Culture contact, continuity, and change on the Gold Coast, AD 1400-1900

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70 Scopus citations


This article briefly examines the consequences of the European presence on the Gold Coast, focusing on archaeological, ethnographic, and historical data from the African settlement of Elmina, Ghana. Documentary sources indicate that there was extensive change in sociopolitical institutions, economic relations, and other aspects of Gold Coast society in the centuries following the advent of European trade in the late fifteenth century. Archaeological survey and excavation of some 30 structures at Elmina similarly indicates a great deal of change in construction technology and material culture during the post-European contact period. However, examination of artefact patterning and associations indicates that in certain respects there was little change in terms of people's shared world view and belief systems. This picture can be contrasted with data from sites in other areas which may have experienced a great deal of culture change during the post-European contact period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-196
Number of pages34
JournalThe African Archaeological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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