• Assistant Professor
Research Areas
  • Archaeology
Benjamin Kofi Nutor

Educational Background

  • Phd, University of Texas at Austin, 2021

Research Interests

  • Specialty:

    • Historical Anthropology and Archaeology of Atlantic Slavery and Colonialism in West Africa
    • Material Culture Studies and Historic Artifacts Analysis
    • Archaeology/Anthropology of African Indigenous Religion
    • Public Archaeology
    • Social Identities

    Current Research Projects:

    The Peki in the Atlantic World: Landscapes and Memories of Transatlantic Slavery and Colonialism in Africa

    This project recenters the strategies and entanglements of Indigenous interiors in the nineteenth-century transition from the transatlantic slave trade to the establishment of colonial empires in Africa. I use data from diverse sources — material culture from archaeological contexts, archival documents, oral traditions, and ethnographic studies — to provide nuanced insights and community-based view of the disruptive effects of the transatlantic slave trade, as well as the dynamic strategies that local people developed to adapt and survive in West Africa. I am currently collecting supplementary data to transform my doctoral dissertation – “The Landscapes of Transatlantic Contacts and Slavery at Peki in Eastern Ghana, c. 1600–1900.”– into a book. The monograph will explore how the Atlantic mercantile economy, European missionary activities, and colonial encounters intersect with local political and economic interests to shape the history, daily life, and social identities of the people of Peki, an Ewe community in the interior of Eastern Ghana that became a major hub for the Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century. My work, therefore, lies at the intersection of the archeology and history of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora. It cuts across several important themes: global encounters, colonialism, relations of power and resistance, missionization/religion, material culture, memory and memorialization, and social identity formation. It expands on current understandings of the entangled histories of the Atlantic slave trade in interior polities that operated at the interstices of more centralized and powerful states in West Africa.

Selected Publications

    • Nutor, Benjamin K. and Kodzo Gavua. 2023. Historical Archeology of the Dente Shrine at Peki, Ghana: Landscapes of Power and Memories of Atlantic Slavery in West Africa. African Archaeological Review: doi.org/10.1007/s10437-023-09550-9.
    • Nutor, Benjamin K. 2020. African “Historians, Are Archaeologists Your Siblings?”: A Critical Appreciation of Toyin Falola’s Contribution to the Archaeology of Africa and the African Diaspora. In Abikal Borah and Mobolanle Sotunsa (ed.), Imagining Vernacular Histories: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield, pp. 27–45.
    • Gavua, Kodzo and Benjamin K. Nutor. 2014. Bringing Archaeology to the People. Towards a Viable Public Archaeology in Ghana. In J. Anquandah, B. Kankpeyeng and W. Apoh (ed.), Current Perspectives in the Archaeology of Ghana. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, pp. 264–275.
    • Nutor, Benjamin K. 2018. “Material Culture, and African Archaeology – Material Explorations in African Archaeology”. By Timothy Insoll. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. xiv 473. $125.00, hardcover (ISBN 9780199550067). The Journal of African History 59. Cambridge University Press: 318–19.
    • Nutor, Benjamin K. 2018. Crossland, Leonard Brighton. In C. Smith(ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1.
    • Nutor, Benjamin K. 2018. Anquandah, James. In C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_2357-2.