E-learning in African Archaeology and Heritage

Between 26th June and 2nd July, in Toulouse, more than 600 participants from 17 countries were gathered at the 23rd SAFA congress (Society of Africanist Archaeologists). With 41 sessions in so many different topics such as: Origins and spread of food production, geoarchaeology, archaeozoology, pottery, megalithism, Rock art, Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Late Pleistocene human dispersal “Out of Africa”,  African Kingdoms, Islamic archaeology, museums and archaeological archives among others. It was a great congress in an amazing beautiful, energetic city. But I always have the feeling in this huge meetings that I’m missing something… Because when you have to chose between sessions with so interesting and different topics there is always something you are not attending that would be wonderful to see. Never the less, for me it was a great experience in many ways. I realized we are quit more than I thought working in African Archaeology and Heritage and there are many students and new researchers that will keep on bringing new perspectives and methodologies to our area.

I was there presenting a poster on e-learning on Africa Archaeology and Heritage. It’s a new project I’m developing with Jörg Linstadter from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Nuno Bicho and Célia Gonçalves, from ICArEhb (Algarve University) and Jonathan Haws, from Louisville University (US).

It has been a dream of mine to develop African studies in Archaeology and Heritage for a long time now… With Jörg we discuss this many times, but I never figure it out how to implement it. About one year ago I discovered the MOOC’s world and I realized that a way of doing it was using an on-line platform! This would be the perfect way of reaching the largest number of African students, by making it accessible using their own devices (computer, tables or smartphones). No need to travel abroad to accede the course and work with the best professors, researchers and archaeologist on the subject. I do believe that with this project we will be able to form a new generation of African archaeologists so needed to the protection and future of African Archaeology and Heritage.





We are Esther Gil and Sofia Fonseca, two friends that came together to create their dream of working in Africa Heritage.

We had worked before in a huge project of cultural cooperation for a Catalan ONG, Món-3, in the UNESCO heritage cities of Tichitt and Walata (www.walata.org).

From that experience we realized that we wanted to work in African Heritage using our knowledge as cultural cooperation experts to promote local sustainable development. Nowadays, Esther is living in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and working in European projects, and Sofia is living in Faro, working in her Phd (www.wineofancientegypt) and beginning her life project: e-learning in African Archaeology and heritage.


Cultural Cooperation

Teiduma founders are Esther Gil and Sofia Fonseca, both with degrees in humanities and experience in the field of international cultural cooperation in African countries such as Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Niger. Esther has a degree in Arts and a master in International Cooperation and Sofia a degree in Archaeology and a master in Egyptology.
We met in 2003 while working in a project in Mauritania, in the UNESCO world heritage sites of Tichitt and Walata, two ancient cities of the Sahara, and we have being working together since then. Once the project was over, at the end of 2007, we realized that we wanted to keep on working in Cultural cooperation, an in 2008 we founded Teiduma.

Our aim is to promote local sustainable development, using our knowledge and experience on heritage. We strongly believe that culture can be a factor of combating poverty and social exclusion, reinforcing group identity and cohesion.

Nowadays, with all the problems concerning heritage protection all over the world, we must stand up and embrace our responsibility to defend heritage and the cultures, ancient or contemporaneous, that lay behind it.

What is Teiduma?

We are a technical consultancy aiming to promote heritage as a significant factor in development. A special interest is given in working within the framework of international cooperation projects. We offer technical advice and project management to public and private entities. 

Our goal is to focus our activity in this area and to generate and implement motivating projects creating really impact at a local level.

Teiduma is an African tree also known as Baobab. In Hassaniya Arabic, the language spoken in Mauritania, they call the tree Teiduma. We choose this name as a homage to our beloved Mauritania, where we first met and started working together and at the same time as a homage to all Africa, which culture and heritage we admire and respect so much.