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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article suggests that traditional historiography and archaeology would see the central Sahel as having emerged to a landscape of statehood in the course of the southbound expansion of Islam and associated trade and contacts. The relatively recent discovery of extensive walled settlements at the transition from the Neolithic to the Early Iron Age in the Chad Basin indicates what enormous sites and processes may still await recognition. Hierarchical structures may well already have existed during the first millennium cal. BC, continuing into the early first millennium AD. The central Sahel came under the sway of the Fulani jihad during the early nineteenth century and about a hundred years later was divided between the European colonial powers of Britain, Germany, and France.

Keywords: archaeology, Islam, walled settlements, Chad Basin, hierarchical structures, Fulani jihad

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