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Professor Timothy Insoll

Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology

4018

01392 724018

Professor Timothy Insoll is an archaeologist and Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic archaeology at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. His research interests are in later African archaeology (Iron Age) and Global Islamic archaeology. His personal web site is available here.

He joined the IAIS in 2016 previously having taught in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Manchester (1999-2016). Prior to this he was a Research Fellow at St John’s College, University of Cambridge (1995-1998), where he also completed his PhD at the Department of Archaeology (1992-1995). His BA is from the University of Sheffield (1989-1992).

He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is also a specialist assessor for the Cultural Protection Fund of the British Council, and an honorary archaeological advisor to the Court of the Crown Prince of Bahrain, honorary curator of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, visiting professor, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management, Jinka University, Southern Ethiopia (2017-2019), and formerly, honorary academic curator of African Archaeology at Manchester Museum (2014-2016). In the last 5 years he has been an advisory board member, Islamic Galleries re-development, British Museum (2016-2018); scientific committee member for the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris) exhibition, Islamic Art and Architecture in Africa (2016); a member of the Ellerman Foundation Project steering group for research on and access to Islamic collections, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, and Manchester Art Gallery; on the advisory committee for the development of the new South Asia gallery at Manchester Museum in partnership with the British Museum (2015-2016);  and a scientific committee member (2013) of The Gold Route: Art, Culture, and Trade Across the Sahara Exhibition, Art Institute, Chicago.

He is the author or editor of 10 monographs, 7 edited books and 3 special edited journal issues, 96 journal articles and book chapters, 48 other publications (excluding book reviews) and curator or co-curator of 6 exhibitions, and made 4 teaching films (see biography tab for publications list). In 2013 he co-curated the exhibition, Fragmentary Ancestors. Figurines and Archaeology from Koma Land, at Manchester Museum, which transferred as a permanent exhibit to the National Museum, Accra, Ghana, in 2014. Also in 2012 he co-curated the sub-Saharan Africa section of the major British Museum exhibition, Hajj. Journey to the Heart of Islam. He has also curated the permanent exhibition for the visitor centre and museum at the Al-Khamis Mosque, Bahrain, that opened in January 2017. Most recently he has curated the exhibition, Remembering the Dead in Bahraini Shia Cemeteries (2018), in the Street Gallery, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Islamic Archaeology, Journal of African Archaeology, Antiquity, Material Religion, Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, and Ghana Social Science Journal. Previously he was on the editorial board of the African Archaeological Review (2000-2012) and joint editor of the series, Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology (2006-2011). He has appeared in various media, particularly in relation to the destruction, protection, and restoration of Islamic heritage in northern Mali (e.g. BBC World News, Al-Jazeera, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio France International), and about his archaeological research in eastern Ethiopia (e.g. BBC World Service, The Daily Telegraph, Newsweek, Radio France International).

Timothy Insoll has 27 years of experience of fieldwork in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, having completed field research in, for example, Pemba Island in Tanzania, Gao and Timbuktu in Mali, the Dahlak Islands in Eritrea, Khambhat in India, and Bilad al-Qadim in Bahrain. During the period 2005-2017 he has directed 13 research expeditions involving 4 seasons of survey and test excavation in Harar and Harlaa, eastern Ethiopia (2014-2017), and 6 seasons of excavations and surveys in the Tong Hills, northern Ghana (2004-2009), co-directed 2 seasons of funerary inscriptions survey, and directed 1 season of archaeological excavation in Bahrain (2014-2017), and participated in 2 other research expeditions in Koma Land, Ghana (2010-2011).

He is currently the principal investigator on the ERC Advanced Grant funded research project Becoming Muslim: Conversion to Islam and Islamisation in Eastern Ethiopia (694254 ERC-2015-AdG). Over the past 10 years, his research has been funded as PI by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust and Van Berchem Foundation (2014-2016), Origins of Harar, Ethiopia, as co-PI by the Wellcome Trust and Zochonis Charitable Trust (2013), Fragmentary Ancestors, and as PI by the Wellcome Trust (2008-2011) for the The Use of Shrines for Medicinal Purposes in Northern Ghana. An Archaeological and Analytical Study.

At Manchester Timothy Insoll taught the courses Introduction to African Archaeology (level 2), Research Issues in African Archaeology (level 3), Islamic Archaeology (level 3), and the Archaeology of Rituals and Religions (MA), and team taught and directed, Introduction to World Archaeology (Level 1), and Critical Themes in World Archaeology (MA). At Exeter he is currently teaching on the courses, Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (level 1), Regions and Empires in Islamic Archaeology, and Ethnography of the Middle East (level 2).

Research interests

As part of his latest research project, Professor Timothy Insoll looks for the truth about Islamic conversion, which could lay buried in sub Saharan Africa. Read more.

Research supervision

Timothy Insoll welcomes applications from research students. Please contact him to discuss the viability of your proposal. He is interested in supervising all topics within Islamic archaeology and later (Iron Age) African archaeology. Within these broad geographical and chronological boundaries, he is particularly interested in:

• The archaeology of Islamisation.
• The representation of Islamic archaeology and material culture in museums.
• The archaeology of medicine and healing, indigenous religions, and shrines and sacrifice in sub-Saharan Africa.
• The Islamic archaeology of Bahrain, the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Gulf, and sub-Saharan Africa.
• The ethnoarchaeology of African ritual practices.
• The analysis of African and Islamic archaeological materials (e.g. XRF and SEM of ceramics, scanning and DNA analysis of figurines, sourcing of stone bead materials).

