The Lake Chad region of Nigeria is an extreme environment: virtually treeless sand and a broiling clay plain in the fierce heat of the dry season, then much of it inundated and impassable in the wet season as whole areas turn into shallow lakes or marsh. Yet even this hostile landscape and climate have sustained human communities in continuous occupation for some three hundred years. Professor Connah traces the story of human adaptation to and exploitation of this unusual environment from prehistoric to modern times. He presents a natural history of Man in the region, based largely on archaeological data but drawing also on written evidence, ethnography and oral tradition to reconstruct human history and experience in this largely unknown area. This ecological approach therefore cuts across the conventional boundaries between academic disciplines and the book is intended for students of African history as well as of archaeology. It provides too the historical context in which modern development programmes for the region can be set and to some extent judged. The book is amply and well illustrated.