Posts Tagged ‘teamwork

27
Jun
20

lockdown, 1

We are, at least here in the UK, coming to the end of one of the strangest times most of us will have encountered. For me, it meant waking up, it seemed every day, in impossibly bright sunshine, ahead a day with those I hold dearest within four walls, yet no prospect of seeing anyone else. Four people organising their work day over breakfast with seemingly endless berries from the yard (that sunshine!) and fortunate enough to have two professional laptops plus one.

The feeling of ease and comfort when it started is difficult to describe: it seemed that all was as it should be. We were all under the same roof! We were fortunate to be able to work at home! There were no complicated logistics to try and remember who should be where when! This was peace.

The world outside was very complicated, though. Everyone we knew, on three continents, was scared and following instructions. We were scared. Locally, shopping was a game of chance and we exchanged news of where specific goods might be found. Flour was very difficult to get. It felt like we were all under emergency measures.

I worked on easy boring jobs: checking bibliographies, footnotes. They were all useful, some long postponed,  necessary and well suited to the time: I couldn’t concentrate much.

I feel like I was in shock. My existence is normally structured by meeting new people, travel, new ideas… It all came to an abrupt end. We knew it was coming I guess, but then  it came very fast: a morning to collect books, files and all that we might need. This was Wednesday 18 March. There are dozens of colleagues and students whom I last saw that morning, and everybody was stockpiling books or hunched over the photocopier. I didn’t really realise that 100 days on I still would not have seen them.

27
Feb
20

goodbye Sudan, 17 feb

The end of another excellent trip was marked by a farewell lunch in a fish restaurant by the seafront in Port Sudan

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and a detour, on the drive back to Khartoum, to the remarkable sites of Naqa and Musawwarat es-Sufra:

Finishing cleaning and photography for the finds

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And of course the inevitable shopping. Bakri with Sudanese boomerangs:

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And a lunchtime seminar at the Department of Archaeology

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11
Feb
20

agiq, 7-9 feb

Once again we roam the landscape, sometimes systematically, sometimes following local advice, sometimes seeking out previously published sites.

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But the first step involves a community event and introduction.

Beginning the next day, we quickly confirm there are a range of impressive stone-built structures. Below is a wall running over some hundred metres across a hillside, associated with a range of smaller structures. Date unknown…

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I am especially intrigued by those which combine stone, coral blocs (sometimes at quite a distance from the sea) and plastering. Some of these are called ‘Roman’ graves by locals, but again, there is no evidence as to their age.

On the island of Ibn Abbas, we encounter a rare and refreshing sight – some trees!

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The work is fuelled by copious amounts of fuul, namely stewed beans, often served with tomatoes which are grown locally and bread.

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24
Jun
19

kinolhas, 24 june

The analysis of the pottery has begun.

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At the same time, we continue to learn about the island – its layout, resources, and outlook.

On the south shore, low tide exposes the sandstone which could be mined in the past to build things.

Kinolhas has many neighbours, and the islands are intervisible. On the left is Fainu, its neighbour to the north. On the right, can you spot at least three islands? Blog followers based in Kinolhas, you no doubt can name them.

Raa atoll – where we are – is in the midst of a major development of tourism (foreshadowed here). Many of the previously uninhabited islands are being developed as resorts and many of the inhabited islands are launching into the guesthouse business.

Back to sandstone: one of the things you can build with it is a well. Which is fine, but that means unfortunate archaeologists then have to map it!

23
Jun
19

kinolhas, 22 june

It has rained for a while most days, but luckily this has not slowed down Shiura’s team too much.

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Once the topsoil was cleared, it was time to set up the sieving station – some discussion about the most effective way to install its frame.

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Once the topsoil clear, with the start of the archaeological layer, the pots began to turn up!

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27
May
19

cotonou, 27 may

First day of our writing workshop. I start with the obligatory car shot, which regular readers will recognise from previous years. Not such a big distance to cover this time though – just from one part of Cotonou to the university campus. Left-right Dr Ettien from Ivory Coast, Dr Giade from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, Dr Djidohkpin from Benin, Dr Labiyi from Benin, Barpougouni Mardjoua who is a doctoral student at Université libre de Bruxelles/Université Abomey Calavi and Dr Daraojimba from University of Nigeria Nsukka.

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The formal opening with the Dean of Faculty, Pro-VC for inter-university collaboration, and the Deputy Head of the Department of History and Archaeology.  Thank you for their kind words.

 

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

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).

31
Mar
19

norwich, still in europe, 31 march

Though this blog has been quiet for the past few months, hopefully you have caught us on Twitter. We’ve certainly been busy – 2019 started at a fast pace and continued the same way.  Excellent workshops in Cambridge and here in Norwich with colleagues in International Development and at the Earlham Institute.

Continuing sorting through the materials relating to the cowrie project, and continually finding lovely new examples to feed into teaching. To the left here is a Kuba drinking cup. Jan Vansina, in his book Children of Woot, notes that among the Kuba rare objects that came from afar were, as is the case in many societies, the goods that counted most. The habit of showering cowries into graves was one clear instance of conspicuous consumption.

Our Centre for African Art and Archaeology series continued to receive wonderful speakers: CFAAA Spring 2019

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Other colleagues visited to chat about pottery and bone

And then of course the overarching issue of the day.

30
Oct
18

new publication

… and it is a behemoth of a publication, weighing in at over 3 kilos and 800 pages – of luscious, informative, tangible and intangible material culture-based discussion of seven years of work in northern Benin and beyond.

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Last time I saw it, it looked like this

— so it is rather lovely to see its finished form.

We’ll be having a small gathering on November 23rd to wet its head. Likely, too, to raise a glass to the European Research Council who made this research possible.




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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