MlJeJe4

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner; Enrico Cioni ♥ General description written by EC.

♠ Original name ♣ Jenne-jeno IV ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Jenne-jeno Phase IV; Djoboro; Do-Dojobor; Zoboro; Old Jenne; Djenne-jeno ♥ Djoboro[1], Do-Dojobor and Zoboro. [2] Jenne-jeno ("Old Jenne"; Djenne-jeno) [3]

State of Djenne (if there was a power-relationship between the two cities).

"The western borders of the state of Djenne, before the conquest of the city by Sonni Ali, were defended by the commanders of twelve army corps deployed in the country of Sana: they were specifically assigned to surveillence of the movements of Mali. The Sana-faran was their general-in-chief."[4]

♠ Peak Date ♣ 1100 CE ♥

"Jenne-jeno's floruit: 450-1100 C.E."[5]

"Jenne-jeno's floruit between 800-1000 C.E."[6]

After 1180 CE "Jenne-jeno begins a 200-year long period of decline and gradual abandonment, before it becomes a ghost town by 1400."[7]

Decline of Jenne-Jeno accompanied the rise of the new city of Djenne (the modern town, established "much earlier" than 1100 CE[8]). We could hypothesize that Djenne started out as a political, military and ritual center which controlled the economic center at Jenne-Jeno, until Djenne took that over itself. However, this is my speculation. R and S McIntosh says "Analyses conducted thus far have not yielded any information on the possible reasons for the new settlement at Djenné."[9]

Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 900-1300 CE ♥

Decline of Jenne-Jeno accompanied the rise of the new city of Djenne (the modern town, established "much earlier" than 1100 CE[10]). We could hypothesize that Djenne started out as a political, military and ritual center which controlled the economic center at Jenne-Jeno, until Djenne took that over itself. However, this is my speculation. R and S McIntosh says: "Analyses conducted thus far have not yielded any information on the possible reasons for the new settlement at Djenné."[11]

1977 excavation habitation 250 BCE to at least 12th century CE "Gradual abandonment of the site was probably in progress soon thereafter" 1400 CE reasonable estimate for abandonment, but could be as early as 1200 CE. [12]

"all we can state with confidence is that Jenne-jeno must have been abandoned by at least A.D. 1468, at which time Sonni Ali garrisoned his troops there."[13]

Hambarketolo was also abandoned same time as Jenne-jeno. [14]

Phase IV [15] dates not stated. inferred: 900-[1200-1400] CE

hypothesize "Muslim market center of Jenne as the primary cause of Jenne-jeno's abandonment." [16]

Jenne-Jeno: town certainly existed 400-900 CE and it "developed greatly during the following period, from 900 to 1400." Important centre for regional trade, not linked to Saharan trade. [17]

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ quasi-polity ♥

There is no evidence of a hierarchical social system and centralized control[18]

Jenne-jeno was "a large, complex, but non-coercive urban settlement."[19] "the demands of specialization pushed groups apart while the requirements of a generalized economy pulled them together ... created a dynamism that ensured growth and the establishment of urban settlements. And they were non-coercive settlements. Groups congregated by choice. This is an instance of transformation from a rural to an urban society that did not establish a hierarchical society and coercive centralized control... The process in the delta and at Jenne-jeno in particular, was one of 'complexification' rather than centralization."[20]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Jenne-Jeno III ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ contination ♥ "In the ninth century, two noticeable changes occur (Pl. 5) : tauf house foundations are replaced by cylindrical brick architecture, and painted pottery is replaced by pottery with impressed and stamped decoration. The source of these novelties is unknown, although we can say that they did not involve any fundamental shift in the form or general layout of either houses or pottery. So it is unlikely that any major change in the ethnic composition of Jenne-jeno was associated with the changes. Change with continuity was the prevailing pattern." [21]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Sosso Kingdom ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Jenne Culture ♥ Earlier coded as Sahel Tell Culture. In this more developed phase there presumably developed a more distinct local identity, so the supracultural entity will be a much smaller area. Al Sa'di's describes the territory of Jenne as "from Lake Debo in the north to the Volta Bend in the south, and borders on the Bandiagara highlands to the east. It is not clear whether Jenne's territory was defined by political suzerainty, economic domination, or some other means entirely."[22]
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ 25,000 ♥ km squared. Al Sa'di's describes the territory of Jenne as "from Lake Debo in the north to the Volta Bend in the south, and borders on the Bandiagara highlands to the east. It is not clear whether Jenne's territory was defined by political suzerainty, economic domination, or some other means entirely."[23] With Google area calculator this works out at about 25,000 km2. "In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unambiguous evidence of North African or Islamic influences appears at Jenne-jeno in the form of brass, spindle whorls, and rectilinear houses. This occurs within a century of the traditional date of 1180 C.E. for the conversion of Jenne's king (Koi) Konboro to Islam, according to the Tarikh es-Sudan." [24]

