days 14 and 15, kinolhas

The real digging has begun! Having sampled an area of roughly 120 by 150m with small test pits every 20m, as detailed in previous posts, we were ready to start larger-scale, and much less brutal, excavations.

The weather has been so much nicer.

Clearing the area to put down trench #321:


Not clearing this just yet – though it is tempting, because the test pit here (#544) was just full of pottery and bone:


Setting out trench #325:


Mapping out stone structures, #631:


These trench numbers might all sound arcane, but some we will get to know like the backs of our hands. And we are sieving everything.



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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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