Maghrib in Past & Present | Podcasts

The Saharan Diaspora and the end of Roman North Africa

October 3, 2017

Episode 3: The Saharan Diaspora and the end of Roman North Africa

[in French]

Although there is not much doubt that, in the early fifth century, Roman North Africa was having to defend itself from attacks by 'Moors,' there is little agreement on just who these 'Moors' actually were, and where they came from. In this podcast, Dr. Elizabeth Fentress, Archaeologist, Honorary Visiting Professor at University College London, and creator of Fasti Online presents an article co-written with University of Oxford Archaeologist, Prof. Andrew Wilson. In the work, they argue that the attacks were coming from the Saharan tribes who arrived in the Hodna and the Aurès mountains from the oases to the south, or the Saharan Atlas. Evidence for their settlement in the Tell comes from Saharan-type tombs and from the distribution of the so-called 'Zenatic' languages. An examination of the history of the kingdom of the Garamantes in the Fezzan shows the sort of ecological constraints that may have conditioned this northward movement of Berber tribes. This podcast should be listened to with the slides (

The lecture, part of the Saharan Lectures series, was co-organized by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) and the Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle (CRASC), and given at CRASC in Oran, Algeria on 10 September 2017Dr. Dida Badi Ag Khammadine, Anthropologist from the Centre National de Recherches Préhistoriques, Anthropologiques et Historiques (CNRPAH) moderated the lecture.

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