un domaine bien établi et de plus en plus actif. Cependant, la plupart des études ne concernent que des exemples de la Méditerranée et du Pacifique, ce qui laisse de côté les îles de l'Afrique. Cet article passe en revue les travaux archéologiques accomplis sur les îles africaines et envisage ce qui pourrait être appris à travers une recherche plus systématique. Plusieurs thèmes, auxquels une archéologie comparative des îles africaines pourrait amener des éléments de réponse, sont considérés : les cycles de colonisation et d'abandon, les transformations écologiques opérées par l'occupation humaine, le rôle des îles dans les systèmes internationaux de commerce et d'échange, l'établissement des plantations et l'émergence et le développement de cultures distinctives de ces îles. L'accent est mis aussi sur la contribution qu'une telle archéologie comparative puisse amener à l'archéologie des îles en général et à une meilleure connaissance de la recherche africaniste dans la communauté archéologique en particulier.




Keywords: African islands, colonisation, Creole communities, island archaeology, island ecology, plantation slavery, trade


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Editors:
Sonja Magnavita, Peter Breunig

Book Review Editor:
Katie Manning, UK

Editorial Advisory Board:
Graham Connah, Australia
Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Ndèye Sokhna Guèye, Senegal
Timothy Insoll, UK
Tom Huffman, South Africa
Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
David Killick, USA
Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
David Mattingly, UK
Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
Peter Robertshaw, USA
Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

Copy Editors:
Nicolas Gestrich, UK
Sam Nixon, UK
Gaby Franke, Germany
Annabelle Gallin, France
Richard Byer, Germany

Editorial Assistance:
Anna Rybar, Germany
Carlos Magnavita, Germany


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