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.
A narrow excavation trench cuts across several low mounds ("Mound 1") at Makala Station 10. The standing stub of a deteriorating wall is associated with one low mound. Trees dot the site in the foreground. In the background, behind the trench, are piles of dirt formed by the sieving of excavated dirt in order to recover artifacts. 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.
A filled-in pit feature is visible in plan view at the base of level 4 in unit 6W 6S, Station 9, Makala Kataa. The pit is marked by dark soil against a light soil matrix. A portion of the pit has been excavated to a deeper level in the adjacent 2 x 2 m unit (4W 6S). Soil in the intrusive pit contained many artifacts, including some European manufactured imports. Wooden grid pegs mark the edges of excavation units, and a photo board and scale are set up along the edge of one 2-meter unit. Makala Kataa, 1990.
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.
View northward at Station 10 with Trench1 visible. The profile wall of a low mound (unit 11W 10S) is visible (right). Low piles of screened dirt from Trench 1 excavations can be seen in the background. Makala Kataa, 1990.
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.
View of excavation units at Mound 2, Station 10, Makala Kataa. Wooden stakes mark grid points at 2 m intervals and string is used to mark the boundaries of 2 x 2 m excavation units. A deep pit in the corner of Unit 82W 14S (bottom, left) has been excavated and is set up for being photographed with a scale and photo board. Several Banda Research Project team members work as children look on. View to the south. Makala Kataa, July, 1994.
Banda Research Project team members use a datum string, pulled tight and leveled with a bubble level, to measure the depth below datum of the excavation unit's surface. Yaw Francis (right) holds the string level as Yaw Frimpong (left) measures the depth close to the bubble level. By taking periodic measurements as they dig across the unit, they ensure that the surface of each completed level is even. A head pan and short handled hoe sit next to excavated dirt in the unit. Maria Dores Cruz (far left) and other team members work on an adjacent excavation unit on Mound 6, Station 6. Makala Kataa, 1994.
In preparation for beginning excavation of a new 2 x 2 m unit, Banda Research Project team members Leith Smith (right) and Victor Mattey (left) extend grid points on Mound 6, Station 6, Makala Kataa. Smith uses a rock to pound in a grid peg at a point established using tape measures extended from previously placed grid pegs. The accuracy of the peg's location in this 2 m interval grid is checked according to horizontal (2 m) and diagonal (5.66 m) measurements from the other unit pegs. Low piles of sieved dirt from ongoing excavations are visible in the background. Makala Kataa, Station 6, 1994.
Eight jar rims have been exposed in situ at the base of level 7, unit 0W 0S, Mound 5, Makala Kataa Station 6. The jar rims are broken off below the neck of the pot and appear to have been placed around a room where they were used as pot stands. In a raised area (bottom center), not excavated to the same depth as surrounding soil, a concentration of reddish soil and gravel marks the traces of a house wall. Archaeologists interpret unit 0W 0S as a part of a kitchen area where foodstuffs were likely stored. The pots and their contents have been removed, with only the pot stands remaining. In the background sits a headpan filled with soil from cleaning the 2 x 2 m unit prior to photoing. A scale arrow with 10 cm intervals points north. View to the west. Makala Kataa, 19 July, 1994.
Banda Research Project team members Obimpeh Blopor (left) and Timothy Fordjour (right) carefully remove dry, compact soil from around a series of pot rims that are appearing in the base of level 6 in unit 0W 0S, Mound 5 at Makala Kataa Station 6. Obimpeh uses a cutlass and Fordjour a short handled hoe to loosen the dry soil. Another team member scoops the excavated soil into a headpan using a short handled hoe. A string with line level lies next to the iron rod that marks the unit datum. A trowel and tape measure rest nearby. Makala Kataa, Station 6, 1994.
Banda Research Project team members use a datum string pulled tight and leveled with a bubble level as a reference for measuring the depth below datum of the excavated surface. Alex Ababio (right) holds the datum string level and tight while Osei Kofi helps another team member to straighten the tape measure in order to make an accurate measurement. A short handled hoe lays in the bottom of the unit. Timothy Fordour stands nearby (far right) by a headpan. Mound 3, Station 10. Makala Kataa, 1994.
Members of the Banda Research Project, Maria Dores Cruz (left) and Osei Kofi (right) stand near a surveying level mounded on a tripod. The level was used to map the site's contours and establish grid lines to orient excavation units. A local-made short-handled hoe lies in front of the tripod, its wide flat blade standing upright. Bottom left are stacked headpans used to move soil between excavation units and screens. Station 6, Makala Kataa, June 1994.