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February 21 , 2008

The Sahara

Past, Present and Future


This collection examines the Sahara holistically from the earliest (prehistoric) times through the ‘historical’ period to the present and with political direction into the future. The contributions cover palaeoclimatology, history, archaeology (cultural heritage), social anthropology, sociology, politics and international affairs. Structured chronologically, the volume can almost be read as a narrative of the Sahara from the earliest times to the present, i.e. from the past climates of the Sahara in prehistoric times to the current ‘war on terror’ and its implications for the peoples of the Sahara. Importantly, the collection shows how the region must be approached ‘holistically’, highlighting the importance of each of these subject areas (palaeo-climates, history, politics, etc.) in relation to each other. Indeed, the first contribution is a remarkable (and unique) paper, bringing together the work of some 8-9 internationally recognised scientists to tell the story and show the relevance to the present day of the Sahara’s past climates etc. Nearly all the contributions stand in their own right at the cutting edge of research in their respective fields (e.g. archaeology, history, politics, etc.).

This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of North African Studies.

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