04
Feb
16

archaeological excavation in sultan park

As we are tasked with investigating one part of the park, and we weren’t quite sure what we would find given that this area has seen so many episodes of destruction and construction, we decided our best bet would be to set out test pits along a core line.

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In the past three days, we have been finding a range of evidence of the past inhabitants: shaped coralstone blocks, plaster, pottery, fragments of glass and metal (including copper nails), parts of what seem to be bracelets, one coin, and more cowrie shells than you can shake a stick at.

We have been receiving a fair degree of attention in this, one of the most popular public places in Male’. One or the other of us chats to people asking questions. Now we were on the news we noticed some tour guides seem to include us in their commentary (we’re not quite sure what they are saying…)

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We also get a steady stream of visiting colleagues from the heritage and museum sectors.

A well appointed office.

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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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