More radiocarbon dates

We have just received back the result of a fourth date on our main trench at BLaf, complementing the three run earlier this autumn. This fourth date was  from a collection of charcoal fragments, pooled from within the 75-100 cm layers, and it is in good agreement with the other three: after calibration all four dates fall in the seventh to early ninth centuries AD.

This isn’t a time period for which we have much information yet, although we are gtting to know it better thanks to archaeological work in the last 15 years at places such as Marandet, Essouk or Bura (to name just a few). So it is interesting to have this (earlier than expected) result for our site; and we look forward to further work there.



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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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