Archive for the 'General' Category

30
Jun
19

kinolhas, 26 june

A few last walks on Kinolhas before boarding the speedboat.

Quick look back at the archaeology we investigated in 2017.

Left image: the tall light green tree on the left is a bodhi tree, identified by locals as marking a former Buddhist site. (The Bodhi tree (Sanskrit: बोधि), was a large and ancient sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa) at Bodh Gaya under which Buddha obtained enlightenment). On this image, it is guarded by a thicket of screwpines (kashikeo) which are quite impassable when they gang up on you (but you can make cakes and juice from its fruits), and a sea almond tree (Terminalia catappa) (the nuts make great cakes).

Right image: the sandstone structures we cleaned and measured are now covered by leaves and soil again – the safest way for them to be – sitting quite nicely.

 

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These are some cowries collected on the shore. These larger species typically live a bit deeper than annulus and moneta, so are less available to the casual collector. These guys on the left are, I think, tiger cowries.

An invitation to tea, and excited children as the coast guards pay a visit.

And finally, the obligatory sunset shot. I am now off to Male’, and Shiura remains on Kinolhas to continue her work on the pottery of ibn Battuta’s island.

suns

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30
Jun
19

goodbye kinolhas

As my stay at Kinolhas draws to an end, Shiura and I are treated to a coconut drink, very refreshing in this heat. They set us up some shade in Shiura’s trench!

There is a gift giving ceremony on the beach

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And we then go off to number and pack up close to one thousand potsherds, which are coming back to the UK on a temporary export permit, to be studied.

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12
Jun
19

male’, 12 June

A day of catching up in the capital of Maldives. Lunch with Dr Shazla, Dean at Maldives National University, Mauroof Jameel, and Shiura. We talked about surveys of traditional house forms, cowries on banknotes, nitrogen pollution, mangas, yams and coral mining among other things.

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In the Twittersphere, Shiura seems to be welcomed back with open arms. There’s definitely a lot to be done here in the Maldives. Here’s a chance to say a virtual hello to colleagues in Oxford and London whose research is underway on the archipelago. And plenty (again, on Twitter) by local stakeholders on a number of recent archaeological discoveries made during the development of new resorts. Some of these we hope to visit in coming weeks.

There’s a new section in the National Museum which highlights recent traditional crafts – primarily basketry and woodworking, but there is also a section on pottery storage jars by which we were quite enthralled. All pots had to be imported to this clay-less archipelago so I am assuming they were brought both for their own sake and as containers for something else…? Something to figure out through the material from Kinolhas.

 

11
Jun
19

male’, 11 june 2019

Happy to be in Maldives once again! This is my fourth visit to Male’ and the place certainly does not stand still. You can now drive from the airport to the city, for a start, thanks to a new bridge. The PM of India was here last week. And it’s a busy time for culture too, with renewed calls to preserve Maldivian heritage both tangible and intangible.

Before leaving Norwich I made the obligatory stop to buy fieldwork supplies, and this time I travel not with potsherds but with several kilos of cowries (which caused me to be stopped by Customs). These are part of the hoard recovered by locals in Utheemu as they built a football field which we later studied (the cowries of course, not the football field). I’m also travelling with some of the pottery, metal and clay finds from Kinolhas. These are all returning to the Maldives after being on temporary loan to us in the UK.

 

 

 

26
May
19

cotonou, 26 may

In Cotonou again, this time to host a British Academy Writing Workshop. We have brought together a fine collection of early career researchers and journal editors to discuss the craft of writing a paper that will be accepted by an international journal. More in days to come!

14
Apr
19

geneva, 14 april

After a productive workshop in Frankfurt organised by Nick G with colleagues working in Mali,  I’m now in Geneva, working on a funding application and looking forward to the Easter break.

The period after Easter will see a couple of visits to deliver talks in Cambridge and a trip to Benin!

