22
Jan
17

day 7, arriving

We will now be based in Kinolhas (Dhivehi: ކިނޮޅަސް). One of its claims to fame is that ibn Battuta first landed here when he arrived in the Maldives. He writes:

When I reached there I disembarked at the island of Kannalus [Kinolhas island in Raa atoll], a beautiful island in which there are numerous mosques. I put up at the house of one of its pious inhabitants where I was received hospitably by the jurist Ali. He was an accomplished man and had sons who pursued the study of sciences. There I met a man named Muhammad, a native of Dhofar (Zafar-ul-humuz), who entertained me and told me, ‘When you enter the island Mahal [Male’], the vezir will detain you, for the people there have no judge.’

A spot of impromptu survey – trying to link the putative medieval settlement with the reported medieval harbour. It is not all fine sandy beaches in the Maldives…

But there are some of these too, of course.

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Meeting our team. We will hopefully work together for 22 days and do good research.

Kinolhas is about 0.5 km2 in size and has 580 inhabitants but a third live in Male’ in search for better education and job opportunities.

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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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