Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology

Professor Timothy Insoll PortraitWelcome, I am Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology, and Director of the Centre for Islamic Archaeology, at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (see This website provides an introduction to my research projects, and publications. My research interests are varied and are in later African (Iron Age) archaeology and global Islamic archaeology, as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to the archaeology of identities, the archaeology of medicine and healing, archaeological approaches to rituals and religions, the ethnoarchaeology of ritual practices, and the archaeology of shrines and sacrifice, all primarily in relation to sub-Saharan Africa. I am also interested in ethnobotany, and the source analysis of archaeological materials, particularly beads. You will find links to publications on these, as well as information on, and images of my field projects on Islamisation in eastern Ethiopia; archaeology and ethnography of Talensi shrines in Northern Ghana; urbanism, Islamisation, and long distance trade in Timbuktu and Gao in Mali; on the development of Early Islamic Bahrain; cattle modification in southwest Ethiopia; bead-making in Western India; archaeological survey of the Dahlak Islands off the Red Sea coast of Eritrea; and my participation in the Koma Land figurines project in Northern Ghana. I can be contacted at