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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 5–81 | Cite as

The Archaeology of Global Encounters Viewed from Banda, Ghana

  • Ann B. Stahl
Article

Abstract

West African societies have long been enmeshed in interregional, subcontinental, and intercontinental relations. Documents tell us little about how local life was shaped by its intersection with global processes, especially in coastal hinterlands. In this paper I report on archaeological investigations into the changing contours of local life in the Banda area of west central Ghana over the past seven centuries. Excavations at three temporally distinct occupations on two sites—Makala Kataa and Kuulo Kataa—document changes in settlement, craft production, subsistence, and exchange, providing insights into the dynamics of local life during a period of expanding global networks. A concluding section addresses why this type of research is important for our understanding of ancient African societies.

Les sociétés Ouest Africaines sont depuis longtemps parties prenantes dans les relations inter-régionales, sous-continentales et inter-continentales. Les documents ne nous disent pas grand chose sur la manière dont la vie locale a été façonnée par cette interaction avec les processus mondiaux, particulièrement dans les arrières pays côtiers. Dans cet article, je rends compte des recherches archéologiques concernant les changements dans la vie locale intervenus dans la région de Banda au centre ouest du Ghana au cours des sept derniers siècles. Les fouilles dans trois occupations temporellement distincts sur deux sites—Makala Kataa et Kuulo Kataa—mettent en évidence les changements dans l'occupation, la production artisanale, les modes de subsistances et les échanges, donnant un aperçu des dynamiques de la vie locale durant une période d'expansion des réseaux mondiaux d'échange. La conclusion aborde les raisons pour lesquelles ce type de recherche est important pour notre compréhension des anciennes sociétés africaines.

global encounters Ghana historical archaeology craft production craft consumption subsistence exchange 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann B. Stahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyBinghamton University (State University of New York)Binghamton

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