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 Institute of


Dr Anne Haour

Lecturer in the Arts and Archaeology of Africa, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, the Americas and Oceania, University of East Anglia, Norwich

General Research Interests :

Keywords: West African archaeology, especially archaeology of Niger; social,economic and political boundaries and connections in the Sahel in the last 1000 years; ceramic typology

My focus is the recent, 'medieval', archaeology of West Africa, in particular that of the Sahelian zones. Vast and powerful 'empires' are described in historical records as controlling the land – but little is know of them in archaeological terms. Most recently I have conducted excavations and ethnohistorical research at two Sahelian medieval sites (both in the Republic of Niger): Kufan Kanawa (near Zinder, central Niger) and Garumele (near Lake Chad). Both these sites are said by oral tradition (and less clearly by written records) to have been involved in the formative stages of some powerful political entities: the Hausa and Kanem-Borno respectively. I have also carried out fieldwork surveys along the Niger river and at the Benin border. This field research, then, addresses themes of wider significance: the creation and maintenance of political and cultural boundaries, the natur e of the 'early state', the role of trade and of religion, and the interrelation of the different sources of information we have relating to the past. I have therefore developed theoretical reflections along these themes, in particular using comparative approaches. For example, in my 2007 book for OUP, 'Rulers, warriors, traders, clerics', I set side by side the central Sahel and northwest Europe to see what each region can teach us about the other.

Mekrou, southern Niger

Field survey in the Mekrou, southern Niger

Garumele, eastern Niger

Drawing the final section of the excavated trench at Garumele, eastern Niger

Recent projects:

In 2008-2009 I have convened two international workshops relating to my research interests: a Leverhulme-Trust-funded meeting dedicated to West African pottery analysis, and a workshop on the time-depth of Hausa identity, supported by grants from the AHRC/ESRC Religion and society project and with the Sainsbury Research Unit. For further details on these, including publications, please see the Sainsbury Research Unit's Research Activities page.

© 2007 Editor, Sada Mire, and the individual authors of these African Heritage and Archaeology webpages

This page last modified 7 December, 2009 by Institute Webmaster

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