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.
To cite this article
Fabre J.-M., 2012 – The Beli Valley (Markoye, Burkina Faso): an Important Siderurgical District in the Time of the Great Empires, in F.-X. Fauvelle-Aymar, Palethnology of Africa, P@lethnology, 4, 193-207.
The Role of Ethnohistoric Data in Reconstructing
Ancient Siderurgy in Dogon Country (Mali)
Since 2002, research on paleometallurgy in Dogon Country has revealed an exceptional history of siderurgical activity. More than one hundred smelting sites have been recorded, mapped and studied for the first time. Based on technological, cultural and economic criteria, we have attributed these sites to seven different siderurgical traditions. The existence and cohabitation of such diverse metallurgical remains within a limited geographic area (15000 km2) are very surprising. In this paper, we attempt to interpret this archaeological observation with the aid of ethnohistoric data. Based on this comparison of several sources, we propose a new historic scenario retracing the evolution of the traditional production of iron in Dogon Country.
To cite this article
Robion-Brunner C., 2012 – The Role of Ethnohistoric Data in Reconstructing Ancient Siderurgy in Dogon Country (Mali), in F.-X. Fauvelle-Aymar, Palethnology of Africa, P@lethnology, 4, 209-234.
Archéologie et Sciences humaines