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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Susan Keech McIntosh
Professor
Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Anthropology
 
e-mail:skmci@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. (1973) University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A. (1979) Cambridge University
  • Ph.D. (1979) University of California, Santa Barbara
 
Primary Department
   Department of Anthropology
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Department Affiliations
 
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
  • Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Department of Anthropology
  •  
    Websites
     No Title
     
    Research Areas
     West African archaeology, with emphasis on the Iron Age and the emergence of complex societies, climate change and sustainability, historical ecology, archaeological heritage and cultural property, human osteology.
     
    Research Interests 24-JAN-2018
     

    My research in West Africa has been devoted to investigating areas with particular potential for illuminating the emergence of more complex societies and exchange economies, and proto-urban development.  The research has included excavation and regional surveys along the middle Niger  and middle Senegal river valleys. In most cases, the research has produced the first systematically collected archaeological data for entire regions, opening new possibilities for interpreting the deep history of West Africa.  I have been particularly committed to developing methodologies and protocols for the recovery of large data sets (archaeobotanical, faunal, ceramic) that can be compared across sites and regions, revealing the details and differences in the developmental trajectories of societies in the two valleys.   


    Recent collaborative research has focused on analyses of previously recovered archaeological materials to produce new kinds of information:


    LA-ICP-MS analysis of chemical composition of glass beads from African sites to identify source areas and trade networks 


    Ancient DNA from the teeth of cattle and sheep from archaeological sites to trace the movement of various domestic lineages into West Africa


    Oxygen isotopes in freshwater mollusk shell from archaeological sites as a proxy for climate change (aridity) 


     


     

     
    Teaching Areas
     archaeology, human osteology, human evolution, cultural heritage, museums
     
    Selected Publications
     Refereed articles
     

    A.B. Babalola, A. Ige, S.K. McIntosh, and Th. Rehren "The glass crucibles from Ile-Ife, Nigeria." Journal of African Archaeology (2017) Accepted

     
     

    A.B. Babalola, L. Dussubieux, S.K. McIntosh and T. Rehren "Chemical analysis of glass beads from Igbo Olokun, Ile-Ife (SW Nigeria): New light on provenience, production, and interregional interactions." Journal of Archaeological Science (2017)

     
     

    A.B. Babalola, S.K. McIntosh, L. Dussubieux, and T. Rehren "Ife and Igbo Olokun in the history of glass in West Africa." Antiquity, 91(357) (2017) : 732–750.

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh and B. Fagan "Re-dating the Ingombe Ilede (Zambia) burials." Antiquity, 91(358) (2017) : 1069-1077.

     
     

    A.B. Babalola, A. Ige, Th. Rehren, and S.K. McIntosh "“The glass crucibles from Ile-Ife, Nigeria” ." Journal of African ArchaeologySubmitted

     
     

    A.B. Babalola, S.K. McIntosh, L. Dussubieux, and T. Rehren "“Ife and Igbo Olokun in the history of glass in West Africa” ." Antiquity (2017) In Press

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh and B. M. Fagan "Re-dating the Ingombe Ilede (Zambia) burials." AntiquityIn Revision

     
     

    Cissé,M.  S.K. McIntosh, L. Dussubieux, T. Fenn, D. Gallagher, A.C. Smith, “Excavations at Gao-Saney: new evidence for settlement growth, trade, and interaction on the Niger Bend in the first millennium CE”. Journal of African Archaeology

     
     

    Deluna, K.,  J. Fleisher, and S.K. McIntosh,   "Thinking Across the African Past: Interdisciplinarity and Early History".   African Archaeological Review 29(2): 75-94

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. and D. Conrad, “Early States of the Western Sudan”.  Oxford Online Bibliographies,  Oxford University Press.

     
     

    McIntosh,S.K. and L. Scheinfeldt,  "It's getting better all the time: Comparative Perspectives from Oceania and West Africa on Genetic Analysis and Archaeology".  African Archaeological Review 29(2): 131-170

     
     

    Mitra, R.,  L. Tauxe, and S.K. McIntosh, “Two thousand years of archaeointensity from West Africa”.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. ""Reconceptualizing Early Ghana". (2009) Canadian Journal of African Studies 42(2–3): 265–291.." 

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Jenné/Jenné-jeno." New Encyclopedia of Africa, Second Edition (2008)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Koumbi-Saleh." New Encyclopedia of Africa, Second Edition (2008)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Niani." New Encyclopedia of Africa, Second Edition (2008)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "West Africa: Villages, Cities, States." Encyclopedia of Archaeology (2008) : 99–105.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Western Desert and Margins, History of (1000 BCE to 600 CE)." New Encyclopedia of Africa, Second Edition (2008)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh and Alioune Deme "Excavations at Walaldé: New light on settlement of the Middle Senegal Valley by iron-using peoples." Journal of African Archaeology, 4(2) (2006) : 317–347.

