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The Berbers (Peoples of Africa) Hardcover – 20 Mar 1996

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8ad8009c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ad8ac84) out of 5 stars The only general book on the Berbers in English 16 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Berbers occupy a huge area of North Africa from Morocco to western Egypt and as far south as Timbuktu and the Niger River. Historically, their influence extended to Sicily, southern Italy, and Spain and now enriches emigrant culture in contemporary France. They are not a single "people" but can be defined by their prehistoric Mediterranean origins, by a common language (or language-group) and by their historical tendency to seek refuge from a long succession of conquerors (Punic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Ottoman, French) in remote mountain or desert communities, where they could preserve their independence and way of life. This book, by an archaeologist and a historian, provides an excellent summary of Berber history and culture. It casts a critical eye on the traditional historical sources (almost all written by the conquerors, not by the Berbers themselves) and re-examines them in the light of contemporary archaeological and anthropological evidence. It is especially good in two areas: the Berbers' relationship to Islam, their adopted religion, and the relative freedom of women in Berber society. The black-and-white illustrations and maps are of uneven quality but nevertheless helpful in visualizing this complex and little-known culture
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c463e9c) out of 5 stars Good information 12 May 2010
By MariShelli - Published on
Very good information in this book, with comprehensive detail for the earliest times of the Berbers down to contemporary issues. Coverage of early Berber history is outstanding, showing that the Berbers are linked to indigenous Africans. For example as to the original Saharans in the BErber speaking zone, the authors note:

""the original Saharans were 'negroid' and left behind their distinctive art and iconography in rock carvings and art."

Intriguing links are noted with the tropical peoples of Upper Egypt. For example rather than simply accept older writings that allege sweeping invasions by "bearded men" from outside into Africa, or from elsewhere in the Maghreb, the authors reference hard anthropological data of actual specimens on the ground and find, Quote:

".. the skeletons seem to show closer resemblance to groups from the upper Nile Valley than to contemporary material from the Maghreb."

Blood type analyses show linkages between the Black Northern Haratin of Algeria and ancient Egyptians as detailed by the studies of Paoli 1972.

All in all a good roundup of information on the Berbers ancient and contemporary.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b4ee150) out of 5 stars The book is excellent in telling the history of the berbers from ancient ... 26 Aug. 2014
By Brian Helt - Published on
Verified Purchase
After reading another book on the same subject,I realized that the berbers played a large part of European history but did not know much about them. The book is excellent in telling the history of the berbers from ancient times up to the present
HASH(0x8ad43300) out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Dec. 2014
By Yushua - Published on
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An interesting and great read.
HASH(0x8ad8c15c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Feb. 2015
By Murtis Grant-Acquah - Published on
Verified Purchase
very informative
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