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


The spread of Islam gradually led to a new kind of globalization that connected different economic poles through trade routes from China to West Africa. The Sahara became the geographical center of one of these poles. Travelling across the desert was first motivated by trade and later by religious purposes or even war. The opening of new roads was facilitated by the fact that the Sahara was already inhabited. Putting aside the topic of trade, developed in other chapters, this chapter will focus on journeys – and their accounts – in the Sahara before the 19th century, especially caravans of pilgrims. Considering the economy of the caravan, understood as a vessel as well as a society, its actors, humans and animals, will give us a perspective from the terrain and take us through diverse Saharan landscapes.


Hadrien Collet

IFAO, Le Caire, Égypte