> What are the copywright issues on this site ? -
Copyright of African Archaeology belongs to Bernard-Olivier Clist. No part of it may be stored, transmitted, or otherwise used or reproduced in any form, except for non-commercial study or research purposes with a proper acknowledgement or citation of african-archaeology.net. Any commercial use of any information obtained through the African Archaeology web site is prohibited without the express written consent of Bernard-Olivier Clist. Set up links to this resource from your own web site instead of copying it !
> What is the history of the African-Archaeology Virtual Library ? -
The African-Archaeology.Net web site has developed during 2004 from the "Anthropology Resources on the Internet" (ARI) directory specialising in Anthropology. ARI was started by Allen Lutins in 1995 and taken over by Bernard-Olivier Clist in 1999. It has been felt for some time the african archaeology resources listed in ARI would benefit from a specific web resource bringing together the information gathered for the last few years and stored under various topics headings. Furthermore the founding of African-Archaeology.Net was given strength by the editor's major interest in the archaeology of Central Africa. Late in 2004, ARI became the Archaeology/Prehistory index for the History Catalog of the WWW Virtual Library. Since 2005 the African Archaeology web site is also included in the WWW Virtual Library History Central Catalogue. Early in 2006 a new design and graphics were set up for the site.
> What is the editor's background ? -
Of French and British descent, born in Paris (France), following on archaeological survey experience obtained between 1969 and 1977 in France and Belgium, B.Clist was trained as an archaeologist at Brussels University, Belgium. After completing fieldwork and publications on the Neolithic and Bronze Age of France and Belgium while still an MA student, he specialized in the archaeology of Central Africa (1980 onwards) with an emphasis on the early settlement of the rain forest by villagers (Neolithic). In this context he directed excavations, set up exhibitions and other public outreach programs, wrote papers and books on Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.
From 1985 to 1991 he was part of a strategic task force to build a multi-disciplinary and multi-support computer database about the Bantu-speaking peoples of Africa housed at the International Centre for Bantu Civilizations in Libreville (CICIBA), Gabon (books, papers, slides, pictures, films, ...). He developped with R.Lanfranchi all anthropology related topics while slowly expanding the scope of the CICIBA Archaeology Department he had launched in 1985. For instance, creating together the Nsi liaison bulletin which was from 1987 to 1993 the backbone of archaeological documentation and fieldwork information in the region and outside of it (see here the 11 issues). A true computer network was slowly developped around Central Africa, Zambia, Rwanda and the Comoros, with several important databases limited to Central Africa about radiocarbon dates, archaeology bibliographies, archaeological sites (one small offshoot of this today on the web: Bibliography of Central Africa's Archaeology). The first Internet network from 1987 onwards was used via Gopher and the Gabonpac protocol to connect and use from Libreville the first databases created in American universities.
From 1991 to 1995, while still in Gabon, and again in 2003, he was contracted by several American and British oil companies to develop Environmental Impact Assessments, focused on archaeological surveys and excavations (Amerada Hess, British Gas, Conoco).
In 1995-1996 he was Communication Officer for the World Bank funded "Projet Forêts et Environnement" (PFE) located in Gabon. He set up a successful one year national communication program using television and radio networks, conferences, exhibitions, technical training, amongst a large array of information tools. This led to the recognition of the PFE's actions and also to the developing interest of the Gabonese people towards their environment and its protection. He researched, compiled, and edited all the legal texts about environmental protection in Gabon (see the twin booklets of 227 pages "Textes juridiques sur la protection des forêts, de l'environnement et de la faune au Gabon", volume 1 & Volume 2).
In 1997, following his return to France, he expanded his skills to include website development and web resource analysis. He wrote in 1999 the first of its kind comparative study about the Internet sites set up by the "Collectivités territoriales" in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region (see here). He then worked for the French chartered surveyors between 1999 and 2003 to set up their national information network and Internet web site and its associated databases. The whole IT network enabled some 1,400 companies (located in France and Oversea Departments) and 1,700 chartered surveyors to improve their profits and better liaise in a major network.
