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


This presentation examines the history of Saharan and trans-Saharan trade from roughly the 1000s to the 1800s, a period extending from before the Almoravid movement, to eve of European conquest. It begins with a historiographical overview, which considers trends in the literature and the use of primary sources. It follows the movement of markets through the centuries, including the ebbs and flows in the demand for basic necessities (salt, foodstuffs, metals, textiles) and high-end commodities (precious metals, ivory, feathers, writing paper, slaves). While recognizing the involvement of most Saharan communities in caravan organizing, the chapter highlights certain groups that played prominent roles in organizing caravan trade at different points in time. The chapter also considers changes in the institutional infrastructure within Saharan zones, from weights and measures to commercial laws.


Ghislaine Lydon

Professeur à l’université de Californie à Los Angeles, États-Unis