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J. Cameron Monroe
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)
Archaeology at Cana: A West African City of the Atlantic Era, 1600–1894

Completion of an archaeological study and publication of a two-volume monograph on the West African kingdom of Dahomey (1600-1894).

Western perspectives on African cities have long privileged external factors in the rise of cities across the continent. In recent decades, however, archaeologists have revealed the local origins of cities, countering such arguments for the exogenous origins of African civilizations. Yet the global trading networks that engulfed Africa in the second millennium AD had wide-reaching impacts on African urban systems, and we are only beginning to explore how local and global forces articulated. Since 2000, I have explored this question in reference to the kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa, which thrived in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In the coming year I plan to complete a two-volume monograph summarizing archaeological, documentary, and oral evidence from this research. The monograph will represent one of only a few detailed archaeological studies of a West Africa urban community in this period, providing comparative data for scholars working across the region.

Project fields:
African History; Archaeology

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 8/31/2018