BOOK REVIEW Archaeological and Historical Views of African Islam The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa is a wide-ranging, continent-wide review dealing with the archaeological manifestations of Islam in their myriad of expressions. Aside from an introductory chapter and a brief conclusion, the organization of the book is primarily regional, successively moving through Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa to the Nilotic Sudan, the East African Coast, the Western Sahel, the Central Sudan, the West African Sudan and, finally, the African interior. Insoll's objective is to explore the distinctive character of Islam in Africa and to "...provide an introduction to the richness and diversity of Islamic material culture in sub-Saharan Africa in all its many forms, from mosques and tombs through to trade goods" (p. 1). In actuality, the book is wider in scope, the introductory material of the individual chapters including discussions of geographical and climatic background, as well as the regional cultural histories of the various areas considered. This coverage, combined with an assessable writing style and useful illustrations, make the work one of the best continent-wide surveys available on African archaeology, which should deservedly find space on the bookshelves of all Africanist archaeologists. Insoll advocates
Journal of African Archaeology – Brill
Published: Oct 25, 2005
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