He is or has supervised PhD research on a wide range of subjects including:

  • The ceramics of Koma Land, northern Ghana.
  • The Materiality of Early Islamic Sects in the Quirimbas Islands, Mozambique. 
  • The later historical archaeology of plantation life in Zanzibar.
  • Ceramics as indicators of Islamisation in eastern Ethiopia.
  • The materiality and archaeological implications of Muslim and indigenous medicinal practice in Accra, Ghana.
  • Chemical analyses of archaeological glass from Bahrain and carnelian from western India.
  • Mosque architecture and use in Iran.
  • Chinese Ceramic Consumption Practices in East Africa (10th-17th Centuries AD)
  • Violence in the prehistoric Near East.
  • Coining the Coin-Tree: Contextualising a contemporary British custom
  • The representation of Islam in British museums.
  • Funj identity and history in the Sudan.
  • Cultural heritage management in the Tong Hills, northern Ghana.
  • War on the Nubian frontier of Ancient Egypt.

Biography

For full publications details see here

Books

Insoll, T., Almahari, S., and MacLean, R. (Contracted and in Preparation, 2019). The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain, Pre-1900 CE. (Handbook of Oriental Studies Series) Leiden: Brill.

Insoll T. (2015). Material Explorations in African Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Insoll, T., MacLean, R. and Kankpeyeng, B. 2013. Temporalising Anthropology: Archaeology in the Talensi Tong Hills. Frankfurt: Africa Magna Verlag.

MacLean, R. and Insoll, T. 2011. Archaeological Guide to Bahrain. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Insoll, T. 2007. Archaeology. The Conceptual Challenge. London: Duckworth.

Insoll, T. (with other contributions). 2005. The Land of Enki in the Islamic Era. Pearls, Palms, and Religious Identity in Bahrain. London: Kegan Paul.

Insoll, T. 2004. Archaeology, Ritual, Religion. London: Routledge.

Insoll, T. 2003. The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Insoll, T (with other contributions). 2000. Urbanism, Archaeology and Trade. Further Observations on the Gao Region (Mali). The 1996 Fieldseason Results. BAR S829. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.

Insoll, T. 1999. The Archaeology of Islam. Oxford: Blackwell.

Insoll, T. 1996. Islam, Archaeology and History. Gao Region (Mali) Ca.AD 900-1250. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 39. BAR S647. Oxford: Tempus Reparatum.

Translations

Insoll, T. 2007. Islam Arkeolojisi. Turkish Translation of The Archaeology of Islam. Istanbul: Homer Kitaberi Ve Yayincilik Ltd.

Insoll, T. 2013. Persian Translation of Archaeology, Ritual, Religion. Tehran: Parseh Publishing Institute.

Edited Books and Journals

Walker, B., Insoll, T., and Fenwick, C. (eds.). (In Preparation, 2019). The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Insoll, T. (ed.). (2017). Islamic Archaeology in Africa. Special edition of The Journal of Islamic Archaeology 4 (2). Sheffield: Equinox.

Insoll, T. (ed.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Insoll T. (ed.). 2011. The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 2011. Shrines, Substances and Medicine in Africa: Archaeological, Anthropological and Historical Perspectives. Special edition of Anthropology and Medicine 18 (2). Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.

Insoll T. (ed.). 2009. Materiality, Belief, Ritual - Archaeology and Material Religion. Special edition of Material Religion 5 (3). Oxford: Berg.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 2008. Current Archaeological Research in Ghana. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 74. BAR S1847. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 2007. The Archaeology of Identities. A Reader. London: Routledge.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 2004. Belief in the Past. The Proceedings of the 2002 Manchester Conference on Archaeology and Religion. BAR S1212. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 2001. Archaeology and World Religion. London: Routledge.

Insoll, T. (ed.). 1999. Case Studies in Archaeology and World Religion. The Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference. BAR S755. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Insoll, T. and MacLean, M. R. (eds.). 1994. 'Archaeology out of Africa': Current Theoretical Perspectives in African Archaeology. Special edition of the Archaeological Review from Cambridge 13 (1).

Chapters

Insoll, T. In Press. Trans-Saharan Trade and Islam: Great States and Urban Centres in the Medieval West African Sahel. (In), Linehan, P. and Costambeys, M. (eds.), 2nd Edition, The Medieval World. Abingdon: Routledge.

Insoll, T. 2017. The Archaeology of Islamisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Study. (In), Peacock, A. (ed.), Islamisation: Comparative Perspectives from History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp.244-273.

Insoll, T. 2017. Mieux Comprendre l’Architecture Religieuse Musulmane en Afrique Subsaharienne Grâce à l’Archéologie. (In), Cimorelli, D. (ed.), Trésors de l’Islam en Afrique. De Tombouctou à Zanzibar. Paris/Milan: Institut du Monde Arabe/Silvano Editoriale, pp. 82-87.

Insoll, T. 2017. Miniature Possibilities? An Introduction to the Varied Dimensions of Figurine Research. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-15.

Insoll, T. 2017. West Africa. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 151-177.

