African City History by Freund

By Freund

This specified e-book is complete either when it comes to time assurance, from sooner than the Pharaohs to the current second and in that it attempts to contemplate towns from the total continent, not only Sub-Saharan Africa. except authentic info and wealthy description fabric culled from many assets, it appears to be like at many concerns from why city lifestyles emerged within the first position to how present-day African towns cope in tough occasions. rather than seeing cities and towns as one way or the other extraneous to the genuine Africa, it perspectives them as an inherent a part of constructing Africa, indigenous, colonial, and post-colonial and emphasizes the level to which the way forward for African society and African tradition will be performed out typically in towns. The booklet is written to entice scholars of heritage yet both to geographers, planners, sociologists and improvement experts attracted to city difficulties.

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Sample text

Generally speaking, a variety of types of urban settlements evolved in West Africa with similarities and also significant differences, notably over time. This survey has suggested some of the variety, the geographical spread and range over time of early urban growth in Africa. Urbanisation rested on several pillars. The first and most difficult to pin down clearly was environmental: the discovery of particular sites where 10 From an account of 1848 cited by Ivor Wilks, Asante in the Nineteenth Century: The Structure and Evolution of a Political Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 381.

A striking feature was the emergence of new social strata, particularly on the West African littoral, who could act as intermediaries between what remained a potent African world on the one hand and the European visitors and traders on the other. Towns arising in this period housed these people and others who had become misfits in the wider society for one reason or another. Much of their population consisted of slaves, albeit slaves engaged in very diverse activities not necessarily lacking in social status.

There was indeed a transiency to Dambarare described as “a pathetic cluster of mud . . 1 However, the Portuguese presence was marked by the fort, by a moat, and by the existence of a small Catholic church. There may be a second church still to be unearthed according to some commentators. In the graveyard, presumably consecrated remains of European men and African men and women have been found by archaeologists. Nearby there are traces of attempts at gold mining. This is a very different kind of urban site than that of Great Zimbabwe.

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