Ancient Aksum: the impact of colonial archaeology in Africa

Published on 31 August 2020 at 14:59

In this new Vlog, MA student Alex Mohns talks to Sam Botan, who is about to start his PhD research on the archaeology of the ancient African kingdom of Aksum and its integral role in global trade between 100 BCE-800 CE.

Sam's work will be an important part of our team's transregional research, and will focus on Aksumite ceramic finds from the Horn of Africa, Oman, as well as India. Such a fact-based approach will also allow for new insights into much wider questions relating to ancient trade routes and connections across the Indian Ocean.

But especially in accessing all the data and sites, the 19th-20th century history of colonial archaeology in this region has left a significant mark. In this Vlog, Sam and Alex reflect on this long-lasting impact of the colonial times in Africa, and discuss new research approaches and perspectives.  (Also, keep an eye out for occasional lab teleportation).

Disclaimer: this video was filmed at the Archaeology Faculty of Leiden University in August 2020. All COVID rules and regulations were strictly followed. We would like to thank the Faculty for their support, and we will do our best to continue to share our videos and findings  in this digital environment. 

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