Two views of a burned basin-shaped feature (Feature 2) in mound 6, unit 46N 2W, part of an area that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. The feature has been sectioned to reveal its profile. Viewed from the top, the circular feature consists of a ring of fire-hardened yellowish red (Munsell color 5YR 5/8) sediment. The fire-hardened matrix is thicker at its top edge than it is at the bottom of the basin, where its color is dark red (Munsell 2.5YR 3.6). In profile view (second photo), the basin appears as a narrow band of yellowish red fire-hardened sediment. The fire-hardened sediment is thin and rounded at the base of the basin, suggesting that it may have formed around a round-based vessel used to heat metals. A thermoluminescence sample of the burned matrix yielded a date of 1490 +/- 50 years (Univ. Wash. 2364). Photo scale in cm. Site Ngre Kataa. 23 June 2009.
A triangular-headed iron projectile point (SF 08-112a) with barbs at the head's base (left) and a long tang (right). The tang is bent, making it unusable. To make an arrow (snini in Nafaanra), the long tang would be inserted into a straight shaft made of bamboo, reed or lightweight wood. The point was exposed insitu in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. It was found in the vicinity of burned features and anvil stones. The point shows signs of corrosion by rusting. Scale in cm. Length: 9.8 cm. Weight: 10.2 g. Site Ngre Kataa. 7 July 2008.
The body and base of a large pottery bowl has been exposed by exavation in unit 46N 8W. Surrounding this bowl was a cluster of sherds from other pottery vessels, now removed to expose several iron bangles of different shapes and sizes, seen insitu here. Between the bowl and the photo scale is an iron bangle (SF NK 08-169) formed from a spiral-twisted rod. Pedestaled to the right of the bowl (east) is an iron bangle (SF NK 08-140) made from a round rod that was coiled. Visible in the wall behind and to the right of the bowl (north) is a smalled coiled iron bangle made from a flattened piece of iron (SF NK 08-182). This cluster (A) was part of a larger cluster (A-D) of artifacts that archaeologists interpret as a shrine placed in a metallurgical workshop. Rootlets are visible in the wall and floor of the unit. View looking north. Photo scale in 5 cm increments. Site Ngre Kataa. 9 July 2008.
Looking eastward over excavation unit 48N 10W toward unit 48N 8W in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop, a series of anvil/grinding stones have been left in place and a burned feature exposed. Foreground, right, a large anvil stone (GS 09-33) rests atop another stone (GS 09-34). To the right (south), the circular rim of an everted-rim jar has been left in place. To the left (north) is a zone of darker ashy soil flecked with charcoal. Center photo is an anvil stone (GS 09-32), against which a partial elephant tusk--now removed--was found resting. Behind this stone is a tree root and base of a tree stump. The area from this stone (GS 09-32) and extending beyond the stump had been covered with artifacts (clusters B-D, now removed) that archaeologists interpret as a large shrine feature. Some of these artifacts were superimposed directly over the amorphous orange-red burned feature (center photo), which was likely created by high heat associated with forging metals. Other smaller stones have been left in place across the unit. Photo scales marked in 5 cm increments, arrows pointing north. Site Ngre Kataa. 4 July 2009.
An area of orange-red burned features has been exposed in excavation units 46N 8W and 48N 8W in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. Left, back (west), the body and base of a large pottery bowl (NK 08-522) has been pedestaled insitu. A number of iron bangles surrounded this bowl (cluster A) as part of a large shrine cluster (A-D) that extended into adjacent units. The everted jar rim visible in the north wall of the excavation (upper right) was part of this wider set (cluster B). The base of these clusters was about 20-30 cm above the burned basins exposed in this photo, which were likely associated with metal forging. Center photo, flanked by a photo scale, the round rim of a pottery jar is visible in outline. To the north of the burned features (right, foreground), a zone of white plaster-like sediment is visible. Red and white scale is two meters in length. Arrow pointing north. Site Ngre Kataa. 17 July 2008.
Triangular-headed iron projectile point (SF 09-033) with a slightly squared base (left ) and a short tang (right). To make an arrow (snini in Nafaanra), the tang was inserted into a straight shaft made of bamboo, reed or lightweight wood to which it was hafted. This artifact was found close to several anvil/grinding stones in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. The projectile point shows signs of corrosion by rusting. Scale in cm. Length: 8.1 cm. Weight: 9.3 g. Site Ngre Kataa. 30 May 2009.