day 16, kinolhas

Excavation continues. Lots of pottery, and some surprising stones, mark today’s story so far.

A lot of stones, many not local to the Maldives, turning up in Trench 321.


Time to brush up on my geology…

Meanwhile, we hit an unexpected problem at Trench 631. The stones which we thought marked out a series of houses are not that. Once exposed a little further, it is clear that some are, in fact, gravestones. And the sandstone blocs probably delimit a mausoleum.

Ah. Not what we had hoped for!

Team meeting so that everyone gets to see the site, and no mad rumours (e.g. about ibn Battuta’s bones) start to fly.


We phone the Council president to inform him, and he comes to visit. He texts and calls two Islamic scholars, and both confirm his feeling that as long as we don’t disturb any bones, it is fine to continue to dig.


This gives us a great opportunity to better understand the funerary archaeology here. Thus far, one gravestone from Kinolhas has been published by colleagues ten years ago. Amazingly, it is a marble stone probably from Gujarat (see my post from last year).The ones we are looking at now are probably more mundane, but who knows…

A (dated) epitaph would be lovely!


1 Response to “day 16, kinolhas”

  1. 1 Georges HAOUR
    January 31, 2017 at 11:25

    Have a fruitful visit of the Council

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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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