"Malaria and the Peopling of Early Tropical Africa"
This essay synthesizes research findings in the fields of microbiology, archaeology, and archaeobotany to explore the significance of malaria on the peopling of early tropical Africa, before the Common Era. It contends that human genetic responses to malarial infections in early tropical Africa constitute the earliest known chapters in the human experience with infectious disease. It also advances a new interpretation of the colonization of much of tropical Africa during the fifth-to-first millennia BCE demographic processes known as the 'Bantu expansions.' It argues against diffusionist theories and in favor of a more integrated theory of the peopling of the continent.