Insoll, T. 2016. Constructing Ancestors in Sub-Saharan Africa. (In), Renfrew, C., Boyd, M., and Morley, I. (eds.), Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 153-167.

Insoll, T. 2015. Broadening the Archaeological Perspective: Some Lessons from the Sub-Saharan African Landscape? (In), Wynne-Jones, S., and Fleisher, J. (eds.), Theory in Africa, Africa in Theory: Locating Meaning in Archaeology. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 232-51.

Insoll, T., and Kankpeyeng, B. 2014. Reconstructing the Archaeology of Movement in Northern Ghana. Insights into Past Ritual, Posture, and Performance. (In), Ogundiran, A., and Saunders, P. (eds.), Materialities, Meanings, and Modernities of Rituals in the Black Atlantic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 28-46.

Insoll, T., and Kankpeyeng, B. 2014. The Archaeology of Rituals and Religions in Northern Ghana. (In), Anquandah, J., Apoh, W., and Kankpeyeng, B. (eds.). Current Perspectives in the Archaeology of Ghana. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, pp. 244-262.

MacLean, R., and Insoll, T. 2014. Islamic Identities and Heritage Presentation in Bahrain. (In), Exell, K., and Rico, T. (eds.), Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula. Debates, Discourses and Practices. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 129-141.

Insoll, T. 2013. “Ritual Failure: Archaeological Perspectives”. Introductory Thoughts on the Theme. (In), Koutrafouri, V. and Sanders, J. (eds.), Ritual Failure: Archaeological Perspectives. Leiden: Sidestone Press, pp. 11-22.

Insoll, T. 2013. The Archaeology of Ritual and Religions in Sub-Saharan Africa. (In), Mitchell, P., and Lane, P. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 163-175.

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., and Nkumbaan, S. 2012. Fragmentary Ancestors? Medicine, Bodies and Persons in a Koma Mound, Northern Ghana. (In), Rountree, K., Morris, C., and Peatfield, A. (eds.), Archaeology of Spiritualities. New York: Springer, pp.25-45.

Insoll, T. 2012. The Hajj from West Africa. (In), Porter, V. (ed.), Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. London: British Museum Press, pp. 158-159.

Insoll, T. 2011. Introduction. Ritual and Religion in Archaeological Perspective. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-5.

Insoll, T. In 2011. "Ancestor Cults". (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1043-1058.

Insoll, T. 2011. "Animism and Totemism". (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1004-1016.

Insoll, T. 2011. "Sacrifice". (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 151-165.

Insoll, T. 2011. "Sub-Saharan Africa". (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 425-441.

Insoll, T. 2011. Islamic Medieval Empires of West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. (In), Gronenborn, D. (ed.), Gold, Slaves, and Ivory. Medieval Empires in Northern Nigeria. Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, pp. 26-33.

Insoll, T. 2010. "Sacred/Profane", "Syncretism", "Taboo". (In), Irele, F. A. and Jeyifo, B. (eds.), Encyclopedia of African Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 299-300, 365-366, 367-369.

Insoll, T. 2010. Pots and Earth Cults. The Context and Materiality of Archaeological Ceramics amongst the Talensi of Northern Ghana and their Interpretive Implications. (In), Naguib, N., and De Vries, B. (eds.), Heureux qui comme Ulysses a fait un Beau Voyage: The Movements of People in Time and Space. Bergen: Bric Press, pp. 93-112.

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., and MacLean, R. 2009. The Archaeology of Shrines among the Tallensi of Northern  Ghana: Materiality and Interpretative Relevance. (In), Dawson, A. (ed.), Shrines in  Africa.  Calgary: The  University of Calgary Press, pp. 41-70.

Insoll, T. 2009. Water and the Construction of Social and Religious Identities in West Africa. An Archaeological Perspective. (In), Oestigaard, T. (ed.). Water, Culture and Identity. Bergen: Bric Press, pp. 189-212.

Insoll, T. 2008. Archaeology in the University of Ghana, Legon. A Survey of Emic Perspectives on its Profile and Future, with an Etic Commentary. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Current Archaeological Research In Ghana. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology. BAR. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 1-12.

Insoll, T. 2008. Placing the Tongo Hills, Northern Ghana, in Archaeological Time and Space: Reflexivity and the Research Process. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Current Archaeological Research In Ghana. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology. BAR. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 85-94.

Insoll, T. 2008. "Totemism". (In), Darity Jr., W.A. (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, pp. 397-98.

Insoll, T. 2007. 'Totems', 'Ancestors', and 'Animism'. The Archaeology of Ritual, Shrines, and Sacrifice amongst the Tallensi of Northern Ghana. (In), Barrowclough, D., and Malone, C. (eds.), Cult in Context. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 326-33.

Insoll, T. 2007. Introduction - Configuring Identities in Archaeology. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), The Archaeology of Identities. A Reader. London: Routledge, pp. 1-18.

Insoll, T. 2007. Changing Identities in the Arabian Gulf: Archaeology, Religion, and Ethnicity in Context. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), The Archaeology of Identities. A Reader. London: Routledge, pp. 308-325.

Insoll, T. 2007. Five section introductions - General Perspectives, Ethnicity, and Nationalism; Gender and Age; Sexuality; The Body; Class, Caste, Ideology, and Religion. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), The Archaeology of Identities. A Reader. London: Routledge, pp. 21-22, 75-76, 121-123, 177-178, 227-229.

