African Archaeological Review

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 439–441 | Cite as

S. Wynne-Jones: A Material Culture: Consumption and Materiality on the Coast of Precolonial East Africa

Oxford University Press, New York, 2016, 264 pp. (ISBN: 978-019-875-931-7)
  • Jack StoetzelEmail author
Book Review

With A Material Culture, Stephanie Wynne-Jones applies a practice-based theoretical framework to the material culture common to pre-colonial contexts along the East African coast. Conflicting methodologies, terminologies, and priorities have prevented previous researchers from unifying the material record of the Swahili coast in this manner. A Material Culturemanages to reconcile such methodological and terminological inconsistencies elegantly, by bringing together materials that had previously been considered separately: local ceramics, imported goods, and architecture. Wynne-Jones successfully connects the biographies of such materials by first presenting each separately. Once established, themes including geographic distribution, form or function, and artifact typologies are used to link site-specific assemblages known across the coastal landscape. The beautifully illustrated chapters are organized in a way that permits the author to toggle between similarities known from forms of...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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