He is stll administrator/webmaster for the "Anthropology Resources on the Internet" and "African Archaeology" web directories (both part of the World Wide Web Virtual Library), and the "Droit et archéologie" web site, which specializes in texts of law relating to French archaeology and which still is the only web site where the full texts of law on French archaeology can be found.
From 2003 to 2005 he was an expert with the A-Net-Oasis, LLC company in the United States in the areas of Anthropology and Archaeology, working on the 3Clix directory project. He was a Rating Analyst of Google USA in 2006 working on the improvement of the Google search engine.
Meanwhile he completed his PhD in 2005 at Brussels' University on the Neolithic and Iron Age around the Gabon estuary, Central Africa. He has been in 2005-2006 an associate scientist to the UR92 of the French 'Institut de Recherche pour le Développement' (IRD).
In addition to his books and papers on African archaeology, he has published several essays on the use of archaeology discussion lists and the development of web sites for local communities (check out 'The Anthropology backdoor to the web').
From late 2006 to 2011 he has switched back to an IT Consultant orientation, to develop and manage project plans based on video chat with external suppliers and consultancies, follow timelines and multi-task with projects teams, and webmastering several sites either in English or in French.
In 2009, he declined regretfully the job of archaeologist at the Witwatersrand university in Johannesburg (South Africa) to follow on Thomas Huffman's pioneering work on the Iron Age because of his involvement in said IT projects.
He accepted consultancy jobs for preventive archaeology in Africa (Cultural resources Management Ltd. project): e.g. in 2003 for the "Programme d'Aménagement routier, Gabon", or in 2013 for a Sofreco headed impact assessment in Zambia for irrigation projects in the northern, central and southern parts of the country.
He has been the coordinator of all archaeology field and labwork for a 2012-2016 research project entitled "KongoKing. Political centralization, economic integration and language evolution in Central Africa: An interdisciplinary approach to the early history of the Kongo kingdom". He directed the major excavations at the Mbanza Nsundi and Ngongo Mbata ancient settlements of the kingdom's Nsundi and Mbata provinces. Attached to the Ghent University (Belgium), the 5-year research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) aimed at getting a better understanding of the Kongo kingdom using archaeology, historical linguistics and history. See the project web site archived here, the mission blog for 2015 here, and the project's final report in book form here.
He was invited in November 2015 with other international colleagues by the Angolan National Institute for Cultural Heritage to Mbanza Kongo to carry out the first study of the artefacts and contexts from the 2011-2014 archaeological excavations of the old Kongo kingdom's capital. This led to a report he wrote to strengthen Angola's bid to have Mbanza Kongo added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List. He also helped in 2016 the Culture Ministry answer the last ICOMOS questions and queries. Since July 2017, Mbanza Kongo is on the World Heritage List, the first Angolan site of its kind.
A new ERC funded research project has been accepted for the 2018-2022 period. Based again at Ghent University, it is called "BantuFirst: The first Bantu speakers south of the rainforest: A cross-disciplinary approach to human migration, language spread, climate change and early farming in Late Holocene Central Africa". Bernard has been associated to it for the writing of the archaeological component with the definition of the objectives and methodologies to be applied. He has carried out a first mission to the DRC in September-November 2018. Mission blog here.
He is currently developing a research project about the earliest settlements of Equatorial Guinea. He got in January 2019 the official authorization from the CICTE to carry out research during the coming years. A first mission to Bioko Island could be carried out later this year.
He has been associated to Ghent University as a Postdoc and Research Associate to the BantUGent, the Ghent University Centre for Bantu studies (2012-2020), then as an invited Professor (2017-2018). He is currently a Research Associate to the French 'Institut des Mondes Africains' in Paris (IMAF - 2018-2022) and to the 'Scientific and Technological Research Council' (CICTE) in Equatorial Guinea (2020-2022).
Short bios in French, Spanish and English here.
> Where is the web site located ? -
Société Amen, AMEN SAS, 12-14, Rond Point des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris, France.