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Dia Shoma(Mali), a medieval cemetery in the inner Niger delta

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to compare burial typology from Dia Shoma medieval cemetery (Mali) with previously documented funerary practices of the inner Niger delta in order to expand our knowledge of the mortuary rituals once practised in this region. Considering archaeological resources from an anthropological viewpoint provides us with new information about human migration, settlement, cultural affiliation and way of life. From this point of view, especially for the period between 800 and 1000 AD, Dia Shoma offers much insight into the history of this cultural melting pot. Dia Shoma is of particular interest in regards to migration in the Western Sahara region. The burials of Dia Shoma have been characterized by morphometrical features as well as associated funeral practices. The different types of burials that coexist at Dia Shoma indicate a region of cultural diversity. Along with the existence of different kinds of tombs, an increase in various archaeological remains lends evidence towards a community co-occupied by herders, fishermen and farmers. The change in the association of funerary practices around 1000AD could be interpreted as an indirect disturbance to the former socioeconomic trade and cultural exchange, possibly triggered by the fall of the Empire of Ghana under the influence of the Almoravides
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V. Zeitoun, E. Gatto, H. Rougier, S. Sidibé. Dia Shoma(Mali), a medieval cemetery in the inner Niger delta. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Wiley, 2004, 14 (2), pp.112-125. ⟨10.1002/oa.716⟩. ⟨hal-02977684⟩



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