Sirio Canos Donnay
Political landscapes of Kaabu: power, space, and settlement patterns in southern Senegal
This research explores the dynamic interplay between landscape and power in ancient polities by focusing on the way settlement patterns evolve as a result of changes in political structures. Methodologically this involves a multi-faceted, multi-scalar contextual analysis of archaeological research (regional survey and test excavations), oral traditions, and historical accounts. My study is based on the area of Mampatim (Kolda region, Senegal) which underwent significant and well-documented political changes between the 10th and 19th centuries. Initially the capital of a local Baïnouk 'kingdom', it was incorporated into the Mali Empire during the 13th C as part of the Kaabu province, which would later become independent in the 16th C, and eventually dissolve in the late 19th C. The proposed research will document the evolution of the area's political landscape, and draw conclusions regarding the materialisation of power at the regional scale and the potential of settlement patterns as a means of studying complexity.
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
- Fieldwork:UCL Institute of Archaeology, UCL Graduate School, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Tweedy Fund (University of Edinburgh)
- BA Archaeology & Anthropology, 2009
- MA African Archaeology, UCL, 2010
MacDonald, K., Camara, S.,Canós Donnay, S., Keita, D. and Gestrich, N. in press. 'Sorotomo: a forgotten Malian capital?Archaeology International.
2010: African Archaeology Research Day Mythical Geographies and Archaeological Landscapes: the case of the Sunjata epic.
2012: Guns, Gold and Maps in PreColonial Africa Conference, Leiden 5th-6th July.Mythical geographies and Archaeological landscapes: a changing relationship