The origins and development of African livestock - issues long ignored or marginalized - have come dramatically to the fore over the past decade. This is primarily the result of fresh evidence for an indigenous origin for African cattle. New data has mostly taken the form of osteological material from northeast Africa (Close & Wendorf 1992, Wendorf & Schild 1994), although tantalizing results from DNA studies on modern cattle now also seem to support an independent domestication of African cattle (Bradley et al. 1996, Bradley & Loftus, Ch. 13 in this volume). This is not to say that indigenous domestication has been unanimously accepted (see, for example, Muzzolini, Ch. 6 in this volume and Grigson, Ch. 4 in this volume). Indeed, it must be admitted that neither arguments for indigenous origin nor for importation are absolutely conclusive. But whichever hypothesis is eventually accepted, it is becoming increasingly apparent that contrary to expectation,

pastoralism preceded cereal agriculture in most of Africa. This hypothesis, discussed in more detail below, rests upon Sahelo-Saharan studies that have repeatedly produced evidence for livestock-keeping, without contemporary evidence for domestic cereals or field clearance (see also Hassan, Ch. 5 in this volume).