Entangled Africa – networked in virtual space!

During the last months, the archaeological sector has shown itself to be at its most flexible.The effects of the Corona pandemic are still visible. Travelling abroad continues to be risky, so there is currently no reliable planning of field campaigns, but there is a great willingness to adapt to the circumstances. Positive developments are emerging, especially in the identification of new communication channels.If distance does not play a role, the organisational effort for our workshops and meetings will be reduced and, apart from preparation and follow-up, will be limited to the essential – the exchange of information.

Initiated and organized by Friederike Jesse (Project 1) and Ulrike Nowotnick (Project 2), numerous representatives of our projects met for the SPP2143 on June 4th via conference call to exchange information about ceramic finds, their sorting and documentation. The aim of the workshop was to enable a comparability of the data and thus to follow vessel types, raw materials and types of use, their development and distribution beyond project and modern national borders. The difficulty is to find a “common denominator” for partly very different regional and supra-regional ceramic characteristics. A prerequisite is that a comparable methodology is applied already during the sorting process and subsequent recording – not least in the selection of documentation software and the use of units of measurement and technical terms. The discussion among the scientists thus automatically reveals similarities and differences in the ceramics from Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad that have been worked on, so that each participant can expand his or her knowledge beyond his or her own project and, in the best case, develop possible connections.

The wide-ranging topic leaves plenty of scope for joint discourse, so that the teams will come together again in virtual space for a second round as early as the end of June. We are already looking forward to further insights, ideas and suggestions. Of course with the great hope of being able to sit face-to-face again in the near future.

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