Insoll, T. 2006. Islamic Archaeology and the Sahara. (In), Mattingly, D. et al. (eds.), The Libyan Desert: Natural Resources and Cultural Heritage. London: Society for Libyan Studies, pp. 223-38.

Insoll, T. 2005. Changing Identities in the Arabian Gulf: Archaeology, Religion, and Ethnicity in Context. (In), Conlin Casella, E. and Fowler, C. (eds.), The Archaeology of Plural and Changing Identities. New York: Kluwer/Plenum, pp. 191-209.

Insoll, T. 2005. Archaeology of Cult and Religion. (In), Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (eds.), Archaeology: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge, pp. 45-49.

Insoll, T. 2005. "Islam, Growth of: Western Africa"; "Songhay Empire, Gao and Origins of"; "Timbuktu";. (In), Shillington, K. (ed.), Encyclopedia of African History. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 1263-4, 1412-13, 1560-62.

Fraser, S., Polya, D., Lythgoe, P. and Insoll, T. 2005. Preliminary Work for the LA-ICP-MS of Carnelian Archaeological Artefacts. (In), Holland, G. and Bandura, D.R. (eds.), Plasma Source Mass Spectrometry. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, pp. 213-24.

Insoll, T. 2004. A True Picture? Colonial and other Historical Archaeologies. (In), Reid, A., and Lane, P. (eds.), African Historical Archaeologies. New York: Kluwer/Plenum Press, pp. 163-87.

Insoll, T. 2004. Syncretism, Time, and Identity: Islamic Archaeology in West Africa. (In), Whitcomb, D. (ed.), Changing Social Identity with the Spread of Islam. Archaeological Perspectives. Chicago: Oriental Institute, pp. 89-101.

Insoll, T. 2004. Are Archaeologists Afraid of Gods? Some Thoughts on Archaeology and Religion. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Belief in the Past. The Proceedings of the 2002 Manchester Conference on Archaeology and Religion. BAR S1212. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 1-6.

Insoll, T. 2004. Timbuktu the less Mysterious? (In), Mitchell, P., Haour, A., and Hobart, J. (eds.), Researching Africa's Past. New Contributions from British Archaeologists. Oxford: Oxbow, pp. 81-88.

Insoll, T. 2003. "Africa", and, "Islam and the New States of Africa". (In), McKitterick, R. (ed.), The Times Medieval World Atlas. London: HarperCollins Publishers, pp. 192-3, 268-9.

Insoll, T. 2001. Timbuktu and Europe: Trade, Cities, and Islam in "Medieval" West Africa. (In), Linehan, P. and Nelson, J. (eds.), The Medieval World. London: Routledge, pp. 469-84.

Insoll, T. 2001. Introduction. The Archaeology of World Religion. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Archaeology and World Religion. London: Routledge, pp. 1-32.

Insoll, T. 2001. The Archaeology of Islam. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.). Archaeology and World Religion. London: Routledge, pp. 123-47.

Insoll, T. 2000. States and Trade in West Africa. AD. 700-1500. (In), O'Brien, P.K. (ed.), Philip's Atlas of World History. London: Reed Books, pp. 80-1.

Insoll, T. 1999. The Mud Mosques of Timbuktu. (In), Scarre, C. (ed.), The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World. London: Thames and Hudson, pp. 143-6.

Insoll, T. 1999. Introduction. Research Foci in Archaeology and World Religions. (In), Insoll, T. (ed.), Case Studies in Archaeology and World Religion. The Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference. BAR S744. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 1-4.

Insoll, T. 1998. East Africa, Salt Trade, Swahili, Timbuktu. (In), Rodriguez, J.P. (ed.), The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. Santa Barbara (Ca): ABC Clio, pp. 239-40, 563-4, 622-3, 636.

Insoll, T. 1997. An Archaeological Reconnaissance made to Dahlak Kebir, the Dahlak Islands, Eritrea: Preliminary Observations. (In), Fukui, K., Kurimoto, E. and Shigeta, M. (eds.), Ethiopia in Broader Perspective: Papers of the 13th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies. Kyoto: Shokado Book Sellers, pp. 382-88.

Insoll, T. 1996. Settlement and Trade in Gao, Mali. (In), Pwiti, G. and Soper, R. (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Pan-African Association for Prehistory and Related Studies. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications, pp. 663-69.

Insoll, T. and MacLean, R. 1995. Prehistoric North-West Africa (Essay), and Thirteen Catalogue Entries. (In), Phillips, T. (ed.), Africa: The Art of a Continent, pp. 535-6, 548-52, 565-7. London: Royal Academy of Arts.

Academic Journal Articles

Insoll, T. 2017. First Footsteps in the Archaeology of Harar. Journal of Islamic Archaeology 4: 189-215.

Robinson, H.A., Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., Brown, K.A., and Brown, T.A. 2017. Ritual Complexity in a Past Community Revealed by Ancient DNA Analysis of Pre-Colonial Terracotta Items from Northern Ghana. Journal of Archaeological Science 79: 10-18.

Insoll, T., Almahari, S., MacLean, R., Priestman, S., Al-Mearaj, M., and Overton, N. 2016. Bilad al-Qadim Revisited: Recent Archaeological Research at the Al-Khamis Mosque, Ain Abu Zaydan and Abu Anbra, Bahrain. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 27: 215-242.

