Archive for February, 2017

25
Feb
17

unknown gunmen have killed two security escorts, kidnapped two archaeologists in Nigeria

conflict antiquities

Around 8.55am on Wednesday morning, abductors with ‘guns and machetes’ kidnapped two archaeologists in Janjala/Janjela/Jenjela village, Kadarko/Kagarko area (near the road between Kaduna airport and Abuja city), southern Kaduna state, north-western Nigeria. Tragically, according to the Archaeological Association of Nigeria, local hunters Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim, ‘who intervened to abort the kidnap’, were shot and killed.

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17
Feb
17

goodbye, kinolhas

On our last evening on the island, we were given a wonderful farewell.

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The coolest cowrie-themed cake ever-complete with anatomically correct yellow ring around the dorsum!

A barbecue with fresh fish caught by Moamin.

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16
Feb
17

day 32

Heading to the site with Councillors.

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Final photos.

From the ground…

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From the branches of a screwpine tree…

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Taking levels

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Then the backfilling begins. Having spent the last three weeks removing all the stones and sand from this patch, now we put them all back…

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Good bye ibn Battuta’s harbour

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16
Feb
17

day 31

In order to tie our seven trenches into the wider landscape, we go surveying and make a record of any stone features we encounter.

A square stone on its own and the floorplan of what looks like a house!

A large scale wall and a possible well .

All this is also an opportunity to learn more about the vegetation. Above right, the feature which we interpret as a well was shrouded by a thick cover of dhigga (Hibiscus tiliaceus). Screwpine trees (Pandanus tectorus) seem to appreciate archaeological features; they are often comfortably settled over ruined stone structures.

Elsewhere on the site… work is clearly coming to an end.

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On an unrelated note, but something I really had to mention. We have been eating very well. Including screwpine cake..!

 

16
Feb
17

lots of explaining to do

As our departure approaches, we have various opportunities to bring the community up to date with our findings.

First off a Council meeting at which we are given permission to remove the artefacts (seen here spread out on the table) from the island (so long as we promise to write a book about them).

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Then a public event where we outline our findings and show people some of the objects unearthed.

A miniature pot, glass bracelets, a yellow pendant and a coarseware jar refitted by Hamid and Zaid prove most popular.

16
Feb
17

days 29, 30

Work continues… on our long-standing Trench 631 but also on two new, smaller, trenches at the periphery of the site.

There has been a lot of wind lately and the sea has been rougher. The latter has no direct impact on our work but the former makes things a bit trickier: papers fly away, line levels flutter in the wind, leaves blow into pristine trenches just ready to be photographed.

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Afternoons merrily engaged gluing pots, sorting bone, piecing together gravestones…

Just three days left to go, so as well as wrapping up the digging we have to make sure all our finds are inventoried and packed up and, wherever possible, the non-essentials left behind (to save on hefty airline excess baggage fees).

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12
Feb
17

day 28, kinolhas

A busy morning digging… but also backfilling, as we are nearing the end of the season.

There is a family from Kerala living on the island, and we take the opportunity of their walking past our pot-processing area to show them some of our material. Judging by its decoration, the tamper marks on the inner surface of the sherds, and comparable material from other published sites, some of our stuff appears to be from southern India and perhaps Kerala specifically. So we asked them if it looked familiar.

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Ramla brings lunch onto site and we have a picnic.

Drone’s eye view of our site: Trench 631 bottom left.

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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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