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date: 06 August 2020

African Historical Geography, Landscapes, and Environmental Change 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources
Katherine HomewoodKatherine Homewood

In seeking to understand African historical geography and to situate their research within those landscapes and their environmental changes, historians of Africa are likely to ask about the spatial distribution and interconnections of sites of interest, their associated natural resources/land use, and how these interrelate in space and time. Historians may be interested in the onset and duration of climatic changes reshaping biophysical and often social environments, in patterns of environmental resource modification by the intertwined effects of biophysical and sociocultural factors—their enhancement or decline; their husbanding, extraction, depletion, or ultimately unsustainable use. In seeking to know more about such changes, historians might wish to distinguish different drivers of environmental change (biophysical or anthropogenic), different forms of land/resource use, and the sequence and timings of such changes. They might want to know more about the nature and timing of environmental changes associated with (or driving changes in) these relations—for example, the introduction of new species (e.g., the arrival of zebu cattle, ... ...

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