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New Paradigms for Old Iron Thoughts on É. Zangato & A.F.C. Holl’s “On the Iron Front”

New Paradigms for Old Iron Thoughts on É. Zangato & A.F.C. Holl’s “On the Iron Front” New Paradigms for old iroN Paul Craddock `For countless centuries, whilst all the pageant of history swept by, the African remained unmoved ­ in primitive savagery' (Sentiments of a former Governor-general of Nigeria written in the 1950s and quoted by Basil davidsoN [1959: 20]) Introduction The interpretation of development in sub-Saharan Africa, especially economic and technical development, has always had the additional constraint that for any innovation a source outside of the region should be found. The reasons were the often explicit (now implicit, but still there) belief that Africa and Africans were not capable of generating or exploiting new discoveries. Various explanations were advanced, a supposedly enervating environment in the tropics or an absence of good natural harbours, etc. Subsequent serious fieldwork and research has demonstrated that in fact the challenge of the various sub-Saharan environments led to the creation of a whole series of sustainable agriculture systems based on local cultivants, including for example, the yam in West Africa. However, most scholars continued to hold essentially diffusionist views for the origin and development of metallurgy in Africa, exemplified by mauNy (1952). Not everyone supported this model for the origin of iron in Africa and Mauny's views http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

New Paradigms for Old Iron Thoughts on É. Zangato & A.F.C. Holl’s “On the Iron Front”

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 8 (1): 29 – Oct 25, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10157
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New Paradigms for old iroN Paul Craddock `For countless centuries, whilst all the pageant of history swept by, the African remained unmoved ­ in primitive savagery' (Sentiments of a former Governor-general of Nigeria written in the 1950s and quoted by Basil davidsoN [1959: 20]) Introduction The interpretation of development in sub-Saharan Africa, especially economic and technical development, has always had the additional constraint that for any innovation a source outside of the region should be found. The reasons were the often explicit (now implicit, but still there) belief that Africa and Africans were not capable of generating or exploiting new discoveries. Various explanations were advanced, a supposedly enervating environment in the tropics or an absence of good natural harbours, etc. Subsequent serious fieldwork and research has demonstrated that in fact the challenge of the various sub-Saharan environments led to the creation of a whole series of sustainable agriculture systems based on local cultivants, including for example, the yam in West Africa. However, most scholars continued to hold essentially diffusionist views for the origin and development of metallurgy in Africa, exemplified by mauNy (1952). Not everyone supported this model for the origin of iron in Africa and Mauny's views

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2010

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