Posts Tagged ‘archaeology

08
Feb
18

islamic archaeology

Our Cowries team was represented at last week-end’s Islamic Archaeology Day 2018 at University College London, the fourth such event, which attracted over 120 delegates. Annalisa C reports:

The conference showcased current research in Islamic archaeology from across Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle and Near East and most interestingly from my perspective, two papers on current Islamic archaeology projects around the Indian Ocean. It was fantastic to see the range of inter-disciplinary research being undertaken, and the range of material culture analysis – from glass production to archaeobotanical remains. The conference was also a great opportunity to meet other researchers who have started up research projects in the Maldives recently, and to catch up with friends working on the East African coast. We rounded off the day sharing stories and eating amazing mezze.

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25
May
17

about the islamic archaeology in global perspective conference

Last month I visited Bahrain for a conference. You can hear short interventions by some of the conference speakers here; I am about ten minutes in.

“A recent conference in Bahrain brought together archaeology experts from over 14 countries to examine how our view of historic Islam has been distorted by the West. Sylvia Smith reports.”

 

18
May
17

dakar, 18 may

Tuesday was spent looking for cowries through dusty boxes on even dustier shelves – an activity which brought to mind a needle in a haystack, but we did find a good number of cowries, from well-known sites such as Kumbi Saleh, Tichitt, Taghaza or Guezebi. Mainly these were collected during the colonial period from the surface of archaeological sites. The provenance of these cowries is less clear than if they had been properly excavated, and you can’t date them, but still it is better than nothing since no archaeologist could go wandering in the northen Sahara nowadays.
Wednesday was spent sorting and studying Théodore Monod’s cowrie hoard, which we continued today.

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20
Apr
17

norwich

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Back in Norwich after last week’s trip to Bahrain. This week thinking about Kenya, Maldives and Tanzania.

15
Apr
17

bahrain, 15 april

Visit of the al-Khamis mosque – allegedly Bahrain’s oldest – where excavations by our host Tim Insoll produced evidence of settlement dating from the eighth century AD, with a range of finds including pearls, a bread over, and three gold dinars of which one was minted in Kairouan (Tunisia) in the late tenth century – perhaps from West African gold?

Traditional houses and musical interlude in Muharraq, the old part of Bahrain.

A call for work on the Islamic archaeology in the Maldives – we are on it, Mehrdad and Natalie! And 2017 is Bahrain’s Year of Archaeology – yey!

Visit to the Bronze Age village of Saar, and to the multi-period site of Qala’at al-Bahrain. Four thousand years ago, three different systems of weights were being used here: local, Mesopotamian, and Indus Valley – already a globalised world.
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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.

05
Feb
17

days 20 and 21, kinolhas

We have begun our second week of excavation here at Kinolhas. Two of our trenches are finished or nearly finished; two new ones will replace them. Meanwhile, the accumulation of coralstone and sandstone blocs, pottery and gravestones in Trench 631 is still under excavation.

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Final section drawings at Trench 321

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Trench 544 is just starting out. Difficult conditions due to swarms of mosquitoes!

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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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