Fragment of slave chain

Numerous ground stones were discovered, some of them placed on the roof and others fixed in a mudbrick-stone construction inside the complex. Millet was found close to these food processing tools. Round pestles bearing hematite powder show the use of colour. Bracelets, bronze jewellery, iron arrowheads and lances in different rooms are signs of a highly developed metal industry and for a certain social position of the inhabitants. Although excavations in the nearby-located Oursi settlement mound (von Czerniewicz 2002) did not reveal such rich assemblage, we should bear in mind that re-cycling of metal was probably a normal custom for the inhabitants of the ancient village (the excellent preservation of household equipment at Oursi hu-beero is exceptional and can hardly be compared with not destroyed occupation levels). Other objects that show (direct or indirect) long distance contact are cowry shells and the remains of an iron slave chain. Most archaeologists and historians assume that shells found on West African sites originate from the Indian Ocean, some 5000km away from Oursi hu-beero. These finds tell us about the involvement of the inhabitants in commercial networks and, more generally, allow us to describe interesting aspects of medieval economic life during the time of booming Trans-Saharam trade contacts in the 9th/10th century AD.

Bronze disc

Grinding stone
Slave chain