♠ Capital ♣ ♥


♠ Language ♣ ♥

General Description

The archaeological site of Jenne-jeno (or Djenné-djenno) is a mound located in the Niger Inland Delta, a region of West Africa just south of the Sahara and part of modern-day Mali, characterized by lakes and floodplains. It was continuously inhabited between 250 BCE and 1300 CE. 'Jenne-jeno IV' refers to the period from 900 to 1300 CE. This roughly corresponds to the tail end of the region's 'urban prosperity' phase, and the beginning of the 'urban shake-up'.[25] By this period, the inhabitants of Jenne-jeno had established long-distance trade networks and developed bronzeworking. Around 1000, they started working with brass, and the population continued to grow, reaching its peak between 1100 and 1200. They also produced an impressive corpus of terracotta figurines. However, in the 13th century, the population decreased rapidly, eventually leading to the abandonment of several sites, Jenne-jeno included, by 1400. The reasons for the decline are unclear, but they may include climate change, pandemic diseases such as plague, cultural upheaval deriving from the arrival of Islam and horses, and the emergence of the great West African empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai.[26]

Population and political organization

No population estimates could be found specifically for this period. However, the combined population of Jenne-jeno and its satellites within a one-kilometre radius had probably reached 10,000-26,000 people by 800 CE. The population continued to grow until 1200, and then rapidly declined in the 13th and 14th centuries.[27]
The political organization of Jenne-jeno may have been quite different from that of other ancient cities. In several decades of excavation, clear evidence for hierarchies of any kind has yet to be unearthed: it seems that Jenne-jeno had no palaces, rich tombs, temples, public buildings, or monumental architecture. Indeed, the city's very layout ‒ an assemblage of dispersed clusters ‒ suggests a resistance to centralization.[28] It is possible that, at this time, Niger Inland Delta society was organized 'heterarchically' rather than hierarchically: that is, it was divided into multiple components, each deriving authority from separate or overlapping sources, with mechanisms in place to prevent any one group from monopolizing power.[29]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 1,100 ♥ in squared kilometers

1,100 square kilometer hinterland [30]

"over 60 archaeological sites rise from the floodplain within a 4 kilometer radius of the modern town"[31]

"The mound that rose from the Niger floodplain with the growth of Jenne-jeno did not stand alone. Indeed, it was surrounded by twenty-five smaller mounds, all within a distance of one kilometre, all occupied simultaneously. The total surface area of Jenne-jeno and its satellites was 69 hectares; the total population when most densely occupied approached 27,000."[32]

♠ Polity Population ♣ [25,000-30,000] ♥ People.

"The mound that rose from the Niger floodplain with the growth of Jenne-jeno did not stand alone. Indeed, it was surrounded by twenty-five smaller mounds, all within a distance of one kilometre, all occupied simultaneously. The total surface area of Jenne-jeno and its satellites was 69 hectares; the total population when most densely occupied approached 27,000."[33]

"At its most densely populated (around AD 800) Jenne-jeno housed up to 27,000 people.[34]


♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [20,000-30,000] ♥ Inhabitants.

