Re-evaluating the Archaeology of the First Millennium BC in the Northern Horn
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KeywordsNorthern Horn of Africa ‘Pre-Aksumite’ Eritrea Ethiopia First millennium BC Ancient Ona Yeha Aksum Asmara
The papers contained in this special issue are extensively revised versions of presentations made at a session of the Conference of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists in Frankfurt am Main, September 2008. Two papers presented in the same session are not included here: Laurel Phillipson’s contribution has already been published in this journal (Phillipson 2009), and Catherine D’Andrea elected to defer publication.
Revision of the papers has been a collaborative effort, drafts prepared by each contributor having been read and commented upon by all the others. In the process, all have been struck by the level of overall agreement that has been independently reached; we as editors have made no effort to ensure this uniformity. The contributors share the view that the terminologies currently in use require either replacement or tighter definition; all but one prefer to avoid the term ‘Pre-Aksumite’ altogether, while Manzo—in a paper discussing elite aspects of society—uses it only in a strictly chronological sense. We offer no detailed suggestions here, believing that this would be inappropriate in a publication based on a meeting at which, to our very great regret, no archaeologists from Eritrea and Ethiopia were able to be present. We hope that this question will be taken up in future at a more broadly based forum.
David Phillipson wishes to thank, in addition to his fellow contributors, Yohannes Gebre Sellassie, Laurel Phillipson, and Tekle Hagos for their helpful comments and advice. Peter Schmidt is grateful to Catherine D’Andrea, Steffen Wenig, and Asmeret Mehari, with particular thanks to Wayne Kessler for his insights into the Meskel ceremony. As guest editors, we thank Adria LaViolette for offering prompt publication of these papers in a special issue of the African Archaeological Review.