Shellfishing and shell midden construction in the Saloum Delta, Senegal

Karen Hardy, Abdoulaye Camara, Raquel Piqué, Edmond Dioh, Mathieu Guèye, Hamet Diaw Diadhiou, Mandiémé Faye, Matthieu Carré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Inc. The Saloum Delta, Senegal, is renowned for its vast shell middens which date to at least 5000 BP and in many cases, also contain numerous burials. Though archaeological work has been conducted here for over 70 years, the focus has been on obtaining radiocarbon dating sequences and rescue excavation; little is known in detail about the middens or the people who built them. Today, the Sereer Niominka people of the Saloum Delta continue to collect and trade shellfish using traditional methods. This has offered an opportunity to observe these processes in practice, and examine the archaeological footprints they produce. These ethnoarchaeological observations have provided new perspectives on the development of large shell middens that will contribute to a better understanding of the archaeological landscape here and will also be of relevance to midden-rich environments, more widely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Saloum Delta
  • Senegal
  • Shellfishing and shell middens


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