"At its most densely populated (around AD 800) Jenne-jeno housed up to 27,000 people.[35]

Estimate hectare size phase II:

settlement size "possibly exceeding 10 hectares" [36]
1977 archaeological investigation established the 3rd century BCE date and showed that by the eighth-ninth century it had become "an urban center of considerable proportions" [37]

Estimated hectare size early phase III:

"by 450 C.E., the settlement had expanded to at least 25 hectares (over 60 acres)."[38]

Estimate size at height phase III/phase IV:

"The total surface area of Jenne-jeno and its satellites was 69 hectares; the total population when most densely occupied approached 27,000."[39]
"At its most densely populated (around AD 800) Jenne-jeno housed up to 27,000 people.[40]
33 hectares. 9 hectare Hambarketolo connects to Jenne-jeno via an earthern dike. [41] this maximum area extent by 900-1000 CE[42]
"During this time, the settlement continued to grow, reaching its maximum area of 33 hectares by 850 C.E. We know that this is so because sherds of the distinctive painted pottery that was produced at Jenne-jeno only between 450-850 C.E. are present in all our excavation units, even those near the edge of the mound. And we find them at the neighboring mound of Hambarketolo, too, suggesting that these two connected sites totaling 41 hectares (100 acres) functioned as part of a single town complex (Pl. 4). [43]

Estimated size phase IV:

12th-14th centuries population at Jenne-jeno collapsed. [44]

Other notes:

modern town of Jenne (to be distinguished from ancient Jenne-jeno) was occupied by 500 CE. [45]
"In the ninth century, two noticeable changes occur (Pl. 5) : tauf house foundations are replaced by cylindrical brick architecture, and painted pottery is replaced by pottery with impressed and stamped decoration. The source of these novelties is unknown, although we can say that they did not involve any fundamental shift in the form or general layout of either houses or pottery. So it is unlikely that any major change in the ethnic composition of Jenne-jeno was associated with the changes. Change with continuity was the prevailing pattern." [46]

50,000: 1000 CE

"An estimate of 50,000 persons seems a reasonalbe minimum estimate for the population here at the turn of the present millennium."[47]
"By the end of the millennium, fully 69 satellites are in orbit about Jenne-jeno - and this number records only the tells (permanent settlements). Sadly, we too suffer from the classic Mesopotamian disease of seriously underrepresenting the affiliated, mobile segments of the community who seasonally set up temporary (and virtually invisible) camps in the vicinity. Under-counting the nomadic populations is just the beginning of our demographic difficulties."[48]


Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ ♥ levels.

1. Town (20,000+)

2. Large village (2000)
3. Small settlement

"During the late first millennium A.D., several nearby settlements comparable in size to Jenne-jeno existed, and the density of rural settlements may have been as great as ten times the density of villages in the hinterland today." [49]

"The mound that rose from the Niger floodplain with the growth of Jenne-jeno did not stand alone. Indeed, it was surrounded by twenty-five smaller mounds, all within a distance of one kilometre, all occupied simultaneously."[50]

"people were kept apart by virtue of their occupations and their ethnic identities. Sedentary communities, though clustered were dispersed."[51]

"Sudanic societies were built on small agricultural villages or herding communities, sometimes but not always integrated into larger tribal and linguistic groups." [52]

"As we currently understand the archaeology of the entire Jenne region, where over 60 archaeological sites rise from the floodplain within a 4 kilometer radius of the modern town (Pl. 7) , many of these sites were occupied at the time of Jenne-jeno's floruit between 800-1000 C.E.. We have suggested that extraordinary settlement clustering resulted from a clumping of population around a rare conjunction of highly desirable features (Pl. 8) : excellent rice-growing soils, levees for pasture in the flood season, deep basin for pasture in the dry season and access to both major river channels and the entire inland system of secondary and tertiary marigots from communication and trade." [53]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ [1-3] ♥ levels.

Decline of Jenne-Jeno accompanied the rise of the new city of Djenne (the modern town, established "much earlier" than 1100 CE[54]). We could hypothesize that Djenne started out as a political, military and ritual center which controlled the economic center at Jenne-Jeno, until Djenne took that over itself. However, this is my speculation. R and S McIntosh says: "Analyses conducted thus far have not yielded any information on the possible reasons for the new settlement at Djenné."[55]


