East Africa and the Orient

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9780841901421: East Africa and the Orient
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It is now apparent that East Africa cannot be viewed in isolation if its early history is to be adequately understood. Arabic, Indian, and Chinese influences have been discovered in the East African cultures, and evidence has shown that from about 100 B.C. the coastal fringe of eastern Africa was economically and culturally an integral part of the Indian Ocean basin. The available evidence relating to these early con-tacts is so scattered, however, that historians and archaeologists must rely on the findings of numerous related disciplines. The contributors to this volume make ingenious use of anthropological, geographical, ethnographical, zoological, linguistic, numismatic, and musicol-ogical evidence as they develop new historio-graphical techniques to open this challenging area of inquiry.Among them are the leading specialists in their respective fields: H Neville Chittick, Vinigi Grottanelli, Paul Wheatley, J S Trimingbam, Gervase Mathew, Pierre Wrin, Aldan Southall, Merrick Posnansky, James Kirkman, and Michael Gwynne. The topics investigated include: the peopling of the East African coast, Chinese knowledge of East Africa, the Arab geographers, the problem of Malagasy origins, connections between the lacustrine peoples and the coast, and the origin and spread of various domestic food plants. Although there remain as many questions as answers, this volume serves as a vital summation of our current knowledge and points the way toward further fruitful research in African history.

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Chittick, H. Nevill
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Chittick, H. Nevill
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