     
     Articles
     

    S.K. McIntosh "Gao Empire." Encyclopedia of Empire (2016)

     
     

    Edwards C.J., Bradley D.G., MacHugh D.E., Dobney K., Martin L., Horwitz L.K., McIntosh S.K., MacDonald K.C., Helmer D., Tresset A. & Vigne J.-D. "Ancient DNA analysis of 101 cattle remains: limits and prospects." Journal of Archaeological Science, 31 (6) (June 2004) : 695-710.

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K., Gallagher, D., and McIntosh, R.J. "Tobacco pipes from excavations at the Museum Site, Djenné, Mali." Journal of African Archaeology, 1(2) (2003) : 171-199.

     
     Books
     

    McIntosh, R.J., McIntosh, S.K., Bocoum, H. "The Search for Takrur: Archaeological investigations in the Middle Senegal Valley ."  (2016)

     
     

    A. Haour, K. Manning, N. Arazi, O Gosselain, N.S. Guèye, D. Keita, A.L. Smith, K. MacDonald, A. Mayor, S. McIntosh, R. Vernet, "African Pottery Roulettes Past and Present: Technques, Identification, and Distribution. Oxford: Oxbow Books (2010)." 

     
     

    McIntosh, S., Bocoum, H. "Fouilles a Sincu Bara, un site de l'Age de Fer dans la Moyenne Vallee du Senegal. Nouakchott: IFAN/CRIAA."  (2002)

     
     

    J. Tainter, R.J. McIntosh, and S.K. McIntosh "The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History and Human Action."  (2000)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh, ed. "Beyond Chiefdoms: Pathways to Complexity in Africa."  (1999)

     
     Book chapters
     

    D. Gallagher, S. Murray and S.K. McIntosh "“Agriculture & Wild Plant Use in the Middle Senegal River Valley, ca. 800 BCE - 1000 CE” ." Plants And People In The African Past: Progress in African ArchaeobotanyAccepted

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh "“Archaeology in Africa: Who sets the agenda?” ." Field Manual for African Archaeology, in honor of Pierre de Maret. (2017) : 15–17.

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh "“The Akumbu Mound Complex (Méma Region, Mali): Culture Change, Complexity and the Pulse Model” ." Winds of Change: Festschrift for Peter Breunig (2017) : 193–204.

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "“Long-distance exchange and urban trajectories in the first millennium AD: case studies from the Middle Niger and Middle Senegal River valleys”. ." Urbanisation and State Formation in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond Submitted

     
     

    McIntosh, R.J. and S.K. McIntosh "The Cubalel and Siwré Excavations." The Search for Takrur: Archaeological Excavations and Survey in the Middle Senegal Valley (2016) : 43–110.In Press

     
     

    McIntosh, R.J., and S.K. McIntosh "Background to the Research ." The Search for Takrur: Archaeological Excavations and Survey in the Middle Senegal Valley (2016) : 9–32.In Press

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. "Conclusions." Seeking the Origins of Takrur: Archaeological Excavations and Survey in the Middle Senegal ValleyIn Press

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K.   "West African Savanna Kingdoms: The Sahara, Caravan Trade and Islam".   Oxford Companion to Archaeology, 2nd ed.  Oxford University Press.

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. "Early West African Savanna Kingdoms: Overview." Oxford Companion to Archaeology, 2nd edition

     
     

    McIntosh,S.K.   “Reconceptualizing Early Ghana”  in A. McDougall, ed.  Engaging with a Legacy: Nehemia Levtzion (1935-2003).  Routledge.

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. "The Cubalel/Siwré Pottery Assemblages." Seeking the Origins of Takrur: Archaeological Excavations and Survey in the Middle Senegal ValleyIn Press

     
     

    McIntosh, S.K. and R.J. McIntosh "Introduction." Seeking the Origins of Takrur: Archaeological Excavations and Survey in the Middle Senegal ValleyIn Press

     
     

    A. Haour, K. Manning, N. Arazi, O Gosselain, N.S. Guèye, D. Keita, A.L. Smith, K. MacDonald, A. Mayor, S. McIntosh, R. Vernet ""Braided cord roulettes".African Pottery Roulettes Past and Present: Technques, Identification, and Distribution. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 157–168. ." 