"First, where are the elites, the chiefs, the kings, the early state bureaucracies? In other words, who keeps the peace? This is the first fundamental complaint raised by the distinctiveness of these towns with the traditional 'hierarchy as adaptive solution' approach to emerging complex society. To date, excavation at sites such as Jenne-jeno reveals no obvious signs of social stratification, as opposed to abundant evidence of (horizontal) social complexification. Where are the public buildings, the monuments, the shrines to state ideologies that classic preindustrial city theory tells use should be present? One has the strong impression of a highly complex society, with multiple overlapping and competing agencies of authority and decision making, and of resistance to centralization. The city's lay-out - the dispersed cluster - was an instrument of that resistance."[56]

"This assertion that heterarchy, rather than hierarchy, is the better description of authority at these cities recalls persistent Mande notions of who has decision-making roles in society, notions very familiar to historians, social anthropologists and art historians. Authority is shared amongst many corporate groups rather than being the monopoly of a charismatic individual (in Weber's sense) or of one bureaucratic lineage."[57]

There is no evidence of a hierarchical social system[58] Jenne-jeno was "a large, complex, but non-coercive urban settlement."[59] "the demands of specialization pushed groups apart while the requirements of a generalized economy pulled them together ... created a dynamism that ensured growth and the establishment of urban settlements. And they were non-coercive settlements. Groups congregated by choice. This is an instance of transformation from a rural to an urban society that did not establish a hierarchical society and coercive centralized control... The process in the delta and at Jenne-jeno in particular, was one of 'complexification' rather than centralization."[60]

Clan

(General reference for West African states) "the basic social and political unit appears in the past to have been the small local group, bound together by ties of kinship. When a number of groups came together they formed a clan. The heads of local clans were usually responsible for certain religious rites connected with the land." [61]

Kinship group

(General reference for West African states) "the basic social and political unit appears in the past to have been the small local group, bound together by ties of kinship. When a number of groups came together they formed a clan. The heads of local clans were usually responsible for certain religious rites connected with the land." [62]


In West Africa "Early states were simple in their government ... Some were ruled by a single chief or king and his counsellors. Others were governed by a council of chiefs or elders. Others again were formed by several neighbouring peoples whose chiefs were bound in loyalty to one another. Elsewhere, at the same time, there were people who found it better to get along without any chiefs."[63]

"Traditional groups such as clans ... or age-sets of people born at about the same time, had influence in these early states, as in later times, because they could underpin a system of law and order."[64]

♠ Religious levels ♣ ♥ levels.

At Jenne-jeno no evidence of "social ranking or authoritarian institutions such as a 'temple elite' has been found.[65]

"The continued practice of urn burial at Jenne-jeno through the fourteenth century tells us that many of the site's occupants did not convert to Islam."[66]

♠ Military levels ♣ ♥ levels.

Djenne was a new city 2.5km south-east of Jenne-jeno - what relationship was there - if any - between the old and the new cities?

"The western borders of the state of Djenne, before the conquest of the city by Sonni Ali, were defended by the commanders of twelve army corps deployed in the country of Sana: they were specifically assigned to surveillence of the movements of Mali. The Sana-faran was their general-in-chief."[67] There were officers under his orders.[68] "Likewise, twelve commanders of army corps were assigned to the east of the Niger toward Titili.[69] However, no references to Jenne-Jeno using military force to conquer other peoples and demand tribute. Army that is referred to could have been late in period and intended for defence, to maintain its independence against the growing military power of the empires of Western Sudan.

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ inferred absent: 900-1000 CE; [absent; present]: 1001-1300 CE ♥ Djenne was a new city 2.5km south-east of Jenne-jeno - what relationship was there - if any - between the old and the new cities?

Diop (1987) refers to what could possibly be a professional military officer for the state at Djenne: a "Sana-faran was their general-in-chief"[70] and he had officers under his orders.[71] Diop also references a Sovereign of Djenne who was was converted to Islam in the 12th century probably by ulema religious scholars.[72]

before Askia Muhammad Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply 'calling up' their subjects, their vassals, or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one."[73]

"The western borders of the state of Djenne, before the conquest of the city by Sonni Ali, were defended by the commanders of twelve army corps deployed in the country of Sana: they were specifically assigned to surveillence of the movements of Mali. The Sana-faran was their general-in-chief."[74] There were officers under his orders.[75] "Likewise, twelve commanders of army corps were assigned to the east of the Niger toward Titili.[76] However, no references to Jenne-Jeno using military force to conquer other peoples and demand tribute. Army that is referred to could have been late in period and intended for defence, to maintain its independence against the growing military power of the empires of Western Sudan.