14
Apr
19

call for applications from West African early career scholars

Bringing the past to print: Archaeology for and by West African scholars

Early career researchers are invited to apply to attend a writing workshop to be held 27-31 May 2019 in Cotonou, Bénin. This workshop, funded by the British Academy (UK), aims to further collaborative links between researchers in the UK and in the Global South, and to promote the uptake of research emanating from the Global South in academic journals.

Mentoring and advice will be provided to the attendees by journal editors and UK-based scholars who will work with the workshop participants to produce papers in preparation for publication, ready for submission by December 2019. This support will take the form of intensive face-to-face support throughout the workshop, as well as follow-up mentoring via email.

Five funded places are available to attend this workshop. Early career researchers based in West Africa, in the field of heritage and archaeology (including relevant topics within history, anthropology, tourism, development, environmental science and art history), whose PhD thesis was defended between January 2015 and December 2018, are eligible to apply.

Applicants are asked to supply a one-page CV, one-page description of the specific research which they hope to bring to publication, and a one-page skeleton structure of a proposed paper identifying the target journal/publisher. Criteria for assessment are (1) interest of the research presented; (2) coherence and articulation of its presentation; (3) past track record of the applicant.

Reasonable economy return travel, and accommodation and subsistence during the workshop, will be provided to successful candidates. Applicants need to be available the final week of May 2019 and already be in possession of all necessary travel documents (e.g. passport).

Please contact Admin.Sru@uea.ac.uk with any questions. The deadline for applications, to be received by email, is noon 23 April 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by 30 April to begin planning travel arrangements, assisted by administrative staff at the Sainsbury Research Unit (University of East Anglia, Norwich).

 

 

Atelier d’écriture / British Academy Writing Workshops 2019

Appel à candidatures

 

Les chercheurs en début de carrière sont invités à s’inscrire à un atelier d’écriture qui se tiendra du 27 au 31 mai 2019 à Cotonou, au Bénin. Cet atelier, financé par la British Academy (Royaume-Uni), a pour objectif de renforcer les liens de collaboration entre chercheurs du Royaume-Uni et des pays du Sud, et de promouvoir la publication des recherches émanant des pays du Sud dans des revues spécialisées.

Les participants bénéficieront de mentoring par des rédacteurs de revues et des universitaires, qui travailleront avec les participants au cours de l’atelier afin de préparer des documents en vue de leur publication, prêts à être soumis d’ici décembre 2019. Ce soutien prendra la forme de discussions intensives face à face pendant la durée de l’atelier, ainsi que d’un suivi par e-mail.

Cinq places financées sont disponibles pour assister à cet atelier. Les chercheurs en début de carrière basés en Afrique de l’Ouest, dans le domaine du patrimoine et de l’archéologie (y compris des sujets pertinents d’histoire, d’anthropologie, de tourisme, de développement, de science de l’environnement et d’histoire de l’art), dont la thèse a été soutenue entre janvier 2015 et décembre 2018, sont admissibles à appliquer.

Les candidats sont priés de fournir un CV d’une page, une description de la recherche qu’ils souhaitent publier, ainsi qu’une ébauche d’une page de la structure du projet d’article, identifiant par ailleurs le journal visé. Les critères d’évaluation sont (1) l’intérêt de la recherche présentée; (2) la cohérence et l’articulation de sa présentation; (3) les antécédents du candidat.

Un voyage aller-retour en classe économique, ainsi que l’hébergement et la subsistance pendant l’atelier, seront fournis aux candidats retenus. Les candidats doivent être disponibles la dernière semaine de mai 2019 et être déjà en possession de tous les documents de voyage nécessaires (passeport).

Veuillez contacter Admin.Sru@uea.ac.uk pour toute question. La date limite des candidatures, qui sont à envoyer par e-mail, est le 23 avril 2019 à midi. Les candidats retenus seront informés avant le 30 avril de commencer à planifier leurs déplacements, avec l’aide du personnel administratif du Sainsbury Research Unit (University of East Anglia, Norwich).




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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