Welcome to our new contributor, Dr Paul Adderley from the University of Stirling, UK!

Paul is a soil scientist based at the School of Natural Sciences there. His work considers the long-term sustainability of past and present agrarian societies through their interaction with the natural environment, a theme he has developed both in the Chad Basin (Nigeria), where he devised and perfected methods for the micromorphological analysis of sediments, in East Africa, and in the North Atlantic region.

Paul is soon to take  over the Directorship of the Research Centre for Environmental History and Policy at the University of  Stirling.  A centre that is focussed upon developing interdisciplinary understandings of the past and preserving cultural heritage. He brings to the Crossroads project particular expertise in the analysis of Sahelian land usage, an interest in interrelating soil-derived and archaeological data.


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About this blog

This blog has been set up to chart the activities and research findings of two projects led by Anne Haour, an archaeologist from the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

The first project, called Crossroads, brings together a team of archaeologists, historians and anthropologists studying the Niger Valley where it borders Niger and Bénin (West Africa). We are hoping to shed more light on the people that inhabited the area in the past 1500 years and to understand how population movements and craft techniques shaped the area's past.

The second project, called Cowries, examines the money cowrie, a shell which served as currency, ritual object and ornament across the world for millennia, and in medieval times most especially in the Maldive Islands of the Indian Ocean and the Sahelian regions of West Africa. We hope to understand how this shell was sourced and used in those two areas.

These investigations are funded by the European Research Council as part of the Starting Independent Researcher Programme (Seventh Framework Programme – FP7) and by the Leverhulme Trust as a Research Project Grant. The opinions posted here are however Anne Haour's own!

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July 2011
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