Posts Tagged ‘publication


new publication

The report of out first field season in the Maldives, earlier this year, is out in the June issue of Nyame Akuma. It will tell you how things went, and what we found. We plan to go back early 2017.


The six most recent issues of Nyame Akuma are accessible to online subscribers only. Membership plus digital subscription to Nyame Akuma is available at very nominal cost to Northern hemisphere residents (typically less than USD 25). It is free for Africans residing in Africa.


crossroads book





new publication

A new publication by team member Olivier G. The World Is Like a Beanstalk: Historicizing Potting Practice and Social Relations  in the Niger River Area. 


My interest in the history of  local pottery traditions in the Niger Valley was recently reactivated. As part of the “Crossroads of  Empires” European Research Council project (Haour et al. 2011), I made a systematic study of craft activities  along the Beninese bank of the Niger River and identified the southern boundary of the polychrome pottery production zone, as well as some two- or three-generations-old vessels whose shape and décor strongly evoked vessels illustrated in Y. Urvoy (1955). … The time had come to reconsider the data collected in Niger between 2002 and 2010, and to confront them with those collected in Benin since 2011.

This is also the time to thank Olivier who, while in Dendi with us, supplied the archaeologists’ base camp with two polychrome jars from Ouna which kept our drinks nicely chilled.




new publication

Our paper offering an overview of four years’ work in northern Bénin is now out in AntiquitySee some of our results and, later, read the project book where we develop and refine them.

And farewell to Florence who has helped see the book through the past eight months, and all best in the new job.


final stages of the Crossroads book, 1

discovered we had no definite lantana beads – a lowpoint of the day

changed ‘interesting’ to ‘extraordinary’ – a highpoint of the day

found out we were missing 68 drawings of potsherds – a lowpoint

realised the Hausa might just be usurping a lot of the earlier  traditions relating to trade  between the Niger River and forested areas – a highpoint

wondered about birane – a highpoint




a day on the Crossroads book

The delights ahead for the day



meanwhile, back at the ranch…

These past few days I have been looking through the various draft chapters of the volume which will present the Crossroads findings. Today I have been reading about cowries at nooru bangu, see here, a site we studied in Bénin; the folded strip roulettes from Kantoro; and charcoal.

There has been a lot of progress and Florence and I now have a substantial set of papers as well as some pretty nifty illustrations of our various finds and data on 42000 sherds or so.

It means looking back over the past 5 years and all we have learnt…




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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