06
Feb
17

day 22, kinolhas

Why the enduring interest, during our excavations, in patches of dark sand, you ask? Well, largely because they might indicate rubbish pits, which typically contain a whole range of goodies (one man’s rubbish is another’s treasure, that sort of thing) – or because they might be postholes, perhaps the only surviving indication of ephemeral houses.

Their buildings are made of wood, and they arrange the floors of their houses high above the ground as a protection against damp, since the earth in their country is moist. The process of construction with them is as follows: they fashion blocks of stone two or three cubits long, place them in rows one above the other and lay upon them beams of coconut wood. Thereupon, they raise walls of wood – an art in which they are wonderfully skilled.

Ibn Battuta, writing in the 14th century about the Maldives: see here. (This comment also explains our obsession with spotting lines of stones).

Recording piles/lines of stones in the forest.

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Getting complicated in Trench 631.

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Meanwhile… mucho pots, bone…

Archaeobotanical samples in the breeze…

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And yesterday we set some cowrie traps. Stay tuned to find out how they fare…

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3 Responses to “day 22, kinolhas”


  1. 1 Catherine LEFEVRE
    February 6, 2017 at 17:45

    I have left some comments but never seen an answer….Maybe I didn’t know where to find them ?
    Ibn Battuta is so fascinating ! Like other Arab middle-age travellers / geographers (El Bakri, El Idrissi who didn’t travel himself very far). I have his book and I’ll read this chapter (in French ! it is easier for me !!!) : he did one of the most complete descriptions of what he saw. So precious for History and Archaeology !Thank you for telling us what you find !

    • 2 ach
      February 7, 2017 at 01:52

      Hello Catherine, thank you for your comments! I usually put the answer right beneath any comment, like the one you made about being taught by Raymond Mauny. I hope you can see them?

    • 3 ach
      February 7, 2017 at 01:56

      Please see for example 2017/01/22/day-6-utheemu/#comment-6164
      I hope you can see it!


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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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