Landscape Archaeology in the Dogon Country / Mali,

Archéologie du Paysage en Pays Dogon (APPD)






Katharina Neumann (Frankfurt), Aziz Ballouche (Angers)

Scientific staff members

Barbara Eichhorn, Aline Garnier, Laurent Lespez, Yann Le Drézen, Michel Rasse, Nuscia Taibi, Stefan Schmid, Stefanie Kahlheber

Cooperation partners

Universités de Caen, Rouen, Angers (Frankreich); Mission Culturelle de Bandiagara/UNESCO; Universités de Genève, Fribourg (Schweiz); Université de Bamako (Mali)

Brief description

Due to its cultural wealth and unique landscapes – among them the central Dogon Plateau with the steep Bandiagara cliff – the Dogon Country in Mali is a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage site.

Teli,  Bandiagara Escarpment

The project investigated the Dogon Country’s historical development leading to the present cultural landscape. In close cooperation, archaeologists, archaeobotanists and geographers studied human impact on landscape development since the beginning of the Holocene. These were the major objectives of the project:

  • reconstruction of landscape history and its relation to human impact (particularly burning, agriculture, pastoralism and metallurgy)
  • documentation of the Dogon Country’s modern cultural landscapes
  • presentation of the results in a landscape atlas

As in the previous project Holocene vegetation history of Ounjougou, we focused on the site complex of Ounjougou on the Dogon Plateau for the reconstruction of regional landscape history.  From the first millennium BC onwards, the sequence of Ounjougou is incomplete.  For the subsequent phases, and in order to understand the developments in the adjacent parts of the Dogon Country, investigations at archaeological sites (e.g. slag mounds of iron metallurgy sites, settlement mounds) were especially relevant.


Major results of the project are presented here.