Forging an Atlantic World: an Historical Archaeological Investigation of African-European Trade in Metalwares

Nicole Lea Hamann

          Archaeological investigations of a shipwreck site in the coastal waters of Elmina, Ghana, a major trade entrepôt on the Gold Coast, illuminate evolving African-European trade relationships and their role in the world market of the nineteenth century. The Elmina wreck yields an unmatched assemblage of 73 aluminum, brass, and pewter goods preserved due to the vessel's loss offshore of West Africa that has been catalogued and typed. These metalwares represent tangible examples of the array of goods entering the region, provide comparative material for historical descriptions of the trade, and reflect the importance of exchange in African-European interaction.