ZANZIBAR, the Gateway to Africa, with Professor Mark Horton

Archaeologist Mark Horton, tv's leading digger into the hidden secrets of antiquity and pre-history, and professor of archaeology at Bristol University


In this lavishly illustrated talk, Mark will take us through millennia of African history and explain how Zanzibar was not just the gateway to Africa, but also helps us understand that the continent was never 'dark' but long connected with a global world through trade and cultural and economic exchanges. In fact, Mark will be telling us about nothing less than 'the other silk route,' the maritime artery of the world's trade in its most coveted commodities such as slaves and ivory.

Mark has been digging up Zanzibar since 1984, when he arrived in a charter plane to what was still a revolutionary Marxist country. Since then he has excavated all the key sites on the island (and its sister Pemba) - most recently this summer, where he worked on some of the very earliest traces of human settlement at Kuumbi Cave.


Mark Horton

Mark is the professor in archaeology at the University of Bristol. He did his PhD on the Archaeology of the East African coast at the University of Cambridge. Since then he has worked with the British Institute in East Africa and Oxford University before moving to Bristol in 1994.

As an archaeologist, his interests are global and he has worked in UK, France, in the Caribbean islands, Panama, Belize, Honduras, North Carolina, Bermuda, as well as in around the Indian Ocean in East Africa and Sri Lanka.

Last year he was at Ebenezer talking about his research in Mongolia, and now he will be telling us all about that other silk route - the maritime silk route.

Mark is also well known as a presenter of archaeology on TV - one of the original team from BBC2's Coast, as well as a number of other programmes, including Inside Out, Time Flyers and Time Team.

2012Martin Keeley