We welcome another new contributor, Dr Annalisa Christie! Annalisa has been appointed as a Postdoctoral Researcher in African Archaeology at the Sainsbury Research Unit (UEA) to join the Cowries project.

Annalisa completed her PhD at the University of York in 2011 and comes to us from a lectureship at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She is a maritime archaeologist whose research interests have focused on examining the social context of maritime interactions and practices around the Western Indian Ocean – her PhD work dealt with the Mafia archipelago off the cost of Tanzania – and more latterly in the north Atlantic.

As part of the cowrie project she will be working to clarify the taxonomic classification of Cypraea annulus and Cypraea moneta, while conducting research into the nature and impact of Cypraea exploitation in Maldives (the reported source of Cypraea moneta across West Africa), using an anthropologically informed maritime approach.


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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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