empty triangle / rain

I start writing posts in my head, and this is why the present post has a split title. I was all set to write about our survey south of Tombouto (yes, it is named after Timbuktu), which has yielded 25 new sites in an area I was sure we would find none, and at least one pottery pavement. We have been walking through the landscape for the past two days recording these sites. It is part of this year’s determination to better understand the empty triangle of the Guene-Molla-Malanville area, by all accounts of craft practices collected by our team a crossroads of cultural traditions.

But then it was overcast and there were bats gliding above us a dinner time and lightning visible in the distance, and then it started raining, which is extremely unusual for this season. That seemed well worth a mention too.


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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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