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MASU presents: Samuel Amartey

225B Eggers Hall

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Samuel Amarty on Commerce and Social Transformations during the Trans-Atlantic Trade in the Sierra Leone Estuary

Samuel AmartyDoctoral Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Syracuse University

Archaeology, combined with historical sources, provides holistic methodological and interpretive vantages in exploring long term social and political transformations in past societies. This presentation explores these vantages in ongoing archaeological research in the Sierra Leone Estuary. It assesses the methods and theories underlying this research which is aimed at examining socioeconomic and political changes in the Sierra Leone Estuary during the second millennium AD to understand the effects of the trans-Atlantic trade. The work contextualizes the more recent past, particularly the foundation of the Sierra Leone Colony in 1787 and the 1990s-Civil War, in the long term sociopolitical history of the region. Emanating from ongoing archaeological research at Bunce Island, a British trading fort built in the estuary during the Atlantic trade, this research examines the intersection of Europeans’ and Africans’ commercial activities and how these impacted on the sociopolitical and cultural developments in the region.

Samuel Amartey holds a BA and M.Phil. degrees in archaeology from the University of Ghana, Legon. His research interests include West African Atlantic archaeology, African history, economic anthropology, heritage management, and archaeology of social interactions. He has tremendous field experience in Ghana, and has been a member of the Bunce Island Archaeological Research team in Sierra Leone for three years.

Sponsored by MAxwell African Scholars Union at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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