31
Jan
16

Travel to Island 1

We had an uneventful trip to our first field site, about 300km away from Malé.

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Our team consists of Shiura J, Annalisa C, and Ikram, a Maldivian archaeology student.

Upon arriving we met with members of the local council.

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We talked through with them the history of use of the various parts of the island. This is a crucial step, as it allowed us to determine which areas had been least disturbed. For example it emerged that the football field in which delicate glass vessels, Chinese pots and thousands of cowries were found – and which we had therefore pined our hopes on!) has been thoroughly worked over by a mechanical digger.

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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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