Lecture in Oxford

I gave a well-attended lecture on the ‘Becoming Muslim’ research with an emphasis upon hypotheses concerning Islamisation at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies today (16th January). Useful questions and comments were received and the resonances with Islamisation processes in other regions such as South-East Asia were apparent.

– Tim

PhD and Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Nine papers covering various research projects, including “Becoming Muslim”, were presented at the successful second annual PhD and Postdoctoral seminar of the Centre for Islamic Archaeology on 12th December 2018. Time was too short, and there was a lot of lively debate and questions.

– Tim

African Archaeological Research Day (AARD) University of Cambridge

Last weekend Nadia Khalaf and I attended the African Archaeological Research Day (AARD) hosted this year at the University of Cambridge. I presented a paper providing an overview of the local ceramics from Harlaa. As I arrived on the Friday before the conference I also had the opportunity to attend an interesting Seminar hosted by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and African Archaeology Group on Human-Environmental Dynamics in Madagascar Archaeology. AARD itself was host to a wide range of papers from across Africa covering from Early Hominids to post-Colonial archaeology as well as contemporary Heritage concerns. My paper was well received and I had some interesting discussion about potential wider links between the local Harlaa ceramics and the wider region.

– Nick

Becoming Muslim PhD student Nick Tait delivering his presentation.

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)

Last week I attended the ICES20 conference at Mekelle University, Ethiopia. The theme of the conference was ‘Regional and Global Ethiopia – Interconnections and Identities’. My talk was part of the session ‘The Medieval Ethiopian Dynamics (12th-17th C): State, People, Space and Knowledge in Movement’ organized by Ayenachew Deresse and Marie-Laure Durat. This interesting session featured a range of speakers who focused on the history, religion and society of medieval Ethiopia. My talk discussed the results of the survey undertaken as part of the ‘Becoming Muslim’ fieldwork in Harlaa village during the 2017 and 2018 fieldwork seasons.

The ‘Becoming Muslim’ project invited our representative from the Authority for Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) Misganaw Gebremichael to join me in Mekelle for the conference. Misganaw presented in the session ‘Inter-disciplinary interconnections for the scientific growth of Ethiopian archaeology’ chaired by Catherine D’Andrea. His talk titled ‘A preliminary report of the Kudina rock art site, Afar National Regional State’ discussed results of a field survey carried out in 2017 which documented new rock art sites in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

The whole event was a great success for Mekelle University and those working in Ethiopia who helped to organise it. We look forward to the next one in Addis Ababa in 2021.

– Nadia

Misganaw Gebremichael giving his talk.

Landscape Archaeology Conference 2018

I organised a session at the biennial Landscape Archaeology Conference at Newcastle and Durham Universities last week. The session ‘Landscape Archaeology in Africa’s later prehistory: new methods and current research’ attracted a range of scholars working in different areas of Africa. I also spoke about the ‘Becoming Muslim’ project in the session ‘Remote Sensing and Archaeology’.

– Nadia

Dr Julia Nikolaus from the University of Leicester talking about the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project

Visit to China

In September, I gave three lectures including material from the “Becoming Muslim” project in China, at Peking and Tsinghua Universities in Beijing, and at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an.

– Tim

Tim outside the Department of History, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an

“Representing Africa in British Museums” Conference, RAMM, Exeter

So as to better understand the challenges inherent in adequately representing Africa in the museum context in the UK I co-organised this conference at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, on 8 June. We welcomed museum curators from Edinburgh, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and interesting papers were presented and lively discussion and debate took place.

– Tim

Dr Chris Wingfield
Tony Eccles