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Five Hundred Years Rediscovered. Southern African Precedents and Prospects

Five Hundred Years Rediscovered. Southern African Precedents and Prospects

Five Hundred Years Rediscovered. Southern African Precedents and Prospects collectively reframes, revitalises and re-examines the last 500 years of Southern Africa.
Swanepoel, Natalie; Esterhuysen, Amanda; Bonner, Philip

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Title: Five Hundred Years Rediscovered
Subtitle: Southern African Precedents and Prospects
Editors: Natalie Swanepoel, Amanda Esterhuysen, Philip Bonner
Publisher: Witwatersrand University Press
Johannesburg, South Africa 2008
ISBN 9781868144747 / ISBN 978-1-86814-474-7
Paperback, 17 x 25 cm, 308 pages, many bw and colour photos, maps and tables

About: Five Hundred Years Rediscovered. Southern African Precedents and Prospects

In the age of the African Renaissance, southern Africa has needed to reinterpret the past in fresh and more appropriate ways. The last 500 years represent a strikingly unexplored and misrepresented period which remains disfigured by colonial/apartheid assumptions, most notably in the way that African societies are seen as fixed, passive, isolated, unenterprising and unenlightened. This period is one of the most formative in relation to southern Africa's past while remaining, in many ways, the least known. Key cultural contours took shape, while in a jagged and uneven fashion some of the features of modern identities emerged. Enormous internal economic innovation and political experimentation was taking place at the same time as expanding European mercantile forces started to press upon southern African shores and its hinterlands. This suggests that interaction, flux and mixing were a strong feature of the period, rather than the homogeneity and fixity proposed in standard historical and archaeological writings. “Five Hundred Years Rediscovered: Southern African Precedents and Prospects" represents the first step, by a group of archaeologists and historians, to collectively reframe, revitalise and re-examine the last 500 years. By integrating research and developing trans-frontier research networks, the group hopes to challenge thinking about the region's expanding internal and colonial frontiers, and to extend current perceptions about southern Africa's colonial past. Natalie Swanepoel is an archaeologist at the University of South Africa, Pretoria. Amanda Esterhuysen is an archaeologist, and Philip Bonner an historian, both at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Content: Five Hundred Years Rediscovered. Southern African Precedents and Prospects

Introduction (P. Bonner, A. B. Esterhuysen, M. H. Schoeman, N. J. Swanepoel and J. B. Wright)
Section 1 Disciplinary Identities: Methodological Considerations
Historical archaeologies of southern Africa: precedents and prospects (Behrens and N. Swanepoel)
South Africa in Africa more than five hundred years ago: some questions (N. Parsons)
Towards an outline of the oral geography, historical identity and political economy of the Late Precolonial Tswana in the Rustenburg region (S. Hall, M. Anderson, J. Boeyens and F. Coetzee)
Metals beyond frontiers: exploring the production, distribution and use of metals in the Free State grasslands, South Africa (S. Chirikure, S. Hall and T. Maggs)
deTuin, a 19th-century mission station in the Northern Cape (A.G. Morris)
Reinterpreting the origins of Dzata: archaeology and legends (E. Hanisch)
Section 2 Material Identities
Revisiting Bokoni: populating the stone ruins of the Mpumalanga Escarpment (P. Delius and M.H. Schoeman)
The Mpumalanga Escarpment settlements: some answers, many questions (T. Maggs)
Post-European contact glass beads from the southern African interior: a tentative look at trade, consumption and identities (M. Wood)
Ceramic alliances: pottery and the history of the Kekana Ndebele in the old Transvaal (A.B. Esterhuysen)
Section 3 'Troubled Times': Warfare, State Formation and Migration in the Interior
Rediscovering the Ndwandwe kingdom (J.B. Wright)
Swazi oral tradition and Northern Nguni historical archaeology (P. Bonner)
Mfecane mutation in Central Africa: a comparison of the Makololo and the Ngoni in Zambia, 1830s-1898 (A. Kanduza)
List of contributors

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