We have recently received a number of communications regarding African archaeology via our contacts page.
First up, Mark Anderson informs us of the work of the Marothodi Institute for Archaeology in Africa:
The Marothodi Institute for Archaeology in Africa (MIAA)is a new non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing research on the African continent, and harnessing the power of heritage-centred initiatives to contribute to the development of African communities.
Membership is open to the global community of archaeologists and all members of the public who want their passion for the past to make a difference to the future.
Please visit our website at www.marothodi-institute.org, and join us today.
And Babagana Abubakar of the Nigeria Ports Authority offers us his views on the oppurtunities and perceptions of archaeology in Africa:
Although archaeological knowledge is part of the great mysteries of the power of knowledge for its ability to be able to discover, identify, analyses and interpret histories that has never been witnessed by any man, but in Africa the value and sweetness of this extra ordinary mystery is only known and limited to the Egyptians where almost all the worlds archaeologist concentrates their time and other resources in tying to re-write the history of archaeology because of the importance of Egypt, when it comes to the holy books (QURAN, TORAH, ZABURA AND THE BIBLE) and human history in general.
This explains why 90% of the African Universities and colleges have no archaeological departments and also African archaeologist are presently less than 1% of the total number of graduates in African. This also explains the reason why almost all the archaeological researches going on in Egypt are conducted by the Americans and the Europeans. However the remaining neglected part of Africa when it comes to archaeological prospecting are currently proven how importance they could be in archaeological researches when in 1992 a peasant farmer accidentally discovered the worldâ€™s oldest canoe (eight thousand years old) while digging a well in Damaturu, Nigeria and in 1994 when the oldest human skeleton was also discovered in Ethiopia among many other discoveries.
It was in view of the above situation that this research work was conducted and came up with the under listed suggestions / recommendations:-
1. The world archaeological societies, the African Union, regional organizations, Universities and the governments of the African continent should be awarding scholarships to potential African archaeologist that lack the financial capability to pursue studies in archeology.
2. The Archaeological societies, the United Nations Educational Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) and the African governments should be sponsoring organizing public enlightenment conferences, seminars and workshops towards creating awareness and attracting potential archaeologist in the African countries.
3. The African Union in collaboration with the United Nations and the African governments should be promoting awareness on how important the neglected parts of the African continent can be when it comes to archaeological prospecting to the world archeological institutions through advertisements in the media and in the educational institutions.
4. Great archaeological institutions, societies and organizations should be encouraged by the United Nations specialized agencies on education to open their offices in Africa.
5. The African governments should open their doors archaeological prospectors and also help in promoting the activities of archaeologist on archaeological missions in their countries.
I believe that if the above suggestions/recommendations are adopted and implemented, it will help rise the value of archaeological research in Africa, open doors for new frontiers in archaeology, promote and re-write the history of archaeology, other wise the rate at which archaeological opportunities will be lost, great histories remain undiscovered and the decline in the mystery of archaeological knowledge will ever remain on the increase.