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The Empire of Ghana  

Nikolas Gestrich

The Empire of Ghana is one of the earliest known political formations in West Africa. Within the context of a growing trans-Saharan trade, Arabic sources begin to mention “Ghāna,” the name ... More

The Empire of Mali  

Sirio Canós-Donnay

The Mali Empire is one of the largest and most widely known precolonial African states. It has featured in films, video games, works of fiction, and its memory is still a profound force in ... More

Ismaili and Fatimid North Africa  

Christine D. Baker

The Fatimid dynasty ruled North Africa from 909 to 1171 CE. The Fatimids identified as Isma’ili Shi’is and they declared a Shi’i countercaliphate in Qayrawan to rival the Sunni ‘Abbasids ... More

Numerical Data and Statistical Sources  

Leigh Gardner

The use of numerical data and statistical sources in African history has expanded in recent decades, facilitated by technological advances and the digitization of primary sources. This ... More

The Archaeology of Political Complexity in West Africa Through 1450 CE  

Stephen Dueppen

Political complexity in archaeological research has traditionally been defined as socio-political differentiation (roles, statuses, offices) integrated through centralized systems of power ... More

Women, Power, and the State in Guinea  

Anna Dessertine

Women’s involvement in the processes of state formation is marked by a strong ambivalence in Guinea: female political mobilizations appear as an indispensable advantage for state power ... More

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