African Archaeological Review

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 477–479 | Cite as

Sam Nixon (Ed.): Essouk-Tadmekka. An Early Islamic Trans-Saharan Market Town

Journal of African Archaeology Monographs, 12, Brill, Leiden, 2017, 422 pp., ISBN 978-90-04-34614-7
  • Abigail Chipps StoneEmail author
Book Review

Archaeological searches for medieval West African capitals have an uneven history of success. The recently published Search for Takrur (McIntosh et al. 2016), ends without Takrur being found. Likewise, the location and identity of the capital(s) of the Empire of Mali are the subject of debate amongst archaeologists and historians (Conrad 1994; MacDonald et al. 2011). In contrast, Sam Nixon’s new book, Essouk-Tadmekka, firmly establishes that the archaeological site of Essouk was in fact the trade capital Tadmekka mentioned in various medieval Arabic sources. Although there had been little doubt about this association prior to Nixon’s work, new examination of Arabic inscriptions at the site alongside excavation data provide concrete evidence of the link. Beyond establishing this connection, however, Nixon’s work provides a deep look into the history of settlement at Essouk and its role in the broader Saharan system.

Essouk-Tadmekkareports the results of Nixon’s 2004–2005 dissertation...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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