31
Aug
14

recent activities, en images

Looking back on the summer, now drawing to a close; we have not been idle..-

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CT scanning of artefacts at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

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Post-conference excursion to the Apartheid Museum

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Second batch of professional photography of small finds – here rather recent ones (dye bottles, for example)

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Determined to tackle this pottery backlog on my desk

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A pot from Birnin Lafiya SX

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Research trip to the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer

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Excavation of the cylindrical vessel we fondly call ‘torpedo pot’

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Professional refitting in progress of one of our pavements… this is what it looked like in situ (5 Feb 2012).

28
Aug
14

a beauty contest

Section drawings, the bread and butter of archaeology.
Here in their unfinished, warts and all form; they do have individual personalities, as you can see…

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Sakawan 1

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29
Jul
14

come and visit Crossroads at work

If you are not able to travel to northern Bénin, your opportunity to see the work of the Crossroads team and some of the objects unearthed can be found in Norwich! Crossroads of Empires: Archaeology in West Africa opens on 21 October at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, running until 1 February 2015.

“Crossroads of Empires shares the experience of pursuing research into the African past, both to communicate the rich history of Africa and to provide a window into the modern landscape and culture of Africa”

19
Jul
14

UNESCO cradle of humankind

Often the public perception is that African archaeology can be subsumed to early human fossils and caves.
That, of course, is not true at all…
but hey, here are a few images in honour of these ever-appealing ancestors. As a post-conference excursion, today we went to the UNESCO-listed Swartkrans and Sterkfontein caves. Indeed one of the first things I ever learnt about African archaeology: thank you, Ray.

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09
Jul
14

Johannesburg next week

For those of you who will be at next week’s meeting of the Pan African Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies / Society of Africanist Archaeologists (see here for something on the last SAfA), there are plenty of opportunities to hear about Crossroads.

Sam kicks things off on Monday afternoon, introducing the important site of Birnin Lafiya and its well-preserved archaeology. Tuesday Caroline et al and Louis et al focus in on aspects of the remains recovered – metallurgy and cultivation respectively. Wednesday, we open it all back up again, with papers by Nadia, Didier, Ali and I looking at the wider landscape around our field sites, and what we might be able to say about the past of that area, and in methodological terms for archaeology more generally.

Here are the details:

Mon 13h00-14h30
AN ARCHITECTURAL COMPLEX OF THE 12TH-13TH CENTURIES AD FROM THE EASTERN ARC OF THE RIVER NIGER (REPUBLIC OF BENIN, WEST AFRICA)
Sam Nixon (University of East Anglia)

Tues 10h30-12h00
IRON AND BLACKSMITHS IN THE DENDI (NORTH BENIN)
Caroline Robion-Brunner (CNRS-Université de Toulouse), Marie-Pierre Coustures (Université de Toulouse)

Tues 15h00-16h30
RICE AND MILLETS IN EARLY BENIN: ARCHAEOBOTANICAL RESEARCH IN BENIN IN THE CONTEXT EARLY WEST AFRICAN AGRICULTURE
Louis Champion (University College London), Anne Haour (University of East Anglia), Leilani Lucas (University College London), Dorian Fuller (University College London)

Wed 10h30-12h00
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF FIRST-MILLENNIUM SETTLEMENT IN NORTHERN BENIN, WEST AFRICA
Anne Haour (University of East Anglia), Alexandre Livingstone Smith (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium)

Wed 10h30-12h00 Farmers
CONTRIBUTION OF THE ANTHROPIC MOUNDS OF ATAKORA AND THE NIGER RIVER VALLEY (NORTH BENIN) TO KNOWLEDGE ON THE HISTORY OF POPULATION SETTLEMENT
N’Dah Didier (Université Nationale du Bénin)

Wed 10h30-12h00
INTO THE UNKNOWN: USING FIELD SURVEY AND GIS TECHNIQUES IN THE NIGER RIVER VALLEY, REPUBLIC OF BENIN
Nadia Khalaf (University of East Anglia)

Find out more here

02
Jul
14

photography

We are all set for our second session of small finds photography tomorrow. Below is a record of our initial session, mid June:

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18
Jun
14

Science Cafés

For those of you in Norwich, please come tonight, 7.30 pm at the Maddermarket Theatre bar, to hear about our work. A chance to ask all the things you never dared to ask before.

At the Crossroads of the medieval West African empires
Anne Haour and Sam Nixon

Science Cafés take place in casual settings, are open to everyone, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic. Science Cafés represent a grassroots movement; they exist all over the world and can vary from place to place.




About this blog

We are a team of archaeologists, historians and anthropologists studying the Niger Valley where it borders Niger and Bénin (West Africa). We are carrying out new excavations and research to shed more light on the people that inhabited the area in the past 1500 years.

This blog will tell you all about it.

This investigation is funded by the European Research Council as part of the Starting Independent Researcher Programme (Seventh Framework Programme – FP7); it is led by Dr Anne Haour of the University of East Anglia, UK. The opinions posted here are however her own!

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