East and Southern African Neolithic: Geography and Overview

  • David Keith Wright
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_1888-2

State of Knowledge and Current Debates

The Neolithic period of eastern and southern Africa was a form of niche fulfillment when viewed within the context of its origins and distribution. In Africa, Neolithic cultures include those groups who herd domesticated animals, use stone tools and ceramics as part of their subsistence package. Climatic and demographic pressures after 6000 BP pushed Neolithic pastoralists living in the Nile River Valley southward, and the savanna habitats of eastern and southern Africa that these migrants encountered were attractive ecosystems rife for herding. The early Neolithic pastoralists in eastern Africa tended to be less mobile and had a broad-based subsistence compared to later pastoral groups, who colonized southern Africa after 2000 BP. When placed within the larger paleoenvironmental and cultural context, pastoralists adapted their subsistence to specific ecosystems based on the potential of the land to provide adequate sustenance for themselves and...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and Art HistorySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marcel Otte
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of PrehistoryUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium