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The Problem of the Bantu Expansion
The Journal of African History
Vol. 7, No. 3 (1966), pp. 361-376
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/180108
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Iron age, African history, Woodlands, Food plants, Asians, Coasts, Archaeology, Language, Hunter gatherers, Evolutionary linguistics
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This paper outlines four stages of the Bantu expansion: first, the initial push through the equatorial forest from the northern to the southern woodlands; second, the occupation of the southern woodland belt from coast to coast; third, the colonization of the Tanzania, Kenya and southern Somali coastline and of the northern sector of the lake region; fourth, the colonization southwards, north-westwards and north-eastwards from this extended nucleus. The evidence for the first stage is largely linguistic and is likely to remain so. The outlines of the fourth stage can be established very largely from traditional evidence. It is for chronological data concerning the second and third stages that we can now turn hopefully to archaeology. In both these stages the Bantu expansion seems to have coincided fairly closely with the spread of the Iron Age; and, if the spread of the Iron Age through the area north of the southern woodlands can now be traced in something like the detail which we already have for Zambia and Rhodesia, the mystery of the Bantu expansion will have been largely unravelled.
The Journal of African History © 1966 Cambridge University Press