and likely points of origin and expansion of their ancestors. Undoubtedly, the specific details of human demographic history are more complex than any synthesis can account for, but we are focusing here on the overlap among the archaeological, linguistic, and genetic data collected in Africa to make inferences about African demographic history.
Africa is home to almost a third of all modern languages, encompassing >2,000 ethno-linguistic groups (Tishkoff et al., 2009) that have largely been classified into four language families: Niger-Kordofanian, Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and Khoesan. As displayed in Fig. 5.1, Niger-Kordofanian languages are spoken throughout western Africa, eastern Africa, central Africa, and southern Africa and include the common Bantu languages. The Afroasiatic language family includes languages spoken in northern, central, and eastern Africa such as Cushitic, Chadic, Semitic, and ancient Egyptian. The Nilo-Saharan language family is spoken predominantly in central and eastern Africa and includes the Sudanic and Nilotic languages. The Khoesan language family, which includes languages that