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CHAPTER 4: THE EARLY IRON AGE IN CENTRAL, EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA QUESTIONS
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CHAPTER 4: THE EARLY IRON AGE IN CENTRAL, EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
Compare the strengths and weaknesses of linguistic and archaeological evidence as sources for the history of the spread of the Early Iron Age in eastern, central and southern Africa.
Describe and discuss the similarities and differences in the styles of Early Iron Age pottery shown in the illustration to this chapter. What do you think the study of their pottery can reveal about the social and economic activities of these Early Iron Age farmers?
If you are in a class or group in which a variety of different home languages are spoken, or other languages are known to you, draw up in English a list of words related to the way of life of Early Iron Age farmers, described on pages 66-7, e.g. cattle, goat, pumpkin, melon, axe, iron, salt, hunting etc. Now, alongside each word, write the equivalent word in the different languages known to you or your group. From the evidence of this simple linguistic test, do some of the languages seem to be more closely related than others? Do some words stand out as being significantly different? Can you explain the similarities or differences in terms of the history of the peoples represented by these languages?
Why, following the initial appearance of iron-working in the lakeland region of east Africa, did it take so long for the knowledge and practices to spread; and why, once started, did the Early Iron Age spread so rapidly through eastern, central and southern
Discuss the changing relationships between stone-using hunter-gatherers and iron-working farmers of eastern, central and southern Africa. In what way might either community have benefited or suffered from the presence of the other?
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