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In many ways the African diaspora is a contentious episode from the past (and indeed present). This free course, The African diaspora: An archaeological perspective, explores why this area of research has been traditionally under-represented and highlights the ways in which archaeology can contribute to this fast-growing field of study.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the modern academic approaches to the study of African slavery
- show an awareness of the links between archaeology and related academic disciplines, such as history, in the study of the past
- understand the classification of different forms of slavery in the past.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The African diaspora: An archaeological perspective
The African diaspora, in its broadest terms, is the dispersal of people of African descent from Africa to other parts of the world – particularly Europe, America and Southwest Asia. The process has been occurring over much of the past 2,000 years in various ways, with different cultures and societies involved.
Through much of this time, slavery has been the driving force behind the diaspora. The Roman Empire drew some of its slaves from sub-Saharan Africa. Arab slave traders drew slaves from northern sub-Saharan Africa and East Africa for more than 1,000 years, taking them to Southwest Asia. Slaves were taken from Africa by Christian slave traders to work in the Americas from soon after the time it was visited by Columbus (sometimes called the post-Columbian period) to the middle of the nineteenth century, when the trade was finally eradicated.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Social & Economic History courses or view the range of currently available OU Social & Economic History courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 19th January 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 19th January 2016
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