Unpacking the Iron Age

2008-01-04 00:00

The newly published Handbook to the Iron Age — The Archaeology of Pre-Colonial Farming Societies in Southern Africa by Thomas N. Huffman has been hailed as a landmark book. According to Peter Mitchell, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford: “This long-awaited text will establish itself as the principal source on the matters with which it deals.”

At the time the hot topic was the deep-time origins of humanity so most archaeologists were working on the Stone Age, which preceded the Iron Age. “The Iron Age is really just a technical term for pre-colonial farming societies, as reflected in the book’s sub-title. In southern Africa there were also Bushmen and Khoisan running around at the same time.”

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