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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 11 (1) 2013

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M. Cissé, S.K. McIntosh, L. Dussubieux, T. Fenn, D. Gallagher & A. Chipps Smith

Excavations at Gao Saney: New Evidence for Settlement Growth, Trade, and Interaction on the Niger Bend in the First Millennium CE

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 11 (1), 2013, pages 9-37, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10233

Abstract

Along with Ghana, Gawgaw (Gao) was an important regional trading polity mentioned by Arab chroniclers in the later first millennium CE. In the later tenth century, al-Muhallabi wrote of the dual towns of Gawgaw, one the residence of the king and the other a market and trading town called Sarneh. The large settlement mound of Gao Saney, located seven kilometers east of Gao, has long been thought to be the site of Sarneh. Excavations in 2001–2 and 2009 were the first sustained archaeological explorations of the main, 32-hectare mound, providing new information on function, subsistence economy, material culture, and chronology, and expanding considerably on earlier investigations by T. Insoll and R. Mauny. This article presents a broad overview of the recent excavations, focusing particularly on the evidence for spatial differentiation (domestic and workshop areas), chronology (both radiocarbon and ceramic) and involvement in trade networks.

Résumé
Avec le Ghana ancien, Gawgaw (Gao) était un des plus importants royaumes mentionnés par les chroniqueurs arabes pendant la fin du premier Millénaire après JC. Tard au dixième siècle, al-Muhallabi a fait une description des deux villes de Gawgaw, l'une, la résidence du roi et l'autre, une ville de marché et de commerce appelé Sarneh. Le grand tertre de Gao Saney, situé à sept kilomètres à l'est de Gao, a longtemps été pensé être le site de Sarneh. Les fouilles de 2001–02 et 2009 ont été les premières explorations archéologiques d'envergure sur la butte principale de 32 hectares, offrant de nouvelles informations sur la fonction, l'économie de subsistance, la culture matérielle, et la chronologie, et amplifiant considérablement les investigations antérieures de T. Insoll et R. Mauny. Cet article présente une vue d'ensemble des récentes fouilles, se focalisant particulièrement sur les preuves de la différenciation spatiale (zones domestiques et ateliers), la chronologie (à la fois avec le radiocarbone et la céramique) et l'implication dans les réseaux commerciaux.


Keywords: copper, Gao Saney, glass beads, Niger Bend, trade networks


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Editors:
Sonja Magnavita, Peter Breunig

Book Review Editor:
Katie Manning, UK

Editorial Advisory Board:
Graham Connah, Australia
Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
Tom Huffman, South Africa
Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
David Killick, USA
Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
David Mattingly, UK
Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
Peter Robertshaw, USA
Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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Sam Nixon, UK
Gaby Franke, Germany
Annabelle Gallin, France
Richard Byer, Germany

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Carlos Magnavita, Germany


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