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh "Archaeology and the reconstruction of the African past." Writing African History, J. Philips (ed.) (2005) : 51-85.

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh "The archaeology of Holocene West Africa: 12,000-1,000 BP." Themes in West Africa's History, edited by E. Akyeampong (2006) : 11–32.

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "West Africa: urbanization and site hierarchy in savannah and sahel." Encyclopedia of African History, edited by K. Shillington (2004)

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "West African Late Stone Age." Encyclopedia of African History, K.Shillington, ed (2004)

     
     

    McIntosh, S. ""Reducing incentives for illicit trade in antiquities: U.S. implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention."." Illicit Antiquities, edited by K. Tubb and N.J. Brodie (2002) : 241?248.

     
     Book reviews
     

    S.K. McIntosh "Review of van Doosselaere, B. 2014 Le Roi et le Potier: Etude technologique de l’assemblage céramique de Koumbi Saleh, Mauritanie (5e/6e – 17e siècles AD). ." Azania, 50(1) (2015) : 472–474.

     
     Refereed conference papers
     

    S.K. McIntosh "Floodplains, Surplus and Complexity: The problem of invisible surplus in the archaeology of Jenne-jeno, Inland Niger Delta, Mali." Surplus Without the State: Political Forms in Prehistory: Conference Proceedings of the State Museum of Prehistory Halle (2017) Accepted

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "Seeking the Origins of Takrur: the Middle Senegal Valley in the First Millennium A.D.." Preserving African Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of the Panafrican Archaeological Association 13th Congress, Dakar (2017) : 349-367.

     
     

    T. Fenn, D. Killick, J. Chesley, S.K. McIntosh, and J. Ruiz "Preserving African Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of the Panafrican Archaeological Association 13th Congress, Daka."  (2017)

     
     Other
     

    McIntosh, R., McIntosh, S. ""Early urban configurations on the Middle Niger: Clustered cities and landscapes of power"." The Social Construction of Ancient Cities, ed. Monica Smith (2002) : 103?120.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "The History of Archaeological Research on the Sudanic Kingdoms." The Encyclopedia of the History of Archaeology (in press)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "West African Late Stone Age.." In Encyclopedia of African History (in press)

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "West African Neolithic." Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 1, Africa (2001) : 323?338.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh, with a contribution by Ibrahima Thiaw "Tools for understanding transformation and continuity in Senegambian society:A.D. 1500-1900." West Africa during the Atlantic Slave Trade: Archaeological Perspectives (2001) : 14?37.

     
     

    H. Bocoum, S.K. McIntosh and R.J. McIntosh "L'age du fer dans la moyenne vallee du fleuve Senegal." Notes Africaines, 196 (2000) : 9?18.

     
     

    J. Tainter, R.J.McIntosh, and S.K. McIntosh "Climate change and human response in history and prehistory." The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History and Human Action (2000) : 1?42.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Floodplains and the development of complex society: comparative perspectives from the West African semi-arid tropics." In Complex Polities in the Ancient Tropical World, E. Bacus, ed., Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association No. 9 (2000) : 151?165.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Review of Recherches archeologiques sur la capitale de l'empire de Ghana: Etude d'un secteur d'habitat a Koumbi Saleh, Mauritanie. Campagnes II?III?IV?V, 1975?76 ? 1980?81. By Sophie Berthier." Journal of African History, 41(2) (2000) : 297?8.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh "Review of The Growth of Farming Communities in Africa from the Equator Southwards, edited by J.E.G. Sutton." Journal of Field Archaeology, 27 (2000) : 108?9.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh and Hamady Bocoum "New perspectives on Sincu Bara, a first millennium site in the Senegal Valley.." African Archaeological Review, 17(1) (2000) : 124?178.

     
     

    Susan Keech McIntosh, Lord Colin Renfrew, Steven Vincent "The Good Collector: Fabulous beast or endangered species?." Public Archaeology , 1 (2000) : 73?81.

     
     

    S. K. McIntosh "Modeling political organization in large-scale settlement clusters: a case study from the Inland Niger Delta, Mali."  (1999) : 66?79.

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh ""Pathways to Complexity: An African Perspective"."  (1999) : 1?30.

