Summary: Africa is witnessing dramatic urban growth on a massive scale which, in the space of this century, has reversed the rural - urban settlement patterns of the continent. Yet urbanization has been an important feature of Africa's history for over two thousand years. Towns and cities have been important arenas around which societies have organized themselves: as centres of trade, economic activity and wealth accumulation; as foci of political action and authority; as military garrisons a ...show morend symbols of physical domination; as sites of ritual power and contact with the sacred; and as places of refuge, shelter and collective security in troubled times.This survey reveals a remarkable depth of urbanization in African history. Each chapter places the city at the centre of discussion. Themes developed are unexpectedly diverse, suggesting not only a distinctive history of urbanism but offering great potential for further research. This volume is thus presented as a starting point for the writing o This collection reveals a remarkable depth of urbanization in African history. It develops diverse themes, suggesting a distinctive history of urbanism and offering great potential for further research. This volume is thus presented as a starting point for the writing of deeper comparative histories of Africa's urban past. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 00
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