Contributed by: Kofi Nutor
The article reports on 28 years (from 1970-98) of field study of the village of Hani, the successor community to the medieval town of Begho (ca. AD 1100–1800) in Ghana. This continuous study of Hani was intended to provide ethnographic analogs for the understanding of Begho, one of the ancient trade and urban centres in Ghana. The study includes recurrent mapping of the village, studies of agricultural and foraging practices at different seasons, documentation of changing material culture of the village, and monitoring the community’s reactions to oscillations in environmental, economic, and political conditions. Posnansky suggests that studying living communities over longer periods of time (longitudinal studies), rather than studies over shorter periods, would enable the archaeologists to obtain better insights into the dynamics of the past over extended time periods.