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The Peoples of the Middle Niger: The Island of Gold

ISBN: 978-0-631-17361-8
376 pages
October 1998, Wiley-Blackwell
The Peoples of the Middle Niger: The Island of Gold (0631173617) cover image


This book provides the first comprehensive history of the peoples of the Middle Niger written by an English-speaking scholar.
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Table of Contents

List of Plates.

List of Figures.

List of Maps.


1. Riches Beyond Lucre, The Island of Gold.

2. The Dry Basins of the Middle Niger.

3. Historical Imagination: 4100 BP.

4. Peoples of the Four Live Basins.

5. Historical Imagination: 300 BC.

6. Penetration of the Deep Basins.

7. Historical Imagination: AD 400.

8. Prosperity and Cities.

9. Historical Imagination: AD 1000.

10. The Imperial Tradition.

11. Historical Imagination: AD 1472.

12. Epilogue: Resilience of an Original Civil Society?.


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Author Information

Roderick James McIntosh is Professor of Anthropology at Rice University. As an undergraduate at Yale he excavated in Ghana, and his PhD research involved extensive work at Jenne-jeno. He has now worked for twenty years in Mali, and two years in Senegal. In 1990 he was Guggenheim Fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford) and in 1991 he was Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Dakar, Senegal. His previous publications include, with S. K. McIntosh, Prehistoric Investigations at Jenne, Mali (1980) and, edited with P. R. Schmidt, Plundering Africa's Past (1996).
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Provides archaeological, anthropological and historical overview of a key region of sub-Saharan Africa and its inhabitants
  • Relates the complex and dramatic climatic change to the development of human societies in the region
  • Reassesses the origins and nature of the earliest urban sites in sub-Saharan Africa, including the Jenne-Jeno complex and Timbuktu.
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"McIntosh's contribution is an immensely scholarly and in some ways a subversive book. The great strength of McIntosh's book is in its implicit demand that we re-examine the comfortable old taxonomies." History Today

"A splendid achievement ... this volume sets a new standard of thoroughness in the presentation of West African history." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

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