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "A tale of two floodplains: comparative perspectives on the emergence of complex societies and urbanism in the Middle Niger and Senegal Valleys."  (1999)

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "West African Ceramic Late Stone Age."  (accepted)

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh "West African Microlithic Late Stone Age."  (accepted)

     
     

    S.K. McIntosh and H. Bocoum "New perspectives on Sincu Bara, a first millennium site in the Senegal Valley." African Archaeological Review, 20 (2000 (in press))

     
    Presentations
     Conference Paper
     

    "“Cosmopolitan crafts: early interaction and innovation in West African glass and copper-based materials”." Crossroads Africa” conference, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence Italy. (Jan 12-13, 2017)

     
     

    "2017 “Floodplains, surplus, and complexity:  a comparison of the Inland Niger Delta and the Middle Senegal Valley”. ." 10th Annual Archaeological Conference of Central Germany: Surplus Without the State: Political Forms in Prehistory. , Martin Luther Universität, Halle, Germany. (Oct. 21, 2017)

     
     

    "“Agriculture & Wild Plant Use in the Middle Senegal River Valley, ca. 800 BCE - 1000 CE”." International Workshop on African Archaeobotany, Modena, Italy. (25 June 2015) With D. Gallagher and S. Murray

     
     

    "“Socioeconomic diversity and environmental variability in Mali’s Inland Niger Delta” (with A. C. Stone).  Society of Africanist Archaeologists biennial meetings,Toulouse.

     ." (30 July 2016)

     
     

    " “Across the Sahara 2500–1500 BP:  paleoclimate, interaction, and exchange”.  Invited session, Society of Africanist Archaeologists biennial meetings, 27 June-1 July, Toulouse." (29 July, 2016)

     
     Invited Papers
     

    Conference co-organizer.  ""History from the grave: integrating modern and ancient DNA studies with archaeological data in West Africa".  ." Thinking Across the African Past: Archaeological, Linguistic, and Genetic Research on Precolonial African History , Rice University. (March 11, 2011)

     
     

    "Archaeological Contributions to the History of Gao: 700–1000 CE." Society of Africanist Archaeologists biennial meeting, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. (September 10, 2008) With Mamadou Cissé

     
     

    "Conceptualizing early Ghana." Bienniel meetings of the Society for Africanist Archaeologists, Bergen, Norway. (June 21-25, 2004)

     
     

    "Conceptualizing early Ghana." African Studies Association meetings, Boston. (October 31, 2003)

     
     Invited Talks
     

    ""From Takrur to Gawgaw:  evidence for trans-Saharan contact, urban growth, and polity formation along the Middle Senegal and Middle Niger River Valleys prior to 1000 CE”. ." Trans-SAHARA: State Formation, Migration and Trade in the Central Sahara (1000 BC - AD 1500), University of Leicester, UK. (23 April 2015)

     
     

    " “Before Timbuktu: Towns and Trade on the Middle Niger 100 BCE–1200 CE”.  ." Medieval/Africa Symposium: The Trans-Saharan World 500-1700. , Harvard University. (5 February 2015)

     
     

    "Changing methods, changing histories: Forty years of West African archaeology." Across Disciplines, Across Countries: Recent Research in African History, Anthropology and Archaeology, Univerrsity of Minnesota, Minneapolis. (October 16, 2004)

     
     Keynote Speaker
     

    "African archaeology and "civilization": Re-envisioning West Africa's Past.  Keynote lecture, Howard University Conference: Windows from the Present to the Past:  Archaeology of Africa and the African Diaspora." (Feb 26, 2010)

     
     

    "Approaching Pottery Analysis in Terra Incognita." Leverhulme Trust workshop on Sahelian Pottery, Oxford University. (April 7, 2008)

     
     

    "Re-envisioning West Africa's Past Through Archaeology and Art." Houston International Festival, Menil Collection. (April 24, 2008)

     
     

    "Archaeology and the rise and Fall of the West African Middle Ages." Medieval Academy Annual Meetings, Florida International University. (April 1, 2005)

     
     Lectures
     

    "Aliquid novo: New Evidence Concerning the Emergence of Complex Society in West Africa." African Studies Program, Harvard University. (April 19, 2003)

     
     

    "Darwin's Influence on theories of sociocultural change and human progress." Continuing Studies, Rice University. (April 9, 2003)

     
     

    "From savagery to civilization: Darwin¿s influence on theories of sociocultural change and human progress." Scientia, Rice University. (April 8, 2003)

     
     

    "Only the Best People: Genes, Heredity, and the Development of Eugenics in America." Alumni College, Rice University. (March 1, 2003)

     
     

    "Power and Polity: perspectives on organizational dynamics in the Mande zone." Anthropology Department, Northwestern University. (February 3, 2003)

     
     

    "The Earliest West African ¿Empires¿:Archaeology and the Reconstruction of Pre-documentary History." Center for the Study of Cultures, Rice University. (November 19, 2003)

     
     

