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The Analysis of Archaeological Materials and Evidence for Trade at Gao-Saney (Mali)

Funds are requested for specialist analyses of archaeological matetials recovered during excavations in January 2009 at the trade town of Gao Saney on the eastern Bend of the Niger River. Previously believed to be an 11-13"c. dynastic center, my 2002 excavations suggest that it is the later first millennium trade town of Sameh mentioned by Arab geographers. Funds will be used for radiocarbon dates to establish chronology in the sector excavated in 2009, for faunal and paleobotanical analyses to identifY the subsistence base and any non-local plants that may have been imported, for chemical analysis of glass beads which resemble first miiiennium bead from Nigeria and East Africa to establish whether they share a common source, and lead isotope analysis of
copper to identifY ore sources. These analyses, when combined with my own analyses of site stratigraphy, spatial analysis of features, and analysis and description of ceramics, metals, and glass recovered from the excavations, will present the first systematic investigation of an early trade town on the eastern Niger Bend and its far-flung trading connections.