Posts Tagged ‘test pits

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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25
Jun
19

where next?

 

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After a week’s work, the 10x10m trench is down to about 30cm.

Sterile ground – that is, the end of the archaeological materials – has been reached in some parts of the trench. West Africanists, I know, right! Many of us are more used to reaching sterile at 3m rather than 0.3m!

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With hermit crab tracks.

The question therefore now is where to excavate next? Shiura and I have been noticing potential locations.

In summer 1974 John Carswell observed that the streets of Malé were surfaced with finely packed coral sand studded with pottery sherds; “each monsoon shower revealed a new crop”. Same here… Main street in Kinolhas:

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18
Jun
18

avlo, 12 june

Work continues… And grinds to a halt once we reach the water table.

Trench 1 in particular is very close to the river, its beach cluttered with potsherds which have eroded out of the island.

But it’s fine – we have the results we came for, which show that there is an archaeological record here that it would be well worth exploring through a bigger-scale project.

dav

The River Mono flowing past the site

18
Jun
18

avlo, 11 june

We’ve chosen two spots for our trenches. One is supervised by Nestor and the other by Imogen.

The trenches are 1×2 m in size and the going is relatively easy at first, getting more difficult as we get down to about 60cm depth and the soil turns very clayey and wet.

The finds are just what we had hoped for: lots of pottery (local and mainly rouletted), smoking pipes, cowries, glass fragments, beads, shells, and scraps of metal in poor shape.

sdr

The inevitable pot-washing

15
Jun
18

avlo, 9 june

The first step involves surveying the island and its neighbours – not the easiest of tasks given the dense vegetation.

The decision is then taken, based on whether we can see archaeological material on the surface and whether there are any other notable features of the ground, about where to place our two test pits.

dav

Placing Trench 2

16
Feb
17

day 32

Heading to the site with Councillors.

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Final photos.

From the ground…

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From the branches of a screwpine tree…

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Taking levels

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Then the backfilling begins. Having spent the last three weeks removing all the stones and sand from this patch, now we put them all back…

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Good bye ibn Battuta’s harbour

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16
Feb
17

days 29, 30

Work continues… on our long-standing Trench 631 but also on two new, smaller, trenches at the periphery of the site.

There has been a lot of wind lately and the sea has been rougher. The latter has no direct impact on our work but the former makes things a bit trickier: papers fly away, line levels flutter in the wind, leaves blow into pristine trenches just ready to be photographed.

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Afternoons merrily engaged gluing pots, sorting bone, piecing together gravestones…

Just three days left to go, so as well as wrapping up the digging we have to make sure all our finds are inventoried and packed up and, wherever possible, the non-essentials left behind (to save on hefty airline excess baggage fees).

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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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