The Slave Wrecks Project has been active in Mozambique since 2010, collaborating closely with archaeologists from Eduardo Mondlane University, including Dr. Ricardo Teixeira Duarte, Dr. Hilario Madiquida, Dr. Decio Muianga, and Mrs. Yolanda Pinto. Activities have included training in Mozambique, South Africa, and the United States for university students, extensive archival work, as well as field research in the southern Mozambican port of Inhambane whose history of involvement with the slave trade was known to have hinged almost exclusively on the late (mid-18th to mid- 19th century) Transatlantic trade. Our archival work established that no fewer than five slaving vessels were known to have wrecked in this port, and identified at least one known terrestrial site related to the trade in which an archaeological and oral history documentation project was launched in 2013. SWP has also supported its Mozambican partners in a recent assessment of the impact of treasure hunting activities and in its efforts to plan for scientifically sound alternatives in northern Mozambique, where it has also conducted pilot investigations in Ibo and Mozambique Island. In 2014 our archival work definitively established Mozambique Island as the port of origin of the Sao Jose Paquete d’Africa, a vessel that foundered in Cape Town South Africa in December of 1794 and that has been the subject of SWP investigation. In 2015 SWP expanded its community engagement program for stakeholders by launching additional initiatives in Mozambique with national researchers and local communities–focusing in particular on Mozambique Island. We are currently developing plans with Mozambican partners for research that aims to locate an important slaving vessel in northern Mozambique that foundered as a result of a slave revolt, while also prospecting key land sites, and planning a workshop that will support heritage tourism development.

Update: September 2016

UNESCO Presentation, 2016 Paris Conference, Dr. Ricardo T. Duarte

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