10
Oct
12

2nd steering meeting

Our second steering meeting was last week – this is the chance for all the Europe-based members of the team to get together. The idea was to take stock of what work we have done already, in the 22 months we have been running, and what work still needs to be done in line with the initial proposals made to the ERC. The project still has 28 months to run, and 3 field seasons.

It was hard work and very fun. We heard presentations by everyone – the core team members plus three new welcome additions, Victor B from Université Libre de Bruxelles who is looking at land use and settlement development in a historical perspective, Caroline R-B from Toulouse whow will handle the description and analysis of the archaeometallurgical remains within our area, and Nadia K, the Crossroads PhD student, who will develop a more regional perspective for the archaeological work using GIS, potentially combined with test pitting.

Among the things we talked about were soumbala, horses, folded strip roulettes, thermonatrite, the Wangara, test pits, magnetite, clan names, settlement morphology, Kirikongo, latrines, lantana, crushed clay, open spaces, Sorotomo, fish, phosphorus, furnaces, and Bogo-Bogo.  Among many other things.

Some parts of this now need to pulled together for the African Archaeology Research Day in Southampton in early November and for the West African Archaeological Association in Abidjan in late November. Stay tuned.

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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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