Towards an archaeology of Urban futures in Africa.

  • Author: Paul J.J. Sinclair
  • Topic: 2000 to 10,000 BP
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

The urban past of Africa is complex and multi-facetted and has a deep time depth of at least 6000 years. It is characterized by variety of location, form and organization. African urbanism will be analysed here in terms of multi-scalar regional and landscape perspectives highlighting the interactions between climate change and ecosystem services, local and inter-regional production and exchange, as well as governance and ideology. A thematic approach to these issues will be undertaken and examples given of agricultural regime urban settlement systems from southern Africa. The temporal scope of the presentation will be broad and includes examples of Mid Holocene hunter-forager regime settlement systems which are normally excluded from considerations of urban complexity. It is argued that archaeological consideration of agricultural regime non urban and urban settlement systems over the last 2000 years is crucial for understanding contemporary Anthropocene industrial regime urban development. Archaeology has a role forbuilding better urban futures in Africa. .

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