Amphithéâtre Marguerite de Navarre, Site Marcelin Berthelot
En libre accès, dans la limite des places disponibles


This presentation provides a summary account of the evidence and research approaches relating to the development and operations of markets and commodity networks in the Saharan world in the period c. 7th-15th centuries AD, a crucial phase in the development of a highly linked trans-Saharan commercial network. Key themes approached will include the following: the nature and organisation of market centres and trade networks; the evolution of trans-Saharan commodity exchange, including the crucial trade in gold and the market operations linked to this (including gold weights and measures), as well as other key commodities including copper and salt; the relationship between markets, trade networks and political authorities, including Saharan political entities and West African kingdoms; the role of Islamic institutions and Muslim merchant communities. In addition to reviewing literary sources and other key sources, including numismatics, particular attention will be focused on archaeological data. Key localities focused on as case studies of archaeological investigation will include the following: Sijilmasa, Sedrata, Koumbi Saleh, Awdaghost-Tegdaoust, Essouk-Tadmekka, and Gao. The presentation will also consider methodological questions in the approach to the research theme and prospects for future research approaches.


Sam Nixon

chef de la section Afrique du British Museum, Londres, Royaume-Uni