This paper synthesises the findings of three seasons of fieldwork in Western Sahara, focusing on the funerary and related archaeology of the Polisario-controlled “Free Zone”. Building on the results of a reconnaissance survey in the Northern Sector of the Free Zone in 2002, new findings from a reconnaissance survey in the Southern Sector are presented. Results from both seasons are integrated in order to provide a tentative description of the spatial distribution of stone monuments in this region. Emerging spatial patterns are described, indicating similarities but also significant differences between the Northern and Southern Sectors in terms of the archaeological record. Preliminary results from the excavation of two funerary monuments, undertaken during a third season in the Northern Sector, are also presented. These conical tumulus monuments contained articulated human skeletons and a limited variety of grave goods. The presence of metal in both tumuli suggests that they are likely to date from the first millennium BCE.
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|Published - Jun 2006