03
Feb
16

Malé

So here we are back in Malé! At 192ha, all densely built, it feels busy. Only a few green spaces remain, and one of these is Sultan Park, around the National Museum. This is where we are digging this week.

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It is a lovely green area with large trees and this is where the sultan’s palace used to be, until it was demolished in the 1970s. The stucture you see at the back of the photo above is the sole remaining building of the palace. It latterly served as the National Museum.

Development is planned of this area so it was urgent we had a look. Sultan Park is also one place Carswell excavated but the trenches he dug now lie below the Chinese-built new National Museum.

We were allowed to investigate one part of the park, about 30x20m, an area in which, at the time the palace stood, were several low buildings – seen here on a model kept in the museum. Let’s see what we find…

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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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