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New light on the early Islamic West African gold trade: Coin moulds from Tadmekka, Mali

Nixon, S; Rehren, T; Guerra, MF; (2011) New light on the early Islamic West African gold trade: Coin moulds from Tadmekka, Mali. Antiquity , 85 (330) pp. 1353-1368.

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Abstract

Tadmekka, a town at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, has produced good evidence for making gold coins in the ninth-tenth century AD, the first concrete proof of coinage in precolonial West Africa These were produced by melting gold dust or nuggets in ceramic moulds, similar to those used for the first pelletlike coinage of the European Iron Age The authors suggest these coins were not political statements, but were probably blank and intended to facilitate the busy early Islamic caravan trade to destinations north, south or east On arrival at the Mediterranean coast, these blank pieces would have been melted down or converted into inscribed coins by the local authorities.

Type: Article
Title: New light on the early Islamic West African gold trade: Coin moulds from Tadmekka, Mali
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1383692
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