List of Figures. List of Tables. Contributors. 1. Introduction; F.A. Hassan. 2. Palaeoclimate, Food and Culture Change in Africa: An Overview; F.A. Hassan. Section I: Climatic Change. 3. Rapid Holocene Climate Changes in the Eastern Mediterranean; E.J. Rohling, et al. 4. Climate During the Late Holocene in the Sahara and the Sahel: Evolution and Consequences on Human Settlement; R. Vernet. 5. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Climatic Changes in the Central Sahara: The Case Study of the Southwestern Fezzan, Libya; M. Cremaschi. 6. Late Holocene Climatic Fluctuations and Historical Records of Famine in Ethiopia; M.U. Mohammed, R. Bonnefille. 7. Environmental and Human Responses to Climatic Events in West and West Central Africa During the Late Holocene; M.A. Sowunmi. Section II: Plant Cultivation. 8. Regional Pathways to Agriculture in Northeast Africa; H.N. Barakat. 9. From Hunters and Gatherers to Food Producers: New Archaeological and Archaeobotanical Evidence from the West African Sahel; P. Breunig, K. Neumann. 10. Holocene Climatic Changes in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Spread of Food Production from Southwest Asia to Egypt; M. Rossignol-Strick. 11. Sustainable Agriculture in a Harsh Environment: An Ethiopian Perspective; A. Butler. Section III: Pastoralism. 12. The Evidence for the Earliest Livestock in North Africa: Or Adventures with Large Bovids, Ovicaprids, Dogs and Pigs; A. Gautier. 13. Cultural Responses to Climatic Changes in North Africa: Beginning and Spread of Pastoralism in the Sahara; B.E. Barich. 14. Dry Climatic Events and Cultural Trajectories: Adjusting Middle Holocene Pastoral Economy of the Libyan Sahara; S. Di Lernia. 15. Food Security in Western and Central Africa During the Late Holocene: The Role of Domestic Stock Keeping, Hunting and Fishing; W. Van Neer. 16. Bovines in Egyptian Predynastic and Early Dynastic Iconography; S. Hendrickx. Conclusion. 17. Ecological Changes and Food Security in the Later Prehistory of North Africa: Looking Forward; F.A. Hassan. Index.
Recent droughts in Africa and elsewhere in the world, from China to Peru, have serious implications for food security and grave consequences for local and international politics. The issues do not just concern the plight of African peoples, but also our global ecological future.
Global climatic changes become manifest initially in regions that are marginal or unstable. Africa's Sahel zone is one of the most sensitive climatic regions in the world and the events that have gripped that region beginning in the 1970's were the first indicator of a significant shift in global climatic conditions.
This work aims to bring archaeology with the domain on contemporary human affairs and to forge a new methodology for coping with environmental problems from an archaeological perspective. Using the later prehistory of Africa as a comparison, the utility of this methodological strategy in interpreting culture change and assessing long-term response to current, global climatic fluctuations is examined and understood.
Situates archaeology within the domain of contemporary human affairs
Highlights the aspects of historical relationships between people and climatic change
Interprets contemporary climatic events and their consequences with the knowledge of long-term climatic variability