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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:History and archaeology in conservation: South Africa meets East Africa workshop
Editors:Delius, Peter
Schoeman, Maria
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Geographic terms:East Africa
Southern Africa
agricultural history
rock art
conference papers (form)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cast20/69/2
Abstract:This special issue, with a selection of papers from a workshop at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (July 2009), reflects the recent re-engagement of historians and archaeologists and the even more recent opening of an intensive dialogue between scholars working on eastern and southern African societies, especially those involved in the interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and National Research Foundation funded 500 Year Initiative (FYI). A core element of the FYI project is research on the history and nature of the walled and terraced settlements on the Mpumalanga escarpment, which display important similarities with the islands of intensive agriculture in central and eastern Africa. Tim Maggs, William Beinart and John Wright comment on the workshop and the excursion to the Mpumalanga escarpment which preceded it. In 'Reading the Rocks and Reviewing the Red Herrings', Peter Delius and Maria Schoeman explore the dearth of academic literature on, and the surfeit of exotic explanations of the Mpumalanga sites. Mats Widgren frames the discussion by comparing key factors in the development of 'islands' of intensification from various parts of Africa (Besieged Palaeonegritics or Innovative Farmers: Historical Political Ecology of Intensive and Terraced Agriculture in West Africa and Sudan), while Daryl Stump notes that agricultural systems can only be understood once detailed chronologies have been established (Intensification in Context: Archaeological Approaches to Precolonial Field Systems in Eastern and Southern Africa). A number of papers focus on wider themes. Matthew Davies (A View from the East: An Interdisciplinary 'Historical Ecology' Approach to a Contemporary Agricultural Landscape in Northwest Kenya) and Paul J. Lane (Developing Landscape Historical Ecologies in Eastern Africa: An Outline of Current Research and Potential Future Directions) explore the analytical potential of historical ecology, while Norman Etherington provides an account of the causes of the truncated chronology of much historical research (Historians, Archaeologists and the Legacy of the Discredited Short Iron-Age Chronology). Benjamin W. Smith makes the case for the significance of rock art to historical understanding (Envisioning San History: Problems in the Reading of History in the Rock Art of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa). [ASC Leiden abstract]