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The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa


Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: July 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521657020


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About the Authors
  • This is the first general study of the impact of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa. Timothy Insoll charts the historical background as well as the archaeological evidence attesting to the spread of Islam across the Sudan, Ethiopia, Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Nigeria, surveying a time-span from the immediate pre-Islamic period through to the present. He also analyses in detail the syncretism which has occurred between Islam and African traditional religions, and looks at the processes - jihad, trade, missionary activity, prestige - by which Islam spread. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and students, as well as to all those interested in Africa, archaeology, religion and Islam.

    • Unique comprehensive study of the impact of Islam in Africa
    • In depth analysis of the methods by which Islam spread and the syncretism that occurred with traditional African religions
    • Of great relevance to scholars, students and all those interested in Africa, archaeology, religion and Islam
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an enormously useful book … regional differences in approach and data availability are clear … One of the books strengths is that Insoll provides much background information for the advent of Islam in Africa and for the context of Muslim societies there … Insoll's thematic and continental synthesis is a stimulating pleasure to read and will long remain a valuable work of reference.' Cambridge Archaeological Journal

    '… Insoll's thematic and continental synthesis is a stimulating pleasure to read and will long remain a valuable work of reference.' Cambridge Archaeological Journal

    'This is a book long overdue.' Antiquity

    'It is a massive compendium of facts, sites and published opinions … This is a useful book that helps to understand the wider picture of Islam in Africa.' Journal of African History

    'Sub-Saharan Africa is a vast area, incorporating an incredible amount of cultural diversity and encompassing a myriad of material expressions, and this volume captures that diversity.' Journal of African Archaeology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521657020
    • length: 488 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.95kg
    • contains: 106 b/w illus. 19 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa: an introduction
    2. Aksum to Adal: Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa
    3. The Nilotic Sudan
    4. The Eastern African Coast and offshore islands
    5. The Western Sahel
    6. The Central Sudan
    7. The West African Sudan and Forest
    8. The African interior: Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa
    9. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Timothy Insoll, University of Manchester
    Timothy Insoll is Lecturer in Archaeology at the School of Art History and Archaeology of the University of Manchester.

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