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Living Room Lecture: Ironworking in Togo, Africa

A brief review of Bassar research from 1981-2013 will be discussed, focusing on regional survey, developing ceramic chronology, and major discoveries; Early Iron Age discoveries (400 BC-150 AD), including 68-acre smithing center including burials with iron grave goods and smelting site with 4th c. BC furnace remains. This presentation will focus on the ethnoarchaeology of the spatial organization of three abandoned smithing sites and the excavation of five smelting and smithing village sites ranging from the 13th -20th centuries. Discoveries include ceramic tobacco pipe fragments, spindle whorls, smelting slag and furnace remains, faunal remains, charcoal studies, radiocarbon dates, a burial and abundant ceramics. This event will be held on Zoom and is limited to 100 attendees.

About the Presenter

Dr. Philip de Barros (Stanford, UCLA), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and former Coordinator of the Archaeology Program at Palomar College (1996-2016). Dr. de Barros has been conducting archaeological research about the Bassar iron industry for the last 40 years. He obtained a B.A. (History) and M.A. (Education) from Stanford University, and later a PhD in Anthropology/Archaeology at UCLA. He began his voyage of discovery in Africa as Peace Corps volunteer and administrator in Togo from 1966-1974, which included teaching African history and geography in French, coaching and basketball, and serving as an officer of the Togolese History and Geography Association and of the Togolese Basketball Federation, as well as serving as coordinator of Peace Corps teachers and in-country training. He later taught History and French at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar for a few years. After his time at UCLA, he served as Director of Cultural Resources at Chambers Group, Inc., in Orange County for 9 years before starting his teaching career at Palomar College in 1994. He has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is currently working on a 2-volume set in French on Bassar ironworking covering the Early and Later Iron Ages. The first volume will be published in January 2021.

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Online on Zoom
Cost: Pay what you wish

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