By Samuel Duodu, Bui.
An Archaeologist from the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, Dr Wazi Apoh, has advocated for the establishment of a museum or community centre as part of the proposed Bui City under the Bui Hydroelectric Power Project in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region to help preserve the findings of an archaeological exercise they carried out there.
He stated that the excavated artifacts from each village in the three communities within the inundation zones of the project could be showcased in the museum to educate the young ones about their past and also to attract tourists to the area.
"As cultural experts, we are interested in documenting, adding value and preserving the settlement histories, archaeological remains, architectural designs and the general cultural remains of the communities in question so as to enhance education and tourism in the area," he stressed.
Dr Apoh made the suggestion in an interview at Bui after the successful completion of a salvage archaeological exercise carried out by himself, Dr Kodzo Gavua and a team of Archaeologists from the university, which was recommended in line with the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Bui Hydroelectric Power Project in the three communities within the inundation zones before the impoundment of the dam next year.
The first phase of the exercise, which ended in December, last year, was carried out in communities such as Old and New Bui Villages as well as Old and New Bator-Akanyakrom while the second phase, which commenced in February and ended in March this year was carried out at the Old and New villages of Dokokyina and the abandoned village of Kassa in the Bui National Park.
The research documented archaeological, historical and ethnographic data from both contemporary villages and their abandoned settlements in the area.
The studies involved conducting ethnographic studies and interviews with elders of the various communities for their migration/settlement histories, cultural identities, architectural designs subsistence and cognitive/ideological structures.
It also involved the plotting of features and mapping of the villages. A number of historical and prehistorical sites in these areas were also excavated archaeologically.
Dr Apoh said the exercise was a success although it posed many challenges, saying, “we faced a lot of challenges on the field but I am glad the field work had been successfully executed.”
According to the lecturer, the team was hopeful that something fascinating would come out of the exercise after the analysis of the artifacts has been concluded.
"We excavated lots of pottery/ceramics, animal bones, glass remains, beads and metal artifacts from our study areas." Dr Apoh stated.
He stated that as part of the research methods, the team undertook a visual anthropological exercise with still and video cameras to record the current nature, environment, cultural practices and architectural designs of the villages.
Dr Apoh added that their aim was to exhibit most of the photos in the proposed community museum and to make a documentary film about the life in the communities before resettlement.
He further disclosed that the team intends to write a book on the history of the affected communities, which would educate readers and posterity about the people.