The Prehistory of Southern Africa


There are few new geographical discoveries to be made in Africa, but the uncovering of its remote past has only just begun. Great advances have been made during the last twenty years, many of them in South Africa, and it is certain that many more will be made in the future.

Southern Africa has yielded some of the earliest evidence of man's antiquity that we have anywhere in the world and the continent of Africa is one of the places, if not the place, where man's earliest ancestors will be found.

The story that this book has to tell, therefore, is not one of the flowering and decay of early civilizations, of princes and kings, or of intrinsically beautiful objects of personal jewellery, statuary, or public buildings. Rather is it concerned with the beginnings of things, with the very emergence of man himself, his gradual conquering of his environment and the slow growth of social and economic units. It is not the story of individual attainments, but of the birth of a community life on which the origins of civilization could be built.


January 1959 . . .

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • M. E. L. Mallowan
  • J. Desmond Clark
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Harmondsworth, England
Publication year:
  • 1959


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