Malé, 19 january

In Malé, capital of the Republic of Maldives. I spent most of the day yesterday at, and close to, the National Museum with Shiura J – amazing to see how far we have got since a largely chance meeting two and a half years ago. We spent some time in the museum stores, which contain quite a lot of pottery, including intact vessels – a very useful exercise to complement the sherds we had seen in Oxford back in the autumn. A cowrie-shell filled casket recently recovered on an island in Alif Dhaalu atoll 70 km from here is also in the museum stores.

We visited the Friday mosque again, currently closed for repairs, and were lucky enough to be able to climb the minaret and see the ongoing works, which utilise lime plaster made from (ethically sourced) coral ash to be as close as possible to the materials of the time (17th century).


Last month the remains of a mosque were discovered by chance at Thinadhoo, in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll about 90 km south of here.

Today, meetings, administration, and procuring equipment.



1 Response to “Malé, 19 january”

  1. 1 Papou
    January 19, 2016 at 11:39

    Enjoy and have a most fruitful campaign !

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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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