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ inferred absent ♥ before Askia Muhammad of Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply 'calling up' their subjects, their vassals or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one."[77]

"The western borders of the state of Djenne, before the conquest of the city by Sonni Ali, were defended by the commanders of twelve army corps deployed in the country of Sana: they were specifically assigned to surveillence of the movements of Mali. The Sana-faran was their general-in-chief."[78] There were officers under his orders.[79] "Likewise, twelve commanders of army corps were assigned to the east of the Niger toward Titili.[80] However, no references to Jenne-Jeno using military force to conquer other peoples and demand tribute. Army that is referred to could have been late in period and intended for defence, to maintain its independence against the growing military power of the empires of Western Sudan.

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ suspected unknown ♥ At Jenne-jeno no evidence of "social ranking or authoritarian institutions such as a 'temple elite' has been found.[81] In Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence for a state bureaucracy, priesthood, military or a king[82]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ suspected unknown ♥ At Jenne-jeno no evidence of "social ranking or authoritarian institutions such as a 'temple elite' has been found.[83]

In Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence for a state bureaucracy, priesthood, military or a king[84]

♠ Examination system ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Judges ♣ suspected unknown ♥ In Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence for a state bureaucracy, priesthood, military or a king.[85]

♠ Courts ♣ suspected unknown ♥ In Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence for a state bureaucracy, priesthood, military or a king.[86]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ suspected unknown ♥ In Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence for a state bureaucracy, priesthood, military or a king.[87]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ 50-400 CE West African rice (Oryza glaberrima) domesticated. [88] In the Inland Delta region irrigation systems are unnecessary due to the annual inundation of the Niger river. Domesticated rice planted before the flood grows high enough to sprout above the flood waters. However, "Archaeological evidence affirms that the building of terraces and irrigation canals in sub-Saharan Africa pre-dates external influence..." [89] which suggests that irrigation systems are present in the archaeological sub-tradition.
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ markets ♣ inferred present ♥ "There may have been an open market place in a central location. The whole residential sector was enclosed by a wall built of solid rows of cylindrical mud brick, 3.6 meters wide at the base." c800 CE.[90]
♠ food storage sites ♣ inferred present ♥ Level of urbanism and domestication of rice and irrigation systems might suggest agricultural surpluses may have been possible and these could have been stored.

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ inferred present ♥ Ibn Battuta (14th century) on the African interior said: "there is no need to travel by caravan, for the roads are that secure."[91]
♠ Bridges ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Canals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ports ♣ inferred present ♥ "The middle section of the Niger, linking Timbuktu to Djenne (about 400 km upstream), and to Gao (about the same distance downstream), was the busiest inland waterway in West Africa... With its development, water transport transformed the middle Niger into one of the great centres of indigenous trade in Africa. It encouraged the growth of specialized occupations, such as the building and operation of canoes; it lead to the development of specialized ports on the water-ways; and it contributed to the political and economic homogeneity of the region." [92]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ iron mining[93] stone quarries, copper mines [94] Iron Age from 600 BCE in West Africa (e.g. Benue valley in Nigeria and upper Niger River) "the development and spread of the basic technologies of metal production and the forging and smithing of metal tools, notably in iron."[95]

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ present ♥ oral tradition sources. [96]
♠ Written records ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [97] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[98] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[99]
♠ Script ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [100] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[101] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[102]
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [103] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[104] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[105]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ absent ♥ Classic Arabic of Koran."In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unambiguous evidence of North African or Islamic influences appears at Jenne-jeno in the form of brass, spindle whorls, and rectilinear houses. This occurs within a century of the traditional date of 1180 C.E. for the conversion of Jenne's king (Koi) Konboro to Islam, according to the Tarikh es-Sudan." [106] "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [107] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[108] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[109]

