The settlement mound of Birnin Lafiya: new evidence from the eastern arc of the Niger River

Anne Haour, Sam Nixon, Didier N'Dah, Carlos Magnavita, Alexandre Livingstone Smith

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Abstract

The development of complex social organisation and trade networks during the first and second millennia AD in the Sahel region of West Africa has long been hampered by a paucity of reliable data. Investigations at Birnin Lafiya, a large settlement mound of this period on the eastern arc of the Niger River, help to fill this gap. The site can now be placed within its broader landscape, and discoveries of early mud architecture, circular structures, human burial remains, personal ornamentation and striking potsherd pavements can be contrasted with contemporary sites both within the inland Niger region and at Ife to the south.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-710
Number of pages16
JournalAntiquity
Volume90
Issue number351
Early online date17 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Niger
  • fourth–thirteenth centuries AD
  • settlement mound
  • potsherd pavement
  • trade networks
  • social organisation

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