A narrow excavation trench cuts across several low mounds at Makala Kataa, Station 10. A low wall stub is visible to the left of the trench in the foreground. Trees dot the site, and low piles of screened excavated soil from the trench are visible in the background. According to oral histories, people moved from this area of Makala Kataa early in the 20th century when British colonial officials implemented a "village planning" scheme. People built new houses east of the old settlement and in time the old houses collapsed and formed low mounds. Makala Kataa, 1990.
Banda Research Project team members excavate units at Mound 6, Station 6, Makala Kataa. Alex Ababio (standing left, in hat) watches as Kwasi Peter digs with a short handled hoe, placing excavated dirt into headpans. Leith Smith (center) and Yaw Francis (right) look on. In the background (right) other team members screen soil. Wooden stakes mark 2 m interval grid points with excavation units marked off by string. A large baobab, one of several on the site, is visible in the background (right). Makala Kataa, June 1994.
West wall of excavation unit 4W 4S, Mound 5, Station 6, Makala Kataa. Rootlets can be seen in the dark soils of upper levels. Midway down the profile are concentrations of burned sediment, remains of pots and other artifacts. Some of these rest on compacted "floor" deposits--orange-brown in color. The rounded body of a large storage jar is visible in the south wall (left). Together these reflect a living surface that appears to have been left at short notice (in light of the number of intact pots and other things left behind). The upper levels formed on top of this living surface as rain and wind moved soil across the site. Below the "floor" level, the soils are lighter brown and yielded few artifacts. Makala Kataa, 12 July, 1989.
The standing wall stubs of a small structure are surrounded by trees at Makala Kataa. Its walls were built using an atakpame technique. The grass cover has been cleared by archaeologists in preparation for site mapping. Far right, Banda Research Project team members work on nearby Station 10 excavation units. According to oral histories, people moved from this area of Makala Kataa to establish a new village in a place immediately east of the old settlement. This move happened at a time when British colonial officials were implementing "village planning" schemes in the early decades of the 20th century. Makala Kataa, 1990.
Wooden grid pegs mark the edges of a 2 x 2 m excavation unit (foreground) as two Banda Research Project team members screen soil (right) at Station 6. Osei Kofi carries an empty head pan (left). 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. Makala Kataa, 1989.
Base of level 7, unit 4W 4S, Mound 5, Station 6, Makala Kataa. An area of burned soil (left), several flat grinding stones (center) and an everted rim jar are exposed at the base of the level. The unit wall shows the transition from dark soils close to the mound's surface and the lighter soils in its lower levels. Makala Kataa, 6 July, 1989.
Banda Research Project team members draw a profile map of walls in completed excavation units, Mound 5, Station 6. Enoch Mensah (kneeling) records measurements as Yaw Frimpong (standing) holds a tape measure. Makala Kataa, 1989. Wooden stakes marking 2 m grid intervals are visible across the mound surface. Makala Kataa, 1989.
Banda Research Project team members use cutlasses to clear the grass around Makala Kataa, 1989. Small trees cover much of the site surface. Baobab trees also grow on the site, one of which is visible in the background (right). Makala Kataa, 1989.