The first project meeting of the European side of the team has been held at UEA for the past two days. It has proved a fruitful and enjoyable meeting of minds (I hope I do not speak just for myself…!).
We have talked a lot about scale: which scale is the most appropriate to reach a good understanding of the past of this part of West Africa. A 4x4m trench at a single site? A series of test pits at several sites? Survey over 20x20km? Enquiries in each household over 100km?
Much depends of your disciplinary slant, too.
However, in order to answer the questions that Crossroads was set up to explore – boundaries, technical know-how, the effect of political change – it seems imperative we operate both on a very fine-grained scale – getting a sense of how space was used within an individual settlement or even an individual structure – and the broad-scale – how, over a region (the entire valley, and its affluents), material culture changes.
More to follow, after these first impressions hot off the press.