Gold. Copper. Iron. Metal working in Africa has been the subject of both popular lore and extensive archaeological investigation. In this volume, four leading archaeologists attempt to provide a complete synthesis of current debates and understandings: When, how and where was metal first introduced to the continent? How were iron and copper tools, implements, and objects used in everyday life, in trade, in political and cultural contexts? What role did metals play in the ideological systems of precolonial African peoples? Substantive chapters address the origins of African metal working and analyze the specific uses, technology, and ideology of both copper and iron. An ethnoarchaeological account in the words of a contemporary iron worker enriches the archaeological explanations. The volume will be of great value to scholars and students of archaeology, African history, and the history of technology.