Archaeobotany has significantly increased our knowledge of the relationships between humans and plants throughout the ages. As is amply illustrated in Windows on the African Past, botanical remains preserved in archaeological contexts have great potential to inform us about past environments and the various methods used by ancient peoples to exploit and cultivate plants. Windows on the African Past presents the proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on African Archaeobotany (IWAA) held at Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt, on 13 – 15 June 2009. Studies presented herein clearly illustrate that African archaeobotany is a dynamic field, with many advances in techniques and important case studies presented since the first meeting of IWAA held in 1994. Authors have employed classical and new archaeobotanical techniques, in addition to linguistics and ethnoarchaeology to increase our knowledge about the role of plants in ancient African societies. Windows on the African Past covers a wide range of African countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Canary Islands. It is of interest to archaeobotanists, archaeologists, historians, linguists, agronomists, and plant ecologists.
- Christine Sievers - Sedges from Sibudu, South Africa: Evidence for their Use
- Gerlinde Bigga and Stefanie Kahlheber - From Gathering to Agricultural Intensification: Archaeobotanical Remains from Mege, Chad Basin, NE Nigeria
- Jacob Morales, Juan Francisco Navarro-Mederos and Amelia Rodriguez-Rodriguez - Plant Offerings to the Gods: Seed Remains from a Pre-Hispanic Sacrificial Altar in La Gomera Island (Canary Islands, Spain)
- Ursula Thanheiser - Island of the Blessed: 8000 Years of Plant Exploitation in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt
- Ahmed G. Fahmy, Renee Friedman and Mohamed A. Fadl - Economy and Ecology of Predynastic Hierakonpolis, Egypt: Archaeobotanical Evidence from a Trash Mound at HK11C
- Elena Marinova, Gertrud J.M. van Loon, Marleen De Meyer and Harco Willems - Plant Economy and Land Use in Middle Egypt during the Late Antique/Early Islamic Period: Archaeobotanical Analysis of Mud Bricks and Mud Plasters from the Area of Dayr al-Barsha
- Rim Hamdy and Nesrin M.N. El Hadidi - Identification of Plant Materials used in the Coiled Basketry Collection at the Agricultural Museum (Giza, Egypt)
- Kai Uwe Radomski and Katharina Neumann - Grasses and Grinding Stones: Inflorescence Phytoliths from Modern West African Poaceae and Archaeological Stone Artefacts
- Hugo R. Oliveira, Diane L. Lister and Martin K. Jones - Phylogeography of Cereal Landraces and the Spread of Agriculture in Northwest Africa: Review and Prospects
- Linda Olmi, Anna Maria Mercuri, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Stefano Biagetti, Sarah Fordyce, Enrico Cappellini, Isabella Massamba N'siala and Savino di Lernia - Morphological and Genetic Analyses of Early and Mid Holocene Wild Cereals from the Takarkori Rockshelter (Central Sahara, Libya): First Results and Prospects
- Christopher Ehret - A Linguistic History of Cultivation and Herding in Northeastern Africa
- Birgit Ricquier and Koen Bostoen Stirring up the Porridge: How Early Bantu Speakers Prepared their Cereals
- A. Catherine D'Andrea and Pamela Wadge - T'ef (Eragrostis tef): A Legacy of Pastoralism?
"Windows on the African Past nicely captures the diversity of approaches used in this growing field [African Archaeobotany] and is a must-read for anyone seriously interested the role of plants in African history."
- Amanda L. Logan, University of Michigan, USA Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, vol. 47 (3), 2012.