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Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk

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Winner of the 2016-2018 Book Prize of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA).

The land of Bambuk was an important source of gold for trans-Saharan trade and the imperial polities of Ghana and Mali, yet the non-centralized societies of this region remain largely peripheral in the historiography of West Africa. Drawing on recent archaeological research at the site of Diouboye in eastern Senegal, this book explores social life in medieval Bambuk from the standpoint of a village occupied over several centuries (1000-1400 CE). Material and spatial data from excavations, together with those from survey of the middle Falemme River basin, enable a critical look at how interactions across multiple scales—among neighboring houses, between cultural and craft traditions, and within a much broader political economy—created both possibilities for and challenges to the ongoing production of a local community at Diouboye. By moving back and forth across these scales centered on a single village, Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk outlines a relational archaeology of community applicable to the study of seemingly peripheral societies and processes of pre-modern globalization across Africa and beyond.

Published: Jul 1, 2016


Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Cameron Gokee
List of Tables Cameron Gokee
Acknowledgements Cameron Gokee
Chapter 1
Village Communities: Rethinking Power and Periphery Cameron Gokee
Chapter 2
A Medieval Mosaic in the Western Sudan Cameron Gokee
Chapter 3
In Search of Bambuk Cameron Gokee
Chapter 4
Everyday Life in the Land of Gold Cameron Gokee
Chapter 5
Materializing Interaction: Architecture and Artifacts Cameron Gokee
Chapter 6
Spaces of Interaction: Houses and Quarters Cameron Gokee
Chapter 7
Depositional Histories I: The East Quarter Cameron Gokee
Chapter 8
Depositional Histories II: The West Quarter and Chronology Cameron Gokee
Chapter 9
Landscape and Interaction Cameron Gokee
Chapter 10
Assembling the Medieval Village Cameron Gokee
Chapter 11
Globalized Communities: Perspectives from Prehistory Cameron Gokee
End Matter
References Cameron Gokee
Index Cameron Gokee

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The volume is nicely produced and is a useful contribution to our understanding of the medieval (Iron Age) archaeology of West Africa, and is achieved in a theoretically mature manner.