Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, College of William and Mary

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Syracuse University
Forests of Power and Memory: An Archaeology of Sacred Groves in the Eguafo Kingdom, Coastal Ghana, c. 1400-1900

My research will examine sacred groves in the Central Region of Ghana to reconstruct the history of sociopolitical change during the second millennium A.D. Focusing on the territory of the historic Eguafo kingdom, the research will investigate the correlation between sacred groves and abandoned settlements, and its relevance to the transformation of Late Iron Age coastal communities, specialized in the exploitation of forest and lagoon resources, into a mercantilist society fully integrated in the Atlantic world. The dissertation will aim at 1) understanding the process of sacred grove formation in relation to archaeological sites; 2) ascertaining the chronology of change in human occupation by surveying and excavating abandoned settlements associated with sacred groves; 3) interpreting these changes in relation with the dynamics of the Atlantic trade.