The ‘flying team’ have just completed a week’s work in the bush, on a hill north-west of Kompa. We chose to test pit this site because in our 2011 survey we’d found both pottery and iron-working remains dotted about this area, an unusual combination. Also, we had noted that there was a seasonal stream running across the site which might conceivably have cut across in situ layers of the settlement, enabling us to make a quick assessment.
In our 2013 work we met and surpassed the expectations of the first aim. Not only did we find ceramics on most of the mounds we surveyed, but they were quite often combined with slag (iron-working residue). We also mapped and cleaned some furnaces, some well-preserved providing indications of technology used. We excavated a couple of test pits which yielded a good sample of ceramics (helping us understand the settlement of the area), even though they were poor in terms of features or stratigraphy (‘just pots and sand …. like a ditch’commented Nadia).
We camped near the site and enjoyed dinner under the stars every evening.
The ‘Flying team’ was Abbas, Caroline, Louis, Nadia and I, with driver Imorou. We have two more test pits to complete, this time not far from Karimama.