Members of the archaeological excavation team at Ngre Kataa. Team members included graduate students from the University of Ghana and from North America, a representative of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and Banda men from Ahenkro and Nyrie. Back row (L-R): Amy Groleau, Kofi Paul, Yaw Frimpong, Kofi "Photo" Manu, Felix Ochra, Mr. Monney, Nelson Anane, Sampson Fordjour, Yaw Mensah, Enoch Mensah, Ben Nutor, Amanda Logan, Osei Kofi. Front row (L-R): Ann Stahl, J. K. Mensah, Idrusu, Abass Iddrisu, Kofi Nsia, Kwakye Eric. Ngre Kataa, 19 July, 2008.
Banda Research Project team members Kofi Paul and Kofi Nsia screen soil from a Mound 7 excavation unit at Ngre Kataa as team member Idrusu brings another headpan of soil. The excavated soil is sieved through 1/4 inch mesh screen in order to recover artifacts (fragments of pottery, metals, beads, animal bone) that will be bagged, cataloged and studied. Studying these objects and the contexts from which they were recovered (their provenience) helps archaeologists to learn about the daily lives of past people. Ngre Kataa, 9 July, 2008.
A group of insitu artifacts interpreted by archaeologists as a shrine cluster, located in a metallurgical workshop (mound 6). The cluster included a lost-wax-cast twinned figurine (bottom center), an iron bangle (center), a waterworn quartz pebble, a bone fragment (upper left of bangle), a broken iron blade (left of the bone fragment) and a tanged iron blade (upper left of the bangle). An irregularly shaped quartzite cobble (upper left) may have been part of the cluster. Photo scale in cm, arrow pointing north. Site Ngre Kataa. 19 July 2008.
View from above of an insitu grinding stone (GS 08-03) and a pottery jar (NK 08-176) at the base of excavation level 3 in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. The grinding stone has a concave upper surface, partly obscured by unexcavated soil. Roots and rootlets are visible on the right side of the photo. Photo stick marked in 5 cm increments. Arrow pointing north. Site Ngre Kataa. 1 July 2008.
A cluster of four large insitu anvil/grinding stones in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. The stone at the bottom of the photo (GS 08-06) was oriented with its grinding surface down (not, therefore, visible in the photo). The middle right stone (GS 08-07) also rested with its most-used grinding surface down. The largest stone (middle, left, GS 08-05) had no clear working surface. The stone at the back (GS 08-08) was associated with a fist-sized round quartz hammerstone, seen insitu slightly above. Later exavations (2009) revealed a perforated pot (NK 09-750), lidded with the base of another pot (NK 09-750), adjacent to but approximately 40 cm below this cluster in the next excavation unit. Photo scale in 5 cm increments. Arrow pointing north, view looking east. Site Ngre Kataa. 3 July 2008.
Wide view of excavation unit 44N 6W in an area (mound 6) that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. Lower left, below the unit's corner stake (44N 6W), the partial rim of an everted jar (NK 08-408) has been pedestaled. It rests with its rim down. Between it and a large anvil stone (GS 08-25, center photo) is a smaller light-colored stone (GS 08-21) and piece of a jar rim. Another jar rim (NK 08-409) has been pedestaled in place to the left (east) of the anvil stone. Behind the anvil stone, an everted-rim jar (NK 08-407, photo stick in front) has been partially exposed. In the unit's center, to the right of the anvil stone, the rounded edge of a burned feature is visible. To the right (west) and in front (north) of that, a photo scale sits alongside an iron projectile point (SF 08-112). The soil around it has been dampened to aid excavation (dark circular area). To its right (west) is another piece of a worn grinding stone (GS 08-20). Visible in the adjacent units (left, east) is a grindstone (GS 08-10) which has been pedestaled in place and to its right a cluster of pottery and a tuyere (NK 08-284). View looking south. Photo bar marked in 5 cm intervals. Site Ngre Kataa. 7 July 2008.
An insitu anvil stone (GS 08-25) is surrounded by several fragmentary and one complete pottery vessel (NK08-407) in an area that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. At the top and center (southeast) is a cluster of sherds from a broken pot and a piece of a tuyere. In the lower right, to the west of the anvil stone and framed by photo scales, is a circular burned feature (Feature 2) with an outer ring of oxidized red sediment (Munsell 2.5YR 5/6) and a yellowish red (Munsell 5YR 4/6) center. Features similar to this appeared across this workshop area and may have been created by exposing rounded base containers to high heat. A yellow glass bead (SF 08-234) was found in the fill of a shallow feature characterized by ashy soil and charcoal located immediately south (lower right) of the burned feature. Black-and-white photo scale marked in 5 cm increments. View looking southeast. Site Ngre Kataa. 8 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.
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. At the base of the photo, center, 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; above the photo scale) is a small coiled iron bangle made from a flattened piece of iron (SF NK 08-182). A smaller bangle-like artifact lies directly above the pot, center photo (north; SF 08-139). This area (cluster A) was part of a larger cluster (clusters 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 from above, north at top of photo. Photo scale in cm increments. Site Ngre Kataa. 9 July 2008.
View looking northward of early stage excavations at mound 6, Ngre Kataa, an area that archaeologists interpret as a metallurgical workshop. Center view is of units 42-48N 4W. In foreground, excavations in units 42N 4W and 44N 4W ave exposed clusters of pottery, a grinding stones, tuyeres and an area of burned soil associated with metal working. Foreground, bottom right, are a partial pottery jar (NK 08-520) and to its right (east) a small flat grinding stone (GS 08-12; ). To the left (west), framed by photo scales, is a burned feature. Next to it sits a hand-held hammerstone (GS 08-11). Above (to the north), a cluster of pottery and a partial tuyere (NK 08-284) are visible along the boundary between excavation units (marked by stakes). To the right of that cluster (east), a grinding stone (GS 08-10) has been pedestaled where it was found, resting with its working surface face down. A whole pottery vessel sit at a slightly lower level (NK 08-406) a short distance away (south east). Top center of the photo, at the far end of the excavated area, a cluster of anvil stones is visible (GS 08-05 to 08) in excavation unit 46N 4W. Excavations in the adjacent unit (46N 2W) in 2009 revealed a perforated shrine pot resting at a slightly lower level next to these stones. Photo scale adjacent to burned feature marked in 5 cm intervals. View looking north. Site Ngre Kataa. 5 July 2008.