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14.10.2005 General News

Archaeology is crucial to national dev't - Gavua

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Accra, Oct 14, GNA - Dr Kodzo Gavua, Head of the Archaeology Department of the University of Ghana, Legon has observed that the study of Archaeology could immensely contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.

He said contrary to popular belief, Archaeology was not a dead science that only sought after matters that were past and gone. Speaking at the Ninth Annual Legon Archaeology Students Association (LASA) Symposium on Friday in Accra, Dr Gavua said it was unfortunate that many people did not know what Archaeology really meant. He observed that several sectors of the economy needed good archaeological research in order to be of more value.

Dr Gavua said Museums for instance depended a lot on artefacts or man-made objects and materials of ancient times, adding that quite often, this information on these objects was not readily available, leaving tourists yearning for more information.

He said a lot more value could be added to the country's museums if such objects could be examined and the information they unearthed made available to tourists and other visitors.

Dr Gavua said several other sectors of the economy needed this kind of interpretation, adding that it was not true that Archaeology was all about digging for old material.

He advised students of the subject to take it seriously and be full of hope since it had much better prospects than most anticipated. Mr Jobila Mohammed Zakari, President of LASA, observed that most developed nations paid special attention to their past cultures and monuments, through harnessing them to promote economic growth.

"I wish to emphasis that if Ghanaians pay attention to their past and culture they will be able to device strategies to overcome the problem of food, water and housing that confront the country today." He said tourism could only be developed with the aid of archaeologists and added that the nation's historical, cultural and ecological sites could be transformed into tourism destinations through the research of archaeologists.

Mr Zakari called upon the government and all stakeholders such as the Ministry of Tourism, National Museums and Monuments Board estate developers and the Environmental Protection Agency to involve Archaeologists in their policy planning and execution of contracts. He said this would halt the wanton destruction of the nation's cultural heritage.

A presentation was made by Wazi Apoh, a PhD candidate of the Birmingham University, USA on "The Archaeology of German and British Colonial settlement at Kpando Todzi in the Volta Region. Professor Emeritus Kwabena Nketia chaired the programme.