day 17

I write direct from the site of Blaf [this is a first and is not easy] at the tail end of a cold and windy day [another first – the Harmattan is really back with a vengeance].

We’re on day 17 with 7 digging day left, and things are going well. Work at TTK is tailing off with some spectacular pavements, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel at most of the BLaf trenches, and we are regrouping for the intensive survey phase which will situate the site within it wider landscape and set the scene for next year’s work.

The European military intervention in Mali sends echoes but no direct impact thus far. It might be different next year so we have to work as if we won’t get another chance at a field season in splendid Dendi.


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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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