Regional Archaeological Research Projects in West Africa.

Archaeological Development in West Africa

Supported by the Danish Foreign Ministry/DANIDA, the University of Copenhagen and CWA are developing regional research projects in West Africa joining research and education. Earlier experiences in Bénin as well as initial work in Ghana (and visits to Togo ) allow the identification of several prime research areas of common interest to African and European scholars:

  • African kingdoms at the dawn of European contact
  • Earliest European plantations
  • Metallurgy as an economic lever of early state formation and as an explanation of movement of people
  • Organisation of specialized production
  • Plants as relics of human past behaviour
  • Identification of pre-state societies in areas of low cultural visibility
  • Ethnoarchaeology as a means of practical training

View from the Castle of Elmina , built by the Portuguese in 1482. This is the first permanent structure south of the Sahara built by Europeans. Now it is the core of a busy fishing harbour and town with hundreds of extended dug-outs anchored in the lagoon.

The main aim of the overall project it to enhance regional cooperation and to promote the development of administrative archaeology (topographical cultural heritage,) as well as provide support for archaeological research institutions and their educational programmes.

Read about the success of the initial activities in Ghana :