Foundations of an African civilisation : Aksum & the northern Horn, 1000 BC-1300 AD / David W. Phillipson
- Phillipson, D. W.
- Additional Titles:
- Foundations of an African civilization
- Woodbridge : James Currey, 2012.
- Physical Description:
- x, 293 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
- Part I: Before Aksum. The northern Horn 3000 years ago ; The first millennium BC. -- Part II: The Kingdom of Aksum. Aksumite civilisation: an introductory summary; Aksumite languages & literacy ; Some written sources relating to Aksumite civilisation ; The emergence & expansion of the Aksumite state ; Aksumite kingship & politics ; Aksumite religion ; Cultivation & herding, food & drink ; Urbanism, architecture & non-funerary monuments ; Aksumite burials ; Aksumite technology & material culture ; Aksumite coinage ; Foreign contacts of the Aksumite state ; Decline & transformation of the Aksumite state. -- Part III: After Aksum. The Zagwe Dynasty.
- "Focuses on the Aksumite state of the first millennium AD in northern Ethiopia and southern Eritrea, its development, florescence and eventual transformation into the so-called medieval civilisation of Christian Ethiopia. This book seeks to apply a common methodology, utilising archaeology, art-history, written documents and oral tradition from a wide variety of sources; the result is a far greater emphasis on continuity than previous studies have revealed. It is thus a major re-interpretation of a key development in Ethiopia's past, while raising and discussing methodological issues of the relationship between archaeology and other historical disciplines; these issues, which have theoretical significance extending far beyond Ethiopia, are discussed in full. The last millennium BC is seen as a time when northern Ethiopia and parts of Eritrea were inhabited by farming peoples whose ancestry may be traced far back into the local 'Late Stone Age'. Colonisation from southern Arabia, to which defining importance has been attached by earlier researchers, is now seen to have been brief in duration and small in scale, its effects largely restricted to élite sections of the community. Re-consideration of inscriptions shows the need to abandon the established belief in a single 'Pre-Aksumite' state. New evidence for the rise of Aksum during the last centuries BC is critically evaluated. Finally, new chronological precision is provided for the decline of Aksum and the transfer of centralised political authority to more southerly regions. A new study of the ancient churches - both built and rock-hewn - which survive from this poorly-understood period emphasises once again a strong degree of continuity across periods that were previously regarded as distinct."--Publisher's website.
- 9781847010414 (hbk.)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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