The Challenges and Potentials of Archaeological Heritage in Africa—Cape Verdean Reflections

  • Marie Louise Stig Sørensen
  • Christopher Evans
Original Article

Abstract

This paper considers three different ways that heritage can be considered fragile—as a reference to the conservation status of the physical heritage, as a concern for the meaning of the heritage, and in terms of threats to the knowledge potentials. It also briefly considers any special conditions that may characterise the threats to heritage in Africa and the consequential challenges to its heritage managers and politicians. On this basis, the experiences of working on one of the first systematic archaeological projects in Cape Verde are used to think about how these challenges are encountered within a specific place but from the viewpoint of foreigners and archaeologists.

Keywords

Heritage Africa Cape Verde UNESCO Archaeology 

Résumé

Cet article envisage trois aspects différents sous lesquels un patrimoine peut être considéré comme fragile: tout d’abord en référence a sa vulnérabilité physique, puis a la fragilité de sa valorisation en tant que patrimoine et finalement dans le sens des menaces posées aux connaissances potentielles qu’il représente. Il examine également brièvement les conditions particulières régnant en Afrique pouvant représenter des menaces pour la conservation du patrimoine et les défis qui en résultent pour les responsables politiques et les gestionnaires du patrimoine. A partir de cette base et de l’expérience gagnée en travaillant à l’un des premiers chantiers archéologiques systématiques au Cap Vert, nous engageons une réflexion sur la manière dont ces difficultés ont été surmontées dans un environnement particulier mais du point de vue d’étrangers et d’archéologues.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Konstantin Richter for first introducing us to the archaeology of Cidade Velha and for our many discussions as partners in the ongoing archaeological exploration of Cidade Velha. The fieldwork represents a partnership between the Department of Archaeology (University of Cambridge) and the Ministério da Cultura of the República de Cabo Verde, and we would like to acknowledge this collaboration and the participation in the fieldwork of our colleagues from the Ministry and the Museum; this has been much appreciated. In particular, we would like to thank Dr. Carlos Alberto de Carvalho and Hamilton Jair Fernandes for generously sharing their knowledge about the village and their plans for its heritage throughout our collaboration. We would like to acknowledge the support from The Society of Antiquaries (London) and the McDonald Institute (University of Cambridge); without their support, the fieldwork could not have been carried out. Marie Louise would, in addition, like to acknowledge many discussions about indigenous archaeology and community archaeology with Susan Keitumetse, Donna Yates and Domenic Walker in connection with their research in Botswana, Bolivia and Wales, respectively.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Louise Stig Sørensen
    • 1
  • Christopher Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Cambridge Archaeological UnitUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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