Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology
Insoll, T. 2003. The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge World Archaeology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 470pp.

Insoll, T. 2003. The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge World Archaeology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 470pp.

Sample Chapter Available Here – Chapter 1. The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Introduction.

Obtainable from www.cambridge.org or www.amazon.com

This volume provides the first ever continent wide review of Islamic archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa. It firmly places Islam within its pre-Islamic contexts, and in so-doing anchors the material as African rather than being a foreign implant. Furthermore, this book is also unique in employing a social perspective in considering the evidence, i.e. not merely providing sequences of monument types but evaluating why people converted to Islam, and how syncretic religious traditions have been created in the fusion of Islam and African traditional religions. This is achieved through adopting an inter-disciplinary approach. Examples of extracts from reviews of this book include:

  • David Robinson in H-SAfrica (www.h-net.org/reviews) writes, “Timothy Insoll has put together a remarkable study….based on considerable experience of archaeological research of his own in West and East Africa, and a thorough reading of the archaeological and historical literature, Insoll is able to give invaluable statements of synthesis and commentary on the major issues. Insoll has provided an invaluable study of Islam and archaeology that will serve as a benchmark for years to come. This book is a must for libraries and serious scholars of Islam, Africa and archaeology”.
  • Trevor Marchand in Antiquity (2004, 78, p.301) writes that, “This is a book long overdue….and its major contribution is surely the weave it produces between the social, religious, historical, and archaeological dimensions of Islam. Undoubtedly, the book will prove to be a valuable text for archaeology students and of definite appeal to those with an interest in Africa and Islam”.