Towards a Better Understanding of Sub-Saharan Settlement Mounds before AD 1400: The Tells of Sadia on the Seno Plain (Dogon Country, Mali)

Towards a Better Understanding of Sub-Saharan Settlement Mounds before AD 1400: The Tells of... In the Niger Bend, many studies have shown the existence of settlement mounds which mainly developed between the 1 st millennium BC and the 15 th century AD. While knowledge about tell-type sites in sub-Saharan Africa has advanced in recent years, many aspects of this topic remain poorly understood. Considering the vast geographic area and time span, there is very little accurate chronostratigraphic information available. This relative lack of long sequences strongly limits the diachronic integration of cultural, economic and environmental data, necessary to unravel the socio-economic mechanisms underlying the emergence and development of this type of site. In this paper, we present the results of the excavations we recently conducted on a group of settlement mounds at Sadia, on the Seno Plain (Dogon Country, Mali), which allow a precise chronological, cultural and environmental sequence to be defined. By combining this work and the results from an extensive approach applied throughout the Dogon Country for more than fifteen years, we provide a scenario for the Seno tells and an insight into the development of Sahelian rural societies, including considerations on their interactions with the early State polities of the Niger Bend, prior to AD 1400. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Towards a Better Understanding of Sub-Saharan Settlement Mounds before AD 1400: The Tells of Sadia on the Seno Plain (Dogon Country, Mali)

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10266
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the Niger Bend, many studies have shown the existence of settlement mounds which mainly developed between the 1 st millennium BC and the 15 th century AD. While knowledge about tell-type sites in sub-Saharan Africa has advanced in recent years, many aspects of this topic remain poorly understood. Considering the vast geographic area and time span, there is very little accurate chronostratigraphic information available. This relative lack of long sequences strongly limits the diachronic integration of cultural, economic and environmental data, necessary to unravel the socio-economic mechanisms underlying the emergence and development of this type of site. In this paper, we present the results of the excavations we recently conducted on a group of settlement mounds at Sadia, on the Seno Plain (Dogon Country, Mali), which allow a precise chronological, cultural and environmental sequence to be defined. By combining this work and the results from an extensive approach applied throughout the Dogon Country for more than fifteen years, we provide a scenario for the Seno tells and an insight into the development of Sahelian rural societies, including considerations on their interactions with the early State polities of the Niger Bend, prior to AD 1400.

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Nov 1, 2015

Keywords: West Africa; settlement mounds; chronology; environment; rural societies; early Sahelian polities

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