04
Feb
13

day 21

We are very well, albeit sandy.

Our Niger and Direction du Patrimoine colleagues have now arrived, so the last few days have seen a lot of tour-guiding for me.

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Work continues at Birnin Lafiya, with three trenches currently active.

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Thanks to the Harmattan wind, Paul has been able to fly his kite, to give us images of the site.

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Alan supplemented his footage of our work with images from the gani festival in Banikoara.

This week, we have been doing a lot of surveving, and one surprise has been  how many potsherd pavements are actually knocking around.

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One wonders what degree of cultural continuity – if any – that indicates.

I write from a bar in Karimama (bars are good, as they have electricity), where people are watching a documentary on the destruction by erosion of archaeological sites in Tunisia. (Last time I was here they were showing the Swiss news and the burning of thew Timbuktu manuscripts so today is marginally more cheerful). Word from the Karimama street —

‘les jeunes sont dingues…’ re a story on illegal migrant across the Sahara

‘l’eau sale que les gens boivent là-bas en Somalie…’ re a story on pirates in Somalia

‘Le documentaire là est très riche… je préfère ça à des histoires de feuilleton’

 

 

 

 

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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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