    "Trade, Interaction, and the Development of Complex Societies in the Inland Niger Delta ." Anthropology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville. (March 28, 2003)

     
     Other
     

    "Recent archaeological fieldwork at Jenne-jeno and Djenne, Inland Niger delta, Mali." Panafrican Congress of Prehistory, Bamako, Mali. (February 7?12, 2001)

     
     

    "No Title." Moderator, "Culture and Power", First Annual Anthropology Symposium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston. (October 26, 2000)

     
     

    "Cities without States?: coming to grips with early, large-scale settlements in the West African sahel.." Society for American Archaeology annual meetings, Chicago. (24?28 March 1999)

     
     

    "Modelling ancient political organization in the Inland Niger Delta, Mali." Anthropology Department, University of Houston. (April 22, 1999)

     
     

    "Reducing incentives for illicit trade in antiquities: U.S. implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.." World Archaeological Congress, Cape Town, South Africa. (January 1999)

     
     

    "Rethinking cultural property." What is Culture?, Columbia University. (15?17 April, 1999)

     
     Panelist
     

    "Ceramics and Interaction along the Middle Senegal Valley." Leverhulme Trust workshop on Sahelian Pottery, Dakar, Senegal. (December 1, 2008)

     
     Posters
     

    "Reconstructing early glass trade at early Gao-Saney and Gao Ancien (Mali), 700–1000 A.D. using LA-ICP-MS.  Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans." (April 14, 2010)

     
     Session Chair
     

    "Seeking the Origins of Takrur:the Middle Senegal Valley in the First Millennium A.D..   Session on The Senegal Valley basin in later prehistory,  Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Dakar.
    ." (November 4, 2010)

     
     Workshops
     

    "Writing Across the Disciplines: Early West African States and Empires." Center for the Study of Cultures, Rice University, (Nov. 5-10, 2004) With D. Conrad, P. Farias, R. McIntosh

     
    Editorial Positions
     Member of the Editorial Board, Antiquity. Cambridge University Press. (2013 - 2019)

     Member of the Editorial Board, African Archaeological Review. Springer. (1995 - 2018)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Afrique: Art et Archéologie. (2004 - 2018)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of African Archaeology. Cambridge University Press. (2003 - 2017)

     Editor for Special Issue, African Archaeological Review. Springer. (2012 - 2012)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Public Archaeology. Maney. (1998 - 2012)

     Other, Correspondent for Africa, Antiquity. Antiquity Publications, Cambridge, U.K.. (2004 - 2012)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of World Prehistory. Plenum/Academic. (1987 - 2009)

     Other, Journal of Archaeological Research. Plenum Academic. (1998 - 2000)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Annual editions: Physical Anthroology. McGraw Hill. (1997 - 2013)

     Contributing Editor, Journal of Archaeological Research. Plenum. (1999 - 1999)

    Supervised Theses & Dissertations
     Mamadou Cissé, Ph. D. Archaeological Investigations on Early Trade and Urbanism at Gao-Saney (Mali). (2011) (Thesis Director)

     Abidemi Babatunde Babalola, Ph.D. Archaeological Investigations in Ile-Ife, Southwest Nigeria. (2016) (Thesis Director)

     Brian T. Clark, Ph.D. Archaeological Investigations at Genata Mariam (Ethiopia). (2016) (Thesis Director)

    Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
     Nancy Wilkie Archaeological Heritage Lectureship, Archaeological Institute of America (2007–8)

     Fellow, Center for the Study of Cultures, (2003)

     Program Chair for Archaeology, African Studies Association Annual Meetings, African Studies Association

     Participant in White House workshop on "Culture and Diplomacy" convened by President Clinton and chaired by Secretary of State Albright , (November 27?28, 2000)

     Cultural Arts Ambassador, U.S. State Dept., USIA/State Department Arts America Program (January 1999)

     Presidential reappointment to the Advisory Committee on Cultural Property , (Term: 1999?2001)

    Positions Held
     President, Society of Africanist Archaeologists. (2002 - 2004)

     Webmaster, Society of Africanist Archaeologists. (2004 - 2018)

     Comité Scientifique member, Panafrican Archaeological Association . (2017 - 2018)

     Comité Scientifique member, Panafrican Archaeological Association/ Society of Africanist Archaeologists. (2008 - 2010)

     Comite Scientifique member, West African Archaeological Association. (2011 - 2012)

     Member, Advisory Board, Mande Studies Association. (2003 - 2005)

     Member, Presidential Advisory Committee on Cultural Property. (1996 - 2003)

     Elected member, Permanent Council, Panafrican Association of Prehistory and Related Studies. (1995 - 2001)