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  • Cited by 28
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
September 2020
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Book description

The ancient Sahara has often been treated as a periphery or barrier, but this agenda-setting book – the final volume of the Trans-Saharan Archaeology Series – demonstrates that it was teeming with technological innovations, knowledge transfer, and trade from long before the Islamic period. In each chapter, expert authors present important syntheses, and new evidence for technologies from oasis farming and irrigation, animal husbandry and textile weaving, to pottery, glass and metal making by groups inhabiting the Sahara and contiguous zones. Scientific analysis is brought together with anthropology and archaeology. The resultant picture of transformations in technologies between the third millennium BC and the second millennium AD is rich and detailed, including analysis of the relationship between the different materials and techniques discussed, and demonstrating the significance of the Sahara both in its own right and in telling the stories of neighbouring regions.


‘Mobile Technologies in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond ranges far and wide. It serves as a nice capstone to the publications of the Trans-Sahara Project, and its chapters engage in dialogue with the essays in the earlier volumes. Every university library needs a copy, and everyone interested in the Sahara, or deserts more broadly, whether in antiquity or later, will find much to ruminate on.’

Gary Reger Source: American Journal of Archaeology

‘Thanks to a new and stimulating approach, this volume sheds light on both the history of techniques and technological know-how and the cultural history of non-European worlds.’

Stéphanie Guédon Source: Technology and Culture

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