On February 1, 2022, with the help of the UMMAA collections, Dr. Henry Wright brought Madagascar to the students in his archaeology class (ANTHARC 482: Topics in Archaeology - Madagascar).

Dr. Wright has been conducting archaeological surveys and excavations in Madagascar since 1975. His book, Early State Formation in Central Madagascar: An Archaeological Survey of Western Avaradrano, was published in 2007; a second book on Madagascar, The Evolution of Settlement Systems in the Region of Vohemar, Northeast Madagascar, is forthcoming this year.

Today, most archaeological artifacts stay in the country in which they are excavated. Instead of broken pots and stone tools, Dr. Wright has brought items of traditional everyday Madagascar life back to Ann Arbor, in order to illustrate the lives, environment, and crafts of the people he works with. Straw hats, leather sandals, and musical instruments made of bamboo are all common items of material culture that Dr. Wright uses to help students understand the broader material and social contexts that do not survive in archaeological deposits.

If you would like to discuss how you can teach with Museum artifacts, please contact Jim Moss and Andrea Blaser at ummaa-collection-mgr@umich.edu.