Jacques Aymeric Nsangou
Material Culture of Fortified Villages during the Slave Trade: A Case Study in Eastern Senegal (Thirteenth to Late-Nineteenth Centuries)
Jacques Aymeric studied at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. Beginning in 2009, he conducted archaeological and historical research on the fortifications of Foumban in Cameroon. Before moving to Switzerland in 2015, he worked as a cultural guide at the National Museum of Cameroon. A recipient of the Swiss Confederation Excellence Scholarship from 2015 to 2018, Jacques completed his doctoral thesis in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Archéologie et Peuplement de l'Afrique Lab of the University of Geneva. As a member of the Falémé Project, his work focuses on the study of endogenous fortifications in eastern Senegal during the Atlantic era. He has also worked as a geomatics consultant for the archaeological service of the canton of Geneva.
As early as the fifteenth century, the slave trade began to develop on the African Atlantic coast, reaching its peak in the eighteenth century. As a global phenomenon involving various actors, its impact was also felt in the inner African lands. In Senegambia, to face the threats generated by the slave trade and its corollaries, communities resorted to various means, including the construction of fortifications commonly called tata. This project aims to reconstruct the daily life of fortified village communities in eastern Senegal at the time of the Atlantic slave trade. The study methodology to achieve this objective is built around typological, morphological, stylistic, and functional analysis of archaeological artefacts (locally-produced ceramics, beads, glass, earthenware, etc.) from fortified sites in eastern Senegal. This project will help bring about a broader and more differentiated view of the Falémé valley by combining the examination of archaeological artefacts with the architectural and historical analyses. In this sense, it will contribute to the hitherto neglected history of the rural hinterlands in the age of the Atlantic slave trade.