A view of Makala's wide main street, standing at the west edge of town, looking eastward. A mango tree grows in the street at the far end of the street. Atakpame (coursed earthen-walled) houses with thatched roofs line the street. The streets and areas around houses are kept clear of plants. Enoch Mensah (left) and Andy Black (right) stroll down the street after a day of work at Makala Kataa, the archaeological site located immediately west of Makala. Wide main streets like this one were was established in the 1920s when a British colonial District Officer implemented a "village planning" scheme. New villages were laid out next to existing settlements, and old villages abandoned as people relocated. The new villages were laid out on a grid pattern oriented by a wide main street. Archaeological excavations (1989, 1990 and 1994) at the old village site (Makala Kataa) have revealed much about daily life of Banda villagers in the late 18th and 19th centuries. See below for a link to a the 1902 Gold Coast Colony Ordinance that prompted these relocations: "Rules with Respect to Regulation of Towns and Villages." Makala, June-July, 1990. Makala, June-July, 1990.
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.
Banda Research Project team members prepare to excavate a unit in a deep midden mound (Mound 101) at Kuulo Kataa. Orange flagging is tied to grid pegs that have been established across the mound, and white string marks the boundaries of an excavation unit (2W 2S). Team members stand by as Leith Smith (yellow shirt) establishes a unit datum by means of a tight string attached to the master site datum (0W 0N) located nearby. Alex Caton (far right) takes notes. Kuulo Kataa, June, 1995.
Members of the Banda Research Project team walk from Kuulo Kataa to Dompofie along a narrow farm path. They carry in headpans bags of artifacts excavated during the work day along with soil samples for flotation. One man (Kwasi Ali) walks with his bicycle. The Banda hills appear in the background. Near Dompofie, July, 1995.
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.