Posts Tagged ‘maldives

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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09
Feb
17

it’s the week-end!

We decide on a picnic on a sandbar on the reef closest to Kinolhas (just here). We go with the family and friends of Ramla (who cooks for us each day) and Moamin (he works with us at the site and also takes us places on his dinghy).

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We have a competition to see who can collect most cowries, and Annalisa wins hands down. Altogether we collect about 40.

We have tuna samosas, doughnuts and chocolate cupcakes.

Return under the near-full moon.

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07
Feb
17

setting bait for cowries

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We secured a coconut frond to the bottom of the sea using large rocks.

The aim is to test the veracity of the assertion made in the ninth century by Suleiman the Merchant, who had heard that in order to fish for cowries the people of the Maldives put fronds from a coconut tree into the water (see page 23 of Hogendorn and Johnson’s classic study of the cowrie trade – highly recommended). Only one informant here has mentioned this method to us so we are wondering whether it really existed.

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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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27
Jan
17

day 12

Day off

22
Jan
17

day 7, leaving

The end of our time in Utheemu. Early morning start, under the rain, from Utheemu, to airport, to fly to Baa atoll and thence to Raa atoll where lies our next target island, Kinolhas.

20
Jan
17

day 5, utheemu

Third day working here. A Friday, but we have too much to get done to take a day off… (tomorrow being our final day on the island). Nonetheless, here is a mix of work & play images:

Excavation in the morning, finds processing in the afternoon.

Aquaerobics class!

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Views of Utheemu life. Classic sunset shot. Middle: the palace; Hussein and David at breakfast. Bottom: where Shiura and I are staying.




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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