Welcome by Head of Department


Welcome by Head of Department

The Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, one of the oldest Departments in the University of Ghana, continues to provide teaching, research, mentorship and extension services to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing archaeology from Level 100 to Level 700. Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through the analysis and interpretations of material remains and cultural landscapes. It analyses the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture. It explains the culture of our forebears by carefully excavating selected sites and scientifically studying buried remains.

Through topics like archaeology and the African cultural heritage, forensic archaeology, human origins and early civilizations in Africa, this programme provides lower level students with a better perspective and appreciation of the human past. Archaeology permits us to investigate deeper realms of time before written languages came into existence and provides glimpses into the lives of everyday people through the reconstruction of things they made and left behind. Ghanaian Archaeologists are needed because of their superior competencies and knowledge in appraising the human cultural past as heritage professionals. Above all, their findings enable the Ghanaian society or nation to preserve its cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge systems and identity as well as add value to heritage sites for the promotion of tourism. Above all it has the ability to shape national developmental aspirations within our indigenous cultural contexts.

The training we give our students does instil in them research skills and deeper knowledge about our Ghanaian and African cultural heritage. We believe that such knowledge and ability to research and document them provide us with a safety net in terms of their susceptibility to being lost in the face of globalization and modernization of our culturescapes. We entreat tour agencies to include the Museum of Archaeology on their itinerary as well as offer job openings and internships for them to provide deep insights on our cultural traditions and indigenous knowledge systems to interested tourists.

As a way of addressing national policy, we are concerned about the current loss of cultural heritage in Ghana and advocate for measures to safeguard heritage through comprehensive legislation, effective policies, diligent regulation and active involvement of local communities and customary land and knowledge holders. The current EPA’s law on the conduct of EIA gives much prominence to the impact on forestry, water bodies and wild life baseline studies to the neglect of heritage assessment.  We are very much in support of a new Heritage Impact Assessment Act, separate from the EPA Act and EIA process, to make salvage archaeology and heritage resource management a legally mandatory requirement prior to land disturbing activities at all mining, road construction, dam and irrigation and real estate development sites in Ghana. We believe that the implementation of this new policy will create jobs for our trained graduates, ensure a mitigative success and help conserve the country’s heritage for posterity.


Head of Department

Dr. Samuel Nilirmi Nkumbaan

BA, MPhil, PhD (Ghana)

Email: snkumbaan@ug.edu.gh