Banda Research Project team members prepare to profile the north wall of unit 55W 69N at Mound 102, Kuulo Kataa. Osei Kofi (blue shirt) prepares to take measurements from a level string anchored by chaining pins. Alex Caton (wearing a hat) prepares to draw the profile. Wooden pegs mark the corners of the 1 x 2 m unit. Mound 102 is a large deep midden mound which covers approximately 1600 m2 and rises several meters above the surrounding ground surface. A single 1 x 2 m unit was excavated to the base of level 13, after which a 1 x 1 m unit was excavated to almost 4 m, removing roughly 5 m3 of soil. Kuulo Kataa, 8 July, 2000.
In-progress excavations at Mound 130, Kuulo Kataa. A notched tree trunk provides a ladder into the deep units. The south walls of units 93 & 95 E, 110N are visible (center photo), showing the mound's layered deposits. In unit 95E 106 N (photo right), Emmanuel Duku (left), Wazi Apoh (center) and Leith Smith (right) record soil colors using a Munsell Soil Color Chart. Top left, two team members work by a screen used to sieve excavated soil, piles of which are visible in the background. Mound 130 covers an area of approximately 1100 m2 and rises to roughly a meter above the surrounding ground surface. Excavation here revealed thick layers of ashy midden deposits inter-stratified with walls and floors of houses. Kuulo Kataa, 2000.
Banda Research Project team members Courtney Amos (left), Leith Smith (center) and Emmanuel Duku (right) document the stratigraphy and soil characteristics of the west wall of unit 68E 4N at Mound 129, Kuulo Kataa. Duku measures the boundaries of stratigraphic layers using a metal tape measure and a level string anchored midway down the profile wall. Amos uses graph paper to create a profile map, marking the locations of points measured by Duku. Smith uses a Munsell Soil Color Chart book to record the color of soils from top to bottom along the profile wall. Kuulo Kataa, 2000.
A burned basin-like feature is visible in profile in the east wall of excavation unit 130W 26S, Mound 138, Kuulo Kataa. Clustered and adjacent to the burned area at the base of level 7 are three pottery pedestal bases, broken away from their original pots. The presence of slag and other burned features in adjacent units suggest that Mound 138 was a place where the site's occupants worked metals. A photo scale with 5 cm intervals points north. Kuulo Kataa, 14 July, 1995.
Two Banda Research Project team members screen excavated soil at Mound 102, Kuulo Kataa. The men work on the edge of a cleared area several meters away from excavation unit 55W 69N. Thick vegetation covers the mound behind them. A headpan of excavated soil sits in front, awaiting screening. After sieving the soil, the men carefully pick and bag artifacts (fragments of pottery, metals, beads, animal bone) left in the screen. Studying these artifacts and the contexts from which they were recovered (their provenience) helps archaeologists to learn about the daily lives of past people. Kuulo Kataa, 2000.
A light-colored slurry plaster is visible in the base of level 8 in excavation unit 64W 4N, Mound 118, Kuulo Kataa. The plaster is associated with floors and walls of a collapsed structure. Dark circular areas which interrupt the slurry may represent post holes. A photo scale with 5 cm intervals points north. Kuulo Kataa, 14 July, 1995.
Close-up photo of slurry plaster, level 8, excavation unit 64W 4N, Mound 118, Kuulo Kataa. The outer edge (upper left) of a wall/floor appears light in color against darker subsoil. A photo scale with 5 cm intervals points north. Kuulo Kataa, 15 July, 1995.
The deeply stratified deposits of a midden mound are visible in the east wall of excavation unit 2W 2S, Mound 101, Kuulo Kataa. Mound 101 is a large mound covering roughly 1200 m2 and rising roughly 3 m above the surrounding ground surface at its apex. Unit 2W 2S was excavated to a depth of ca. 330 cm below the mound surface to the point where laterite rock was encountered. It was excavated as a 2 x 2 m unit to level 15, narrowing to a 1 x 2 m from level 16, with a total estimated 8.7 m3 of soil removed from the unit. Upper levels were characterized by dark soils with many rootlets which transitioned to lighter brown soils. Gray ashy soils dominated the lower cultural levels of the mound. At base, orange-brown clayey soils appeared above the laterite substrate. Visible in the profile wall, to the left and slightly lower than a circular area of dark soil, is the interior of a pottery jar, the other half removed and reconstructed (KK 95-693; see link below). Kuulo Kataa, July, 1995.
Banda Research Project team member Enoch Mensah stands on a ladder in unit 55W 69N, Mound 102 at Kuulo Kataa. A tape measure and a level line have been set up on the north wall of the unit in preparation for drawing a profile map. Mound 102 is a large deep midden mound which covers approximately 1600 m2 and rises several meters above the surrounding ground surface. A single 1 x 2 m unit was excavated to the base of level 13, after which a 1 x 1 m unit was excavated to almost 4 m, removing roughly 5 m3 of soil. Three radiocarbon samples from lower levels of the mound (3-3.5 m below the ground surface) had calibrated age ranges of c. 1400-1530 CE. Kuulo Kataa, 2000. Kuulo Kataa, 2000.