By Andrew Zipkin, Doctoral Candidate, The George Washington University
This field season MEMSAP will host our first ever Archaeology Day in Karonga, Malawi. Archaeo Day is a chance for members of our team to reach out to the local community in Karonga and show them what our project is all about. Australian and Malawian field school students will have a prime role in leading demonstrations of excavation procedures and experimental archaeology (re-creating Stone Age technologies like stone knapping and ochre processing). We will also use part of the day to place official signs designating the MEMSAP excavations as significant scientific and cultural sites for Malawi’s history and prehistory.
Through the generosity of the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), MEMSAP will be donating a cast of the famous fossil the “Taung Child” to the Cultural and Museum Center Karonga (CMCK). Over the course of the field season, we will also work closely with staff at the CMCK to build a new library/reading room in the museum for the use of the Karonga community. MEMSAP team members are collecting books on archaeology, anthropology, geology, biology, and more for donation to insure that the new CMCK reading room can be an easily accessible and valuable educational resource for students living in the Karonga area. While we expect the reading room to start out small, we hope that over the next several years it will grow into a proper library and possibly a repository for MEMSAP reports, photos, maps, and other data stored in hard copy and in various electronic formats. Check out the tentative schedule for Archaeology Day below; if you happen to be in Karonga on July 16th or 17th (TBD), stop by CMCK and join us!