A coastal occupation in Bénin, West Africa: Earthenwares and salt at the time of Atlantic entanglement

Haour, Anne ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0844-4867, Coulson, Imogen, N'Dah, Didier and Labiyi, Nestor (2024) A coastal occupation in Bénin, West Africa: Earthenwares and salt at the time of Atlantic entanglement. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 19 (2). pp. 249-268. ISSN 1556-4894

[thumbnail of Haour_etal_2022_JoIaCA]
PDF (Haour_etal_2022_JoIaCA) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The archaeology of the immediate coastline of West Africa remains surprisingly little understood, and what research has been undertaken has often focused on questions relating to sea-based interactions and the precolonial polities lying slightly inland. This paper reports the results of excavations on Ohlinhoué, a small lagoonal island in the western Republic of Bénin. A locally manufactured ceramic assemblage was recovered, together with a small suite of artifacts, including glass, metal, shell, and smoking pipes. These archaeological data provide insights into a small-scale, likely fishing and salt-producing community in this area between sea and river. As such, they provide an alternative to historical readings relating to well-known precolonial polities and trade entrepôts that feed popular historical narratives.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The work described here was made possible by funding from the University of East Anglia, via the 2017–18 GCRF QR allocation. The analysis of the cowries from Ohlinhoué, as well as Saclo and Doguéme, was conducted as part of a wider research project, Cowrie Shells: An Early Global Commodity (RPG-2014-359), awarded by the Leverhulme Trust to Anne Haour with Alastair Grant, University of East Anglia, as Co-Investigator.
Uncontrolled Keywords: benin republic,coastal archaeology,local pottery
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Area Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Centre for African Art and Archaeology
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 09:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85721
DOI: 10.1080/15564894.2022.2084654


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item