The Stone Age of Northern Africa

The Stone Age of Northern Africa

The Stone Age of Northern Africa

The Stone Age of Northern Africa

Excerpt

An authoritative account of the Stone Age of Northern Africa has long been needed by prehistorians, and by a much wider public eager to understand how man developed and came to maturity in this part of a continent which has yielded so much evidence of progress and change, during the million odd years of his infancy. It happens that a million men gathered together from many different parts of the globe set foot here not so long ago: a World War drove them into a Continent where they could see at first hand the varied landscape of this primeval stage. Many of them will turn with interest to this book.

C. B. M. McBurney, who has seen for himself so much at first hand and devoted a lifetime to its study has, in this volume, opened the way for us by correlating and explaining the significance of a vast body of evidence. His book follows on two other related Pelicans: The Prehistory of East Africa bySonia Cole and The Prehistory of Southern Africa byJ. Desmond Clark. We therefore now have available three handbooks which together form an encyclopaedia for the greater part of prehistoric Africa.

Here we find matter of absorbing interest as we pass in review the changes of climate; the rise and fall of the sea; changes in the levels of lakes; a wetter and a drier Sahara; the slow cutting of the Nile valley; and the extraordinary repercussions on man, beasts, and vegetation as periods of relative wetness and drought succeeded one another. Most fascinating perhaps is the account of reciprocal influences that affected the migrations of men from Europe into Africa in the Pleistocene; from the Levant and Western Asia in the Neolithic. We now have for the first time a coordinated explanation of how the Natufians from Palestine exchanged a technological know-how with Africans; of the bearing that the remarkable discoveries at Jarmo in Iraq, and . . .

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