Situated in the hinterland of the eastern Niger Bend in north-east Burkina Faso (Fig. 12.1), in the so-called Gourma area (that is, the bush-land on the right bank of the Niger River), the archaeological site of Kissi consists of an extensive cluster of adjacent settlement areas, including several burial grounds (Fig. 12.2). Its occupation during almost the whole Iron Age (c.third century BC to twelfth century AD) provides the opportunity to follow certain developments that local society underwent over more than a millennium. Spreading over an area of more than 300 hectares, the archaeological site lies on the northern shore of the Mare de Kissi (see Fig. 12.2), a small rainwater-fed lake, similar to – though smaller than – several other lakes in this region (that is, Mare d’Oursi c.35 km to the west, Mare de Darkoy c.6 km to the north, or Mare de Markoye c.15 km to the east, to name but the largest).