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., and Fraser, S. 2016. Internal Meanings: Computed Tomography Scanning of Koma Figurines from Ghana. African Arts 49(4): 24-33.

Insoll, T., Clack, T., and Rege, O. 2015. Mursi Ox Modification in the Lower Omo Valley, and the Interpretation of Cattle Rock Art in Ethiopia. Antiquity 89: 91-105.

Kankpeyeng, B., Swanepoel, N., Insoll, T., Nkumbaan, S., Amartey, S., and Saako, M. 2013. Insights into Past Ritual Practice at Yikpabongo, Northern Region, Ghana. African Archaeological Review 30: 475-499.

Fraser, S.E., Insoll, T., Thompson, A., and van Dongen, B.E. 2012. Organic Geochemical Analysis of Archaeological Medicine Pots from Northern Ghana. The Multi-Functionality of Pottery. Journal of Archaeological Science 39: 2506-2514.

Insoll, T. 2011. Substance and Materiality? The Archaeology of Talensi Medicine Shrines and Medicinal Practices. Anthropology and Medicine 18: 181-203.

Insoll, T. 2011. Introduction. Shrines, Substances and Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa: Archaeological, Anthropological, and Historical Perspectives. Anthropology and Medicine 18: 145-166.

Van Dongen, B., Fraser, S., and Insoll, T. 2011. The Composition and Origin of Ghana Medicine Clays. Anthropology and Medicine 18: 285-302.

Kankpeyeng, B., Nkumbaan, S., and Insoll, T. 2011. Indigenous Cosmology, Art Forms and Past Medicinal Practices: Towards an Interpretation of Ancient Koma Land Sites in Northern Ghana. Anthropology and Medicine 18: 205-216.

Insoll, T., MacLean, R., Ashley, C., and Kankpeyeng, B. 2011. The Iron Age Ceramics from the Tong Hills, Northern Ghana. Sequence and Comparative Perspective. Journal of African Archaeology 9: 15-39.

Insoll, T. 2010. Meyer Fortes and Material Culture. The Published Image and the Unpublished Resource. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 16: 572-587.

Insoll, T. 2010. Talensi Animal Sacrifice and its Archaeological Implications. World Archaeology 42: 231-244.

Kankpeyeng, B., Insoll, T., and MacLean, R. 2010/2011. Identities and Archaeological Heritage Preservation at the Crossroads: Understanding the Challenges of Economic Development at Tengzug, Upper East Region, Ghana. Ghana Social Sciences Journal 7: 87-102.

Insoll, T. 2009. Materiality, Belief, Ritual - Archaeology and Material Religion. An Introduction. Material Religion 5: 260-265.

Insoll, T. 2009. Materialising Performance and Ritual: Decoding the Archaeology of Shrines in Northern Ghana. Material Religion 5: 288-311.

Kankpeyeng, B., Insoll, T., and MacLean, R. 2009. The Tension between Communities, Development, and Archaeological Heritage Preservation: The Case Study of Tengzug Cultural Landscape, Ghana. Heritage Management 2: 177-198.

Insoll, T. 2008. Negotiating the Archaeology of Destiny. An Exploration of Interpretive Possibilities through Tallensi Shrines. Journal of Social Archaeology 8: 380-403.

Insoll, T. 2007. Natural or Human Spaces? Tallensi Sacred Groves and Shrines and their Potential Implications for Aspects of Northern European Prehistory and Phenomenological Interpretation. Norwegian Archaeological Review 40: 138-58.

Insoll, T. 2006. Shrine Franchising and the Neolithic in the British Isles: Some Observations based upon the Tallensi, Northern Ghana. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16: 223-38.

Insoll, T. and Hutchins, E. 2005. The Archaeology of Disease: Molluscs as Potential Disease Indicators in Bahrain. World Archaeology 37: 579-88.

Insoll, T. 2005. Archaeology and Islamic Identities in Bahrain. Antiquity 79: 601-8.

Insoll, T. 2004. Archaeology and the Reconstruction of Religious Identity in Africa (and Beyond). Azania 39: 195-202.

Insoll, T., Polya, D., Bhan, K., Irving, D. and Jarvis, K. 2004. Towards an Understanding of the Carnelian Bead Trade from Western India to sub-Saharan Africa: The Application of UV-LA-ICP-MS to Carnelian from Gujarat, India, and West Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 31: 1161-73.

MacLean, R. and Insoll, T. 2003. Archaeology, Luxury, and the Exotic. The Examples of Islamic Bahrain, and Gao, Mali. World Archaeology 34: 558-70.
(Reprinted in – Pilcher, J. (ed.). In Press. Food History: Critical and Primary Sources. London: Bloomsbury).

Insoll, T. 2002. The Archaeology of Post Medieval Timbuktu. Sahara 13: 7-22.

Insoll, T. 2001. The Cambridge Mosque and Muslim Community. Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 150:127-32.

Insoll, T. 2001. Dahlak Kebir, Eritrea. From Aksumite to Ottoman. Adumatu 3: 39-50.

Insoll, T. 2000. Trade and Islam on the River Niger. Archaeological Research in Gao and Timbuktu, Mali. Archaeology Nov/Dec 2000: 48-52.

