The Beli Valley (Markoye, Burkina Faso):
an Important Siderurgical District
in the Time of the Great Empires
The surveys carried out in the valley of the Beli in the north of Burkina Faso enabled to identify numerous metallurgical sites. The uniqueness and specialisation of the area, together with the intensity and standardisation of the production, seem to characterise a siderurgical district from the late 1st and the early 2nd millennium AD. With the exception of the excavations carried out on the neighbouring sites of Kissi and Oursi, the chronocultural regional contexts are little known and do not yet enable the identification of the actors or sponsors of the metallurgical activity. We identify here the various avenues of investigation provided by the comparison of the different written and oral sources.