Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones
            and Dr Jeffrey Fleisher on site
Photo: Samir Patel

PROJECT DIRECTORS

Dr. Stephanie Wynne-Jones (University of York, UK)

Dr. Wynne-Jones has extensive experience on Swahili coastal sites, having completed a research project in the region surrounding nearby Kilwa Kisiwani focusing on issues of urbanism and social identities. More recently, as Assistant Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa, she directed research at the site of Vumba Kuu, on the southern Kenyan coast. Dr. Wynne-Jones is excavating a sample of houses at the site.

Dr. Jeffrey Fleisher (Rice University, USA)

Dr. Fleisher has been working in coastal East Africa for 20 years, having directed projects in Tanzania and Kenya. His research interests include the role of rural and non-elite populations in the political economy of small-scale complex societies and the way that people use material culture and space in the establishment and maintenance of social inequality and power. He has had a long-term commitment to Swahili archaeological sites on Pemba Island, Tanzania, where he  investigated Swahili towns and villages. Dr. Fleisher directs the exploration of open spaces at the site, focusing on the complex use of public space and its links to performance, daily life, and social memory.


GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY

Dr. Kate Welham (Bournemouth University, UK)

Mr Harry Manley (Bournemouth University, UK)

Ms Charlene Steele (Bournemouth University, UK)

Magnetometry and electrical conductivity survey was carried out in 2009 and 2011, with the goal of exploring activities across the site, both inside and outside the town walls. In 2011, this work was extended to Kilwa Kisiwani. See the work on the Bournemouth University website here.

GEOARCHAEOLOGY

Dr. Federica Sulas (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Geoarchaeological research includes geochemical sampling across the site, combined with micromorphological sampling of house deposits.

MOSQUES AND ARCHITECTURE

Prof. Mark Horton (University of Bristol, UK)

Professor Horton has been researching Songo Mnara's six mosques, revealing their architectural features and associated spatial practices

PHYTOLITHS

Ms. Hayley McParland (University of York, UK)

Phytolith samples have been taken in house deposits and through a sampling program across the open spaces.


REGIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Dr. Matthew Pawlowicz (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)

Dr. Pawlowicz completed a full coverage survey of Songo Mnara Island, in 2013, and will continue this work in 2015. 

PALAEOBOTANICAL ANALYSIS

Dr. Sarah Walshaw (Simon Fraser University, Canada)

Sediments from all excavations were floated for macrobotanical remains, which are currently under analysis.

FAUNAL ANALYSIS

Dr. Thomas Biginagwa (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Dr. Erendira Quintana Morales (University of Bristol, UK)

Faunal analyses are ongoing, focusing on fish (Ms. Morales) and other animals (Dr. Biginagwa).

ARCHITECTURAL AND TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Prof. Heinz Ruther (Zamani Project, University of Cape Town, South Africa)

The site was re-surveyed using a Total Station with EDM in 2009 and 2011. These data are being combined with the results of laser scanning and GPS survey conducted by Prof. Ruther.

MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY

Dr. Edward Pollard (British Institute in Eastern Africa, Kenya)

Intertidal survey at Songo Mnara was carried out in 2011; Dr Pollard is exploring the maritime landscape of the island, building on a background of similar research at Kilwa Kisiwani and along the Tanzanian coast.