MacLean, R. and Insoll, T. 1999. The Social Context of Food Technology in Iron Age Gao, Mali. World Archaeology 31: 78-92.

Insoll, T. 1998. Islamic Glass from Gao, Mali. Journal of Glass Studies 40: 77-88.

Insoll, T. 1998. Archaeological Research in Timbuktu, Mali. Antiquity 72: 413-17.

Insoll, T. 1997. Iron Age Gao: An Archaeological Contribution. Journal of African History 38 (1): 1-30.

Insoll, T. 1997. Mosque Architecture in Buganda, Uganda. Muqarnas 14: 179-88.

Insoll, T. and Thurstan Shaw. 1997. Gao and Igbo-Ukwu: Beads, Inter-Regional Trade and Beyond. African Archaeological Review 14: 9-23.

Insoll, T. 1996. The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review. Journal of World Prehistory 10: 439-504.

Insoll, T. 1995. A Cache of Hippopotamus Ivory at Gao, Mali; and a Hypothesis about its Use. Antiquity 69: 327-36.

Insoll, T. 1994. The External Creation of the Western Sahel's Past: The Use and Abuse of the Arabic Sources. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 13: 39-49.

Insoll, T. 1993. Looting the Antiquities of Mali: The Story Continues at Gao. Antiquity 67: 628-32.

Insoll, T. 1993. A Note on a Sewn Canoe in use at Gao, the Republic of Mali. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 22: 345-350.

Academic Notes

Insoll, T., Khalaf, N., MacLean, R., and Zerihun, D. 2017. Archaeological Survey and Excavations, Harlaa, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia January-February 2017. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 87: 32-38.

Insoll, T. 2016. Bahrain. The British Foundation for the Study of Arabia (BFSA) Bulletin 21: 12-14.

Insoll, T., MacLean, R., and Engda, B. 2016. Archaeological Survey and Test Excavations, Harlaa, Dire Dawa, and Sofi, Harari Regional State, Ethiopia. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 85: 23-32.

Insoll, T. 2015. Bahrain. The British Foundation for the Study of Arabia (BFSA) Bulletin 20: 16-17.

Insoll, T. Tesfaye, H., and Mahmoud, M. S. 2014. Archaeological Survey and Test Excavations, Harari Regional State, Ethiopia, July-August 2014. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 82: 100-109.

Insoll, T. 2012. The New Hakodate Jomon Culture Centre, Minamikayabe, Japan. Material Religion 8: 262-264.

Insoll, T. 2010. Disentangling Histories. Archaeological Dialogues 17: 30-33.

Insoll, T. 2010. The Archaeology of Medicine Shrines and Substances in Northern Ghana. Wellcome History 45: 15-16.

Insoll, T., MacLean, R. and Kankpeyeng, B. 2008. Excavations and Surveys in the Tongo Hills, Upper East Region, and Birifor, Upper West Region, Ghana. March-April 2008. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 69: 11-22.

Insoll, T. , Kankpeyeng, B., and MacLean, R. 2007. Excavations and Surveys in the Tongo Hills, Upper East Region, Ghana. July 2006. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 67: 44-59.

Insoll, T. , Kankpeyeng, B., and MacLean, R. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in the Tongo Hills, Upper East Region, Ghana. July 2005. Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma 64: 16-23.

Insoll, T. 2005. A Dilmun Temple in Bilad al-Qadim, Bahrain: A Preliminary Indication? Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 16: 79-81.

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., and MacLean, R. 2004. An Archaeological Reconnaissance in the Tong Hills, and Garu Area, Upper East Region, and Nakpanduri, Northern Region, Ghana. Nyame Akuma 62: 25-33.

Insoll, T. 2003. Three Gold Dinars from Bahrain. Numismatic Chronicle: 395-8.

Insoll, T. 2003. Reconstructing Early Islamic Bahrain. Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies 8: 22-3.

Insoll, T. 2002. Early Islamic Bahrain. Antiquity 76: 329-30.

Insoll, T. and Bhan, K. 2001. Carnelian Mines in Gujarat. Antiquity 75: 495-6.

Insoll, T. 2001. India and Africa: A Survey of Cornelian Mines in Gujarat. The Beads Study Trust Newsletter 38: 7-10.

Insoll, T. 2000. The Origins of Timbuktu. Antiquity 74: 483-4.

Insoll, T. 1999. Preliminary Results of Excavations in Timbuktu, September 1998. Nyame Akuma 51: 41-44.

Insoll, T. 1998. A Note on a Late Eleventh - Early Twelfth Century Sherd of Southern Chinese Celadon Found at Timbuktu, the Republic of Mali, West Africa. The Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter 6: 18-19.

Roy, B. and Insoll, T. 1998. The Beads from the 1996 Excavation Season in Gao, Mali. The Beads Study Trust Newsletter 32: 4-7.

Insoll, T. 1997. Preliminary Results of Excavations and Surveys at Gao and Timbuktu, October and November 1996. Nyame Akuma 47: 33-7.

Insoll, T. 1997. Archaeological Research in Gao and Timbuktu. October and November 1996. Saharan Studies Association Newsletter 5: 14-19.

Insoll, T. 1997. Ngandu and Ngambezi, Two Sites in North-Western Tanzania associated with the Expedition of John Hanning Speke 1861-1863. Azania 32: 109-12.

