Archive for June 5th, 2018


cotonou, 5 june

Back in Cotonou again. This time, meeting not just archaeologists but also colleagues in other disciplines and in government and non-government agencies linked to tourism.

Tourism is a big deal in Bénin; the World Bank, in April 2017, noted that it is Bénin’s biggest source of foreign exchange earnings behind cotton. The government aims to increase the overall share of tourism to 10% of Gross Domestic Product by 2023, from today’s 2.6%. And heritage is – yey! – squarely included in the government’s plans.




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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June 2018
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