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Trade in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond

Trade in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond


Part of Trans-Saharan Archaeology

D. J. Mattingly, Judith Scheele, Anne Haour, Mamadou Cissé, Mark Horton, Alison Crowther, Nicole Boivin, Sam Nixon, Andrew Wilson, F. Cole, Lise Bender Jørgensen, Stéphanie Guédon, V. Leitch, C. N. Duckworth, A. Cuénod, M. Sterry, Michael Bonifay, Anna Leone, Sonja Magnavita, Laure Dussubieux
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  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107196995

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About the Authors
  • Saharan trade has been much debated in modern times, but the main focus of interest remains the medieval and early modern periods, for which more abundant written sources survive. The pre-Islamic origins of Trans-Saharan trade have been hotly contested over the years, mainly due to a lack of evidence. Many of the key commodities of trade are largely invisible archaeologically, being either of high value like gold and ivory, or organic like slaves and textiles or consumable commodities like salt. However, new research on the Libyan people known as the Garamantes and on their trading partners in the Sudan and Mediterranean Africa requires us to revise our views substantially. In this volume experts re-assess the evidence for a range of goods, including beads, textiles, metalwork and glass, and use it to paint a much more dynamic picture, demonstrating that the pre-Islamic Sahara was a more connected region than previously thought.

    • Re-unites separate traditions of archaeological and historical study of the Sahara and its neighbouring regions
    • Proposes a new model of origins of Saharan trade networks
    • Presents new scientific evidence and techniques that may help resolve questions about provenance and directionality of trade in ancient Sahara
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This groundbreaking work bridges the scholarship of North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa through a focus on ancient trade networks within the Sahara. … Trade in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond is an innovative anthology in which all scholars of Northern, Saharan, and Sub-Saharan Africa can find material that will inform their future research and their appreciation of the interrelations between these regions.' Matthew Thomas Finnie, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107196995
    • length: 466 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 183 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.12kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface D. J. Mattingly
    1. The Garamantes and the origins of Saharan trade: state of the field and future agendas D. J. Mattingly
    Part I. Connectivity and Networks:
    2. The invisible pastoralists: camel-herding, raiding, and Saharan trade and settlement Judith Scheele
    3. What made Islamic trade distinctive, as compared to pre-Islamic trade? Anne Haour
    4. The Trans-Saharan trade connection with Gao during the first millennium AD Mamadou Cissé
    5. Ships of the desert, camels of the ocean: Indian ocean perspectives on Trans-Saharan trade Mark Horton, Alison Crowther and Nicole Boivin
    6. The economies and cultures of the Trans-Saharan gold trade from pre-Islamic times to the modern era Sam Nixon
    7. Saharan exports to the Roman world Andrew Wilson
    Part II. Trade in Organic Materials:
    8. Early Saharan trade: the organic evidence D. J. Mattingly and Franca Cole
    9. Textiles and textile trade in the first millennium AD: evidence from Egypt Lise Bender Jørgensen
    10. Circulation and trade of textiles at the southern borders of Roman Africa Stéphanie Guédon
    Part III. Trade in Inorganic Materials:
    11. Early Saharan trade: the inorganic evidence V. Leitch, C. N. Duckworth, A. Cuénod, D. J. Mattingly, M. Sterry and F. Cole
    12. Can we speak of pottery and amphora 'import substitution' in inland regions of Roman Africa? Michael Bonifay
    13. Pottery and trade in North Africa and the Sub-Sahara Anna Leone
    14. Track and trace: archaeometric approaches to the study of early Trans-Sahara trade Sonja Magnavita
    15. Glass beads in Trans-Saharan trade Laure Dussubieux
    16. Concluding discussion D. J. Mattingly, V. Leitch, C. N. Duckworth, A. Cuénod and M. Sterry.

  • Editors

    D. J. Mattingly, University of Leicester
    D. J. Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Leicester. He has published widely on the archaeology of North Africa and the Sahara.

    V. Leitch, University of Leicester
    V. Leitch is Publications Manager at the Society for Libyan Studies and has worked on excavations in Italy, Sicily, Tunisia and Libya.

    C. N. Duckworth, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    C. N. Duckworth is a Lecturer in Archaeological Materials Science at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She specialises in ancient pyrotechnology, particularly glass manufacture and recycling.

    A. Cuénod, University of Leicester
    A. Cuénod is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester. Her research has centred on metal production and trade in the pre-Islamic Sahara.

    M. Sterry, University of Leicester
    M. Sterry is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leicester, specialising in GIS analysis, remote sensing and landscape archaeology, particularly in the study of Saharan oases.

    F. Cole, University College London, Qatar
    F. Cole is an archaeologist, conservator and material culture expert. She has worked extensively in museums and excavations across north Africa, the Levant, Arabia, Latin America and Southeast Asia.


    D. J. Mattingly, Judith Scheele, Anne Haour, Mamadou Cissé, Mark Horton, Alison Crowther, Nicole Boivin, Sam Nixon, Andrew Wilson, F. Cole, Lise Bender Jørgensen, Stéphanie Guédon, V. Leitch, C. N. Duckworth, A. Cuénod, M. Sterry, Michael Bonifay, Anna Leone, Sonja Magnavita, Laure Dussubieux

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