At the recent SAfA conference, the team on the Cowries: an early global commodity research project presented work within the ‘Trans-Saharan trade’ session. You can see our Powerpoint here:
Just back from the biennial meeting of SAfA, in Toulouse. Congratulations to the organisers (in Toulouse, Geneva and Brussels) for an excellent, rich programme.
The conference was for many of us – not least for EU migrants to the UK such as myself – cast under a gloomy cloud by the Brexit vote, but despite this it was good, as ever, to catch up with colleagues and friends.
Annalisa, Shiura and I did a cowrie-focused paper in the trans-Saharan session, and Didier and I chaired a Crossroads session (here HaourNDah_session 22 is the paper).
Here is an interview of the Maldives’ first archaeologist. Do look out for our paper at the Society of Africanist Archaeologists meeting in Toulouse, in which we will outline the preliminary findings from our 2016 field season, and the significance to West African archaeology…
A new publication by team member Olivier G. The World Is Like a Beanstalk: Historicizing Potting Practice and Social Relations in the Niger River Area.
My interest in the history of local pottery traditions in the Niger Valley was recently reactivated. As part of the “Crossroads of Empires” European Research Council project (Haour et al. 2011), I made a systematic study of craft activities along the Beninese bank of the Niger River and identified the southern boundary of the polychrome pottery production zone, as well as some two- or three-generations-old vessels whose shape and décor strongly evoked vessels illustrated in Y. Urvoy (1955). … The time had come to reconsider the data collected in Niger between 2002 and 2010, and to confront them with those collected in Benin since 2011.
This is also the time to thank Olivier who, while in Dendi with us, supplied the archaeologists’ base camp with two polychrome jars from Ouna which kept our drinks nicely chilled.
discovered we had no definite lantana beads – a lowpoint of the day
changed ‘interesting’ to ‘extraordinary’ – a highpoint of the day
found out we were missing 68 drawings of potsherds – a lowpoint
realised the Hausa might just be usurping a lot of the earlier traditions relating to trade between the Niger River and forested areas – a highpoint
wondered about birane – a highpoint