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A reassessment of the origins, development and spread of pastoralism in Africa, and of its adaptation to the open grasslands which cover large parts of the continent, this work uses ecological evidence from prehistory to enlarge understanding of the vicissitudes of herding societies in contemporary Africa. The origins and spread of herding systems throughout the continent are examined with the underlying idea that understanding the growth of pastoral production in the past allows for a more sympathetic treatment of indigenous social formations based on tradition and experience, thus enabling governments and development agencies to formulate adaptive strategies that are suitable for specific environments and the peoples that inhabit them. The book should be of interest to archaeologists, development workers, anthropologists and students of African history.