Insoll, T. 1996. An Assemblage of Beads from Gao, Mali, West Africa. The Beads Study Trust Newsletter 26: 6-7.

Insoll, T. 1996. Iron Age Gao: An Archaeological Contribution. Saharan Studies Association Newsletter 4: 16-18.

Insoll, T. 1995. A 16th-17th Century AD Sherd of Chinese Stoneware found at Gao, the Republic of Mali, West Africa. The Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter 3: 11-13.

Insoll, T. 1994. Preliminary Results of Excavations at Gao, September and October 1993. Nyame Akuma 41: 45-48.

Insoll, T. 1994. Archaeological Research in Gao, the Republic of Mali. Saharan Studies Association Newsletter 2: 8-11.

Insoll, T. 1994. The Illicit Bead Trade in Gao, the Republic of Mali. The Bead Forum, Newsletter of the Society of Bead Researchers 24: 6-10.

Insoll, T. 1993. A Preliminary Reconnaissance and Survey at Gao. Nyame Akuma 39: 40-43.

Popular Booklets

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., Nkumbaan, S., and Saako, M. 2013. Fragmentary Ancestors. Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana. Exhibition catalogue. Manchester: Manchester Museum.

Popular Papers and Notes


Insoll, T. 2013. Reflections on WAC 07, Dead Sea, Jordan. Antiquity website. http://antiquity.ac.uk/wac7.html

Insoll, T., and Kankpeyeng, B. 2010. Archaeology in Koma Land and the Koma Figurines. The 153 Club Newsletter 125: 9-12.

Insoll, T. 2009. Christmas Books. "Origins. The Story of the Emergence of Humans and Humanity in Africa", edited by Geoffrey Blundell. Current World Archaeology 38: 61.

Insoll, T. 2008. Timbuktu. Current World Archaeology 32: 56-57.

Insoll, T., Kankpeyeng, B., and MacLean, R. 2007. Shrines, Rituals, and Archaeology in Northern Ghana. Current World Archaeology 26: 29-36.

Insoll, T. 2007. Timbuktu. A Mystery Preserved under Mud, Sand and Camel Dung. British Archaeology Jul/Aug: 36-41.

Insoll, T. 2006. Tallensi Shrines and the Tongo Hills, Northern Ghana. The 153 Club Newsletter 108: 1-5.

Insoll, T. 2004. Bahrain. Current World Archaeology 6: 56-61.

Insoll, T. 2002. Shrines in Southern Mali and North Western Burkina Faso. The 153 Club Newsletter 91: 2-8.

Insoll, T. 2002. Don's Diary: Excavations in Bahrain. Times Higher Education Supplement 18/1/02.

Insoll, T. 2001. Timbuktu the Less Mysterious. The 153 Club Newsletter 89: 4-6.

Insoll, T. 1999. More on Medieval Gao and Timbuktu. The 153 Club Newsletter 79: 11-13.

Insoll, T. 1998. Archaeology on the River Niger. The Eagle 1998: 34-9.

Insoll, T. 1996. Archaeology, Ivory, and Trade in Medieval Gao. The 153 Club Newsletter 70: 9-10.

Insoll, T. 1995. Excavations at Gao, Mali. Current Archaeology 142: 384-85.

Book Reviews

Insoll, T. In Press. Review of “The Archaeology of Ancestors: Death, Memory, and Veneration” edited by Erica Hill and Jon B. Hageman, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Insoll, T. 2017.  Reviews of “Materializing Colonial Encounters” by François Richard; “Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk” by Cameron Gokee; “A Slave Who Would be King” by Jeffrey Altschul et al.; and “A Material Culture. Consumption and Materiality on the Coast of Precolonial East Africa” by Stephanie Wynne-Jones. Antiquity 91: 812-814.

Insoll, T. 2016. Review of “Recherches archéologiques à Adoulis (Érythrée)” by Francis Anfray and Chiara Zazzaro, Journal of Islamic Archaeology 3: 243-245.

Insoll, T. 2016. Review of “Skyscapes. The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology” edited by Fabio Silva and Nicholas Campion, Journal of Skyscape Archaeology 2: 117-120.

Insoll, T. 2015. Review of “Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology” by Julian Droogan, Material Religion 11: 407-408.

Insoll, T. 2015. Review of “Nok. African Sculpture in Archaeological Context” edited by Peter Breunig, Antiquity 89: 1256-1257.

Insoll, T. 2014. Review of “Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna: The Origins of a West African Political System” by Stephen Dueppen. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 20: 610-611.

Insoll, T. 2013. Review of “An Archaeology of the Cosmos. Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America” by Timothy Pauketat. Antiquity 87: 1245-1246.

Insoll, T. 2013. Review of “Mundane Objects. Materiality and Non-Verbal Communication” by Pierre Lemonnier. Material Religion 9 (3): 407-408.

Insoll, T. 2012. Review of “Oursi hu-beero. A Medieval House Complex in Burkina Faso, West Africa” by Lucas P. Petit et al. (eds.). Journal of African Archaeology 10: 120-122.

Insoll, T. 2012. Review of “Social Anthropology and Human Origins” by Alan Barnard. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18: 204-205.

Insoll, T. 2011. Editorial Review Section, "Books Noted". Journal of African Archaeology 9: 248-250.

