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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Excavating Essouk-Tadmakka (Mali): new archaeological investigations of early Islamic trans-Saharan trade
Author:Nixon, SamISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Volume:44
Issue:2
Pages:217-255
Language:English
Geographic terms:Mali
Sahara
Subjects:archaeology
mercantile history
long-distance trade
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00671990903047595
Abstract:This paper reports the first systematic excavations at Essouk-Tadmakka (Mali), one of the major West African trading towns that enabled the unprecedented flourishing of trans-Saharan trade during the early Islamic era (c. AD 650-1500). The 6,5 m excavated sequence (dating from the mid-first millennium AD to c. 1400) significantly improves understanding of Essouk-Tadmakka's 'prehistoric' and historic periods and, in doing so, provides a wealth of new evidence to help answer key questions about early Islamic trans-Saharan trade. Firstly, the excavations shed light on the changing scale of trade over time and space, providing unprecedented early (eighth/ninth century AD) evidence for extensive trade and new ideas about the geography of early trade routes. Additionally, new ideas are provided on sociocultural developments in the trade, including changes that occurred both during the Almoravid expansion and the rule of the Empire of Mali. Lastly, the excavations significantly improve understanding of the movement of trans-Saharan commodities, especially gold. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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