Banda Research Project team member Ann Stahl sorts pottery sherds recovered through excavations at Makala Kataa. Once sorted, she will prepare an inventory of sherd forms and decorations. A group of children have gathered and look on. Ahenkro, 1990.
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.
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.
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.
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.
West wall of excavation unit 55W 69N in Mound 102 at Kuulo Kataa. Topmost levels are characterized by dark soil that fades to brown below the area where rootlets are visible. A distinct boundary separates these brown soils from the gray ashy levels below. 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; not visible in this photo) had calibrated age ranges of c. 1400-1530 CE. Kuulo Kataa, 8 July, 2000.
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. Kuulo Kataa, July, 1995.