Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology
Insoll, T (with other contributions). 2000. Urbanism, Archaeology and Trade. Further Observations on the Gao Region (Mali). The 1996 Fieldseason Results. BAR S829. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 165 pp.

Insoll, T (with other contributions). 2000. Urbanism, Archaeology and Trade. Further Observations on the Gao Region (Mali). The 1996 Fieldseason Results. BAR S829. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 165 pp.

Both volumes are available from www.hadrianbooks.co.uk or www.archaeopress.com

Together with Islam, Archaelogy and History, these two volumes present the results of a major project completed between 1993-1996 in the city of Gao and its surrounding region on the River Niger in Mali. Gao is considered from its origins in the sixth to seventh centuries AD through to the thirteenth to fourteenth centuries AD. Excavations delimited various components of the merchants’ town; part of a mosque, a stone defensive wall and a rich merchants’ house/palace, as well as areas of a neighbouring quarter, Gadei, where architectural traditions and by implication influences and potentially populations differed. The results of test-excavations at the immense tell site of Gao-Saney, and at Koima on the opposite bank of the Niger are also described. The beads, ceramics, metals, hippopotamus ivory, glass, faunal and botanical remains etc. recovered, are all described and illustrated. Prior research is considered at length in relation to trans-Saharan trade in the ‘medieval’ period, and to theories of Islamisation in the region, especially the ‘three-fold’, nomads, traders/townspeople, sedentary agriculturalist model. The research is contextualised within its wider setting in relation to sites associated with the Empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.