Ilha de Moçambique and the Slave Trade

Since 2013, the Slave Wrecks Project (SWP) has developed a strong collaboration with the faculty, researchers, and students of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Eduardo Mondlane University. In the process of developing a robust research collaboration on terrestrial and underwater archaeological sites that range from Inhambane to Mozambique Island and Nyassa, this partnership provides training opportunities for a new generation of Mozambican archaeologists in their own country and abroad. This partnership has created new opportunities for international exchange and pioneered new approaches to community engagement, heritage protection, public education, and transformative museum work – which offer novel solutions within Mozambique and beyond.

SWP global partners, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The George Washington University, the Southeast Archaeological Center and the Submerged Resources Center of the National Park Service, and Diving With a Purpose, partner with local institutions including Eduardo Mondlane University and its newly established CAIRIM (Centre for Archaeology, Research and Resources). A growing collaboration with the Museu da Ilha de Moçambique continues this research and encourages the ongoing preservation and reinterpretation of Mozambique’s cultural heritage.

An image of Mozambique Island facing the mainland.
The Ilha de Moçambique played a critical role in the East African and Atlantic slave trades. Photo by Kate McMahon
A man records data in an archaeological excavation unit.
Archaeological work is being conducted underwater and on land in Mozambique by SWP partners. Photo by Susanna Pershern, NPS
A group of people researching in an archive.
SWP members engage in archival research and survey related to the slave trade in Mozambique. Photo by Susanna Pershern, NPS
A group of people posing for a photo with workshop certificates.
SWP partners from NMAAHC, NPS, IFAN (Senegal), and George Washington U. at a workshop in Mozambique. Photo by Kate McMahon
A group of archaeologists pose for a picture in Mozambique.
Dr. Hilário Madiquida investigates the archaeology of the Ilha with SWP partners and students. Photo by Susanna Pershern, NPS
The Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the Fortaleza de São Sebastião
Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Fortaleza de São Sebastião. Photo by Kate McMahon
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