Archaeologists Discover Probable Location of First English Slave Fort in Africa.

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Archaeologists have made a significant discovery in Ghana, potentially identifying the location of what is believed to be the first English slave fort in Africa. The ruins of Fort Amsterdam, situated on Ghana’s coastline, are thought to contain the remains of an older fort, Kormantine, which has been lost to history. The excavation has uncovered various artifacts dating back to the 17th century, including gun flints, tobacco pipes, broken pottery, and a goat’s jawbone. These findings provide insights into the existence of the first English outpost established in Africa, which played a pivotal role in the slave trade.

Fort Kormantine, originally constructed in 1631 as a trading post for gold and other commodities, became a key location in the early stages of the slave trade. In 1663, the fort was granted a charter by King Charles II, giving the Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa (later the Royal African Company) monopoly rights over the trade in human beings. After being seized by the Dutch, it continued to function as a warehouse for goods used to buy slaves and a temporary holding point for kidnapped individuals from West Africa destined for Caribbean plantations.

The excavation began with initial digs in 2019, but it was challenging to pinpoint the exact location due to the construction of Fort Amsterdam on the same site. Recent discoveries, including a six-meter-long wall, foundations, a door post, and a red brick drainage system, indicate an English presence predating the Dutch fort. These artefacts offer valuable insights into the early outposts of the slave trade, shedding light on the lives of traders, enslaved individuals, and the impact on the local community.

The ongoing archaeological work will continue for the next three years, providing a deeper understanding of Fort Kormantine’s architecture, appearance, and significance. As researchers unravel the layers of history, they hope to gain valuable knowledge about this crucial period and its lasting effects on Ghana’s coastal fishing towns, which still bear scars from European exploitation and cruelty.

SOURCE: Ref Image from wikipedia

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