Publication: Archaeological research on the Kingdom of Kanem-Borno, Chad

PAPER – Project 4 – The Lake Chad region as a crossroad

C. Magnavita/Z. Dangbet/T. Bouimon, The Lake Chad region as a crossroads: an archaeological and oral historical research project on early Kanem-Borno and its intra-African connections, in: Afrique : Archéologie & Arts 15, 2019, 97-110. DOI:

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Abstract (source: Open Edition Journals):

The history of the Lake Chad region is intrinsically linked to the Kanem-Borno Empire (8th-19th century AD), the earliest, longest-lived and most powerful state in the Central Sudan. To a large extent, that political achievement resulted from the economic and cultural relations that the state once established to near and more distant African regions. Whilst historians are aware of the far-flung connections that Kanem-Borno early maintained to North Africa and, later on, to a couple of West African areas, its linkages to eastern regions such as Darfur and the Nile Valley remain up to now poorly understood. Within the scope of a new interdisciplinary research project, the authors intend to test the hypothesis that the Lake Chad region, beyond its trans-Saharan linkages, was once a major crossroads for a yet undocumented east-west trans-Sudanic route linking the Middle Nile Valley with West Africa in medieval times. The present paper introduces the historical and archaeological background to the research project, its timeframe, overall objectives and the methodologies employed for disentangling one of the most puzzling themes in Central Sudanic archaeology and history.

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