An innovation this year is that we have had an embedded film-maker, Alan. His brief has been to create footage for the forthcoming project exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) – to help contextualise our work for the visitor, to show what it is like to have an archaeological project in the Sahel, the scientific process, and generally showcase the work of researchers from UEA and beyond. Below, Nadia and Alan filming the making of our sieve in Cotonou some weeks back.





Since then, Alan has filmed interviews with Ali, Sam and Richard on their trenches, me pointing out random blobs in the landscape, the survey team hunting for sites, Louis processing archaeobotanical samples, and Lucie and Romuald commissioning textiles and Sam receiving them. He’s also taken over the pole photography and this morning is helping Nadia hoover a potsherd and cobble pavement at site TTK (which might end up published in Nyame Akuma). The camera get us a lot of attention.






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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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February 2013
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