Insoll, T. 2011. Review of “An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology” by Marcus Milwright. Times Literary Supplement 5629: 29.

Insoll, T. 2011. Review of “Conceiving God. The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion by David Lewis-Williams. Antiquity 85: 294-295.

Insoll, T. 2010. Editorial Review Section, "Books Noted". Journal of African Archaeology 8: 283-285.

Insoll, T. 2010. Review of “Crossroads/Carrefour Sahel. Cultural and Technological Developments in First Millennium BC/AD West Africa”, edited by Sonja Magnavita et al. Journal of African Archaeology 8: 271-272.

Insoll, T. 2009. Review of, "Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Africa", edited by Kenji Yoshida, and John Mack. The Archaeological Journal 166: 265-266.

Insoll, T. 2009. Editorial Review Section, "Books Noted". Journal of African Archaeology 7: 301-303.

Insoll, T. 2009. Review of, "Performance and Agency: The DGB Sites of Northern Cameroon, by Nicolas David et al. Journal of African Archaeology 7: 135-137.

Insoll, T. 2009. Review of, "The Archaeology of Ritual", edited by Evangelos Kyriakidis. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 19: 128-130.

Insoll, T. 2008. Review of, "At Home in Renaissance Italy", edited by Marta Ajmar-Wollheim and Flora Dennis. Art History 31: 391-395.

Insoll, T. 2008. Review of, "The Archaeology of Collective Action", by Dean J. Saitta. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 14: 428-439.

Insoll, T. 2008. Review of, "Taino Indian Myth and Practice. The Arrival of the Stranger King", by William Keegan. Bulletin of Latin American Research 27: 458-460.

Insoll, T. 2007. Review of, "West African Urban Towns. Archaeology of Households in Urban landscapes", by Augustin Holl. Sahara 18: 211-12.

Insoll, T. 2006. Review of, "Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa: Africa-Centred and Canaanite-Israelite Perspectives", by Dierk Lange. Journal of African History 47: 491-92.

Insoll, T. 2006. Review of the "Journal of African Archaeology". The Times Higher Education Supplement 1765 (20/10/06): 24-25.

Insoll, T. 2006. Review of, "African Archaeology. A Critical Introduction", edited by Anne Stahl. Journal of Field Archaeology 31: 103-5.

Insoll, T. 2005. Review of, "A Prehistory of Religion. Shamans, Sorcerers, and Saints", by Brian Hayden. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15: 111-13.

Insoll, T. 2004. Review of, "Ethnoarchaeology in the Zinder Region, Republic of Niger", by Anne Haour. Journal of African History 45: 357-58.

Insoll, T. 2004. Review of, "The Archaeology of Southern Africa", by Peter Mitchell. European Review of History 10: 509-11.

Insoll, T. 2003. Review of, "Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic Art and Architecture", by Valèrie Gonzalez. Journal of Semitic Studies 48: 206-8.

Insoll, T. 2002. Review of, "Asia's Maritime Bead Trade", by Peter Francis Jr. The Beads Study Trust Newsletter 40: 13-14.

Insoll, T. 2001. Review of, "Ethno-Archaeology in Jennè, Mali", by Adria LaViolette. Antiquity 75: 225-6.

Insoll, T. 2000. Review of, "Beyond Chiefdoms. Pathways to Complexity in Africa", edited by S.K.McIntosh. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10: 385-7.

Insoll, T. 1999. Review of, "Recherches archèologiques sur la capitale de l'empire de Ghana", by Sophie Berthier. African Archaeological Review 16: 83-5.

Insoll, T. 1999. Review of, "The Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa", edited by J.O. Vogel. Journal of African History 40: 127-8.

Insoll, T. 1998. Reviews of "The Ethiopians" by R. Pankhurst; "Ancient Ethiopia" and "The Monuments of Aksum" by D. Phillipson; "The Kingdom of Kush" by Laszlo Torok; "Atlas Prèhistorique de la Tunisie 11" by J. Zoughlami et al; "The Peoples of the Middle Niger" by R. McIntosh, and "History and Traditions of the Gonja" by J. Braimah et al. Antiquity 72: 937-8.

Insoll, T. 1998. Review of, "African Archaeological Review". The Holocene 8: 119-20.

Insoll, T. 1998. Review of, "The Coral Buildings of Suakin. Islamic Architecture, Planning, Design and Domestic Arrangements in a Red Sea Port", by J-P. Greenlaw. African Archaeological Review 15: 81-4.

Insoll, T. 1997. Review of, "Excavations at Jennè-jeno, Hambarketolo, and Kaniana (Inland Niger Delta, Mali), the 1981 Season", edited by Susan Keech McIntosh. Journal of African History 38: 303-5.

Insoll, T. 1997. Review of, "Shanga. The Archaeology of a Muslim Trading Community on the Coast of East Africa", by M. Horton. Antiquity 71: 777-8.

Insoll, T. 1997. Review of, "Centre and Periphery. Comparative Studies in Archaeology", edited by T.C. Champion. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 14: 148-50.

MacLean, R. and Insoll, T. 1997. Review of, "Society, Culture and Technology in Africa", edited by S. T. Childs. American Antiquity 62: 169.

Insoll, T. 1996. Review of, "Early Asante", by P. and A. Shinnie. Journal of African History 37: 516.