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [110] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[111] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[112]
♠ Calendar ♣ absent ♥ Koran. Classic Arabic of Koran."In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unambiguous evidence of North African or Islamic influences appears at Jenne-jeno in the form of brass, spindle whorls, and rectilinear houses. This occurs within a century of the traditional date of 1180 C.E. for the conversion of Jenne's king (Koi) Konboro to Islam, according to the Tarikh es-Sudan." [113] "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [114] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[115] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[116]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent ♥ Koran. "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [117] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[118] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[119]
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent ♥ Koran. "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [120] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[121] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[122]
♠ Practical literature ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [123] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[124] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[125]
♠ History ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [126] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[127] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[128]
♠ Philosophy ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [129] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[130] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[131]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [132] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[133] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[134]
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥ "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [135] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events."[136] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao.[137]


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ Barter "at the periphery of the African kingdoms, some backwards tribes, such as the Lem-Lem in Southwest Ghana, perhaps on the banks of the present-day Faleme River, had been carrying on barter trade since the Carthaginian period."[138] This was where, without any direct contact, Carthaginian and Arab traders exchanged their goods for gold dust. However, this simple form of economy was not characteristic of the economies of the polities of these times.[139] barter economy and no professional merchants. "The non-essential items and foreign durables found at sites remote from their point of origin were traded from village to village, in relays, as part of what was certainly a vigorous trade in essential goods between local centres." [140]
♠ Tokens ♣ suspected unknown ♥ check for cowrie shells.
♠ Precious metals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ inferred present ♥ Cosmopolitan commerce centers: Timbuktu, Djenne, Biru, Soo, Ndob, Pekes and some others.[141] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)."[142]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ {absent; present} ♥ "no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert."[143] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)."[144] Currency included blocks of salt of different sizes.[145] According to Leo Africanus cowries used as currency for trading came from the Indian Ocean, via Persia.[146] According to al Bakri (11th century) 'The dinars they used were of pure gold and were called sola [bald] because they bore no imprints.' ... Thus these documents allow us to be sure of the use in Black Africa of imprinted gold coins, without, however, being able to know whether such imprints were effiges of local emperors or kings, or to know whether there was any generalized imperial currency minited apart from the mitkal standard."[147]
♠ Paper currency ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Level of urbanism and economic development (e.g. market and port) might suggest a messenger would have been necessary.
♠ Postal stations ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥ These codes were developed at Seshat archaeological Workshops in Oxford, 2014 and 2017

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ absent ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ absent ♥
♠ Iron ♣ [absent; present] ♥ Iron Age from 600 BCE in West Africa (e.g. Benue valley in Nigeria and upper Niger River) "the development and spread of the basic technologies of metal production and the forging and smithing of metal tools, notably in iron."[148] "Iron-headed hoes, probably invented some time after iron-pointed spears."[149] "Iron also brought, from about 600 BC onwards, a new source of military power."[150]
♠ Steel ♣ absent ♥

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [151]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥
♠ Slings ♣ absent ♥
♠ Self bow ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [152]
♠ Composite bow ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [153]
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [154]
♠ Battle axes ♣ absent ♥
♠ Daggers ♣ absent ♥
♠ Swords ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [155]
♠ Spears ♣ [absent; present] ♥ weapons: "clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [156]
♠ Polearms ♣ absent ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ absent ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ absent ♥
♠ Horses ♣ [absent; present] ♥ "The earliest irrefutable evidence of horses in sub-Saharan Africa comes from the Arabic texts, beginning with the writings of Al-Muhallabi from about AD 985. By then, however, the horse was a highly valued prestige animal, and camels were the vehicle of trans-Saharan trade."[157]
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥ "The earliest irrefutable evidence of horses in sub-Saharan Africa comes from the Arabic texts, beginning with the writings of Al-Muhallabi from about AD 985. By then, however, the horse was a highly valued prestige animal, and camels were the vehicle of trans-Saharan trade."[158]
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Shields ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Helmets ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Breastplates ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Limb protection ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Chainmail ♣ [absent; present] ♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ [absent; present] ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ absent ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥ Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad created a full-time navy on the Niger. Before him Sunni Ali had "Niger boatmen in his amateur military system."[159]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno, so if the wall was built for defensive purposes, it probably was with the intention of protecting the settlement from high and destructive floods; or else the wall served to control access to the market place and trade." [160]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno" [161]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ [absent; present] ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno" [162] Later, at least, Djenne known to have been "fortified by a system of ramparts, with a variable number of guarded gates. A fortified city was called a tata."[163]
♠ Ditch ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno" [164]
♠ Moat ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno" [165] "For much of every year, Jenne was encircled by the flood waters of the Niger river ... Its inhabitants also built high protecting walls round their city, somewhat like those that may still be seen at Kano".[166]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ absent ♥ hypothesised non-defensive functional wall was built with mud [167]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥ hypothesised non-defensive functional wall was built with mud [168]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of "external threats to Jenne-jeno" [169]
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ absent ♥ no citadel[170]
♠ Long walls ♣ suspected unknown ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥


Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ inferred present ♥ "One has the strong impression of a highly complex society, with multiple overlapping and competing agencies of authority and decision making, and of resistance to centralization. The city's lay-out - the dispersed cluster - was an instrument of that resistance."[171] "This assertion that heterarchy, rather than hierarchy, is the better description of authority at these cities recalls persistent Mande notions of who has decision-making roles in society, notions very familiar to historians, social anthropologists and art historians. Authority is shared amongst many corporate groups rather than being the monopoly of a charismatic individual (in Weber's sense) or of one bureaucratic lineage."[172]
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ inferred present ♥ "One has the strong impression of a highly complex society, with multiple overlapping and competing agencies of authority and decision making, and of resistance to centralization. The city's lay-out - the dispersed cluster - was an instrument of that resistance."[173] "This assertion that heterarchy, rather than hierarchy, is the better description of authority at these cities recalls persistent Mande notions of who has decision-making roles in society, notions very familiar to historians, social anthropologists and art historians. Authority is shared amongst many corporate groups rather than being the monopoly of a charismatic individual (in Weber's sense) or of one bureaucratic lineage."[174]
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Reader (1998) says at Jenne-Jeno there is no evidence of a hierarchical social system[175] Jenne-jeno was "a large, complex, but non-coercive urban settlement"[176]: "the demands of specialization pushed groups apart while the requirements of a generalized economy pulled them together ... created a dynamism that ensured growth and the establishment of urban settlements. And they were non-coercive settlements. Groups congregated by choice. This is an instance of transformation from a rural to an urban society that did not establish a hierarchical society and coercive centralized control... The process in the delta and at Jenne-jeno in particular, was one of 'complexification' rather than centralization."[177]

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Agathe Dupreyon; Edward A L Turner ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ NOTE: The following quote, previously used to justify an "inferred present" code, does not clearly and explicitly refer to the exact time period in question, and is written by a non-specialist (EC). "They believed, in short, that political authority came not from men or women but from God and the spirits. Those who exercised power on earth could do so, in other words, only if they were accepted as speaking and acting with the good will of their departed ancestors, who, in turn, were their protectors and helpers in the world of the spirits. Rulers could only rule if they were spiritually appointed to do so; and their subjects obeyed them not simply from respect for the king's power and law, but also for reasons of religion."[178]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ NOTE: The following quote, previously used to justify an "inferred present" code, does not clearly and explicitly refer to the exact time period in question, and is written by a non-specialist (EC). "They believed, in short, that political authority came not from men or women but from God and the spirits. Those who exercised power on earth could do so, in other words, only if they were accepted as speaking and acting with the good will of their departed ancestors, who, in turn, were their protectors and helpers in the world of the spirits. Rulers could only rule if they were spiritually appointed to do so; and their subjects obeyed them not simply from respect for the king's power and law, but also for reasons of religion."[179]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ ♥

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ ♥
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ ♥

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ suspected unknown ♥ NOTE: The following quote, previously used to justify an "[absent; present]" code, does not clearly and explicitly refer to the exact time period in question, and is written by a non-specialist (EC). In West Africa "What emerges from the records of research, centrally, is that all these peoples awarded supreme power to an idea of God as controlling everything and everyone, but doing this indirectly through subordinate spiritual powers. From this governing concept they derived ... a ruling morality for everyday life: the power of God, they held, would always reward right behaviour and punish wrong behaviour."[180]

♠ production of public goods ♣ ♥

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ unknown ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [181] [182] [183]

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