Les Projets Ounjougou > Ounjougou > Faleme – Senegal > Ethnoarchaeology and Ethnohistory

Ethnoarchaeology and Ethnohistory

The first research missions along the Falémé revealed high mobility of some populations in the valley. Such mobility is often synonymous with the abandonment of villages whose remains vary, including in some cases the significant absence of some types of structures or surface artifacts. The causes of this mobility are diverse and have never been systematically studied. An approach combining examination of abandoned sites, ethnoarchaeological study of vernacular architecture and ethnohistorical survey concerning settlement history focuses on determining the mechanisms underlying these migrations. The longer-term objective is to contribute to understanding of the remains left behind by mobile populations in African savanna contexts. The discovery of nearly intact smelting furnaces, the use of which is still known by some smiths in the Kondokhou region, offers a unique opportunity to document a now abandoned metallurgical technique. Finally, an ethnoarchaeological approach has been developed to document the Peul and Malinke ceramic traditions in the middle and upper Falémé Valley, the production of pottery having a tendency to decrease with the intensification of gold panning (or placer mining).