Salvage Archaeology

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Bui Hydroelectric Project recommended that a ‘Salvage Archaeology’ exercise be undertaken within the area of inundation. BPA therefore invited Archaeologists from the University of Ghana; Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, to undertake the exercise that would help salvage and preserve heritage and material culture that were usually destroyed by such large-scale construction activities.

In the latter part of 2009 and early 2010, the Archaeologists undertook field investigations to document archaeological, historical and ethnographic data within three communities to be inundated; Bui Village, Bator Akanyakrom and Dokokyina.

This archaeological research was geared towards;

  • identifying and mapping of archaeological and other heritage sites
  • collecting vital ethnographic objects and surface archaeological materials
  • excavating archaeological sites
  • collecting relevant oral accounts, including migration and settlement histories; and
  • gathering of other data that informed on settlement history, subsistence, craft production, and ceremonies

A reconnaissance survey of the project site was undertaken to enable the identification of sites and features that required excavation. Areas associated with craft production e.g. iron working and pottery making contexts were excavated.

All archaeological and ethnographic materials collected during fieldwork were processed at the conservation laboratory of the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana. The processing consisted of the cleaning, classification, analysis, cataloguing, and conservation of the materials. Archaeo-botanical and zoo-archaeological finds were subjected to specialist identification and analyses with the assistance of botanists and zoologists of the University of Ghana.

A full and final report was submitted in June 2011. The report included major findings of all activities undertaken during fieldwork, and recommendation on how to curate the recovered artifacts and how value can be added to the relocated heritage features for tourism promotion and general socio-economic development in the project affected communities.

Archaeological excavation