The historical archaeology of northern Uganda: a case study of Fort Patiko-Gulu District

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University of Dar es Salaam
Northern Uganda in modern time is well known for its political crisis which ran for over two decades. This region unlike central, western, eastern, southern and northeastern Uganda which has continued to enjoy archaeological studies has remained archaeologically terra incognita with only a few mentions of studies here and there which were mostly studied historically. There is almost no any single intensive archaeological study that has been carried out in the region. In contrast, the current research was carried out to investigate on the pre-Arabic/pre-colonial settlements of Fort Patiko. The study aimed at identifying and studying cultural materials in order to provide archaeological knowledge about the functions and background of Fort Patiko and find out whether the area was settled before the influx of foreigners. Primary data recovery method involved archaeological surface survey, oral interview and excavations. Purposive sampling was undertaken to identify and locate the cultural materials over Patiko landscape. Recovered materials included potsherds, lithics, pieces of metals, iron slags, bones, parts of smoking pipes, pestle rubbers and daubs which were found in both primary and secondary context. These materials indicated that, just like other parts of Uganda, Patiko also had a normal human life going back to the ancient times. Data analysis suggested that Fort Patiko was settled long before the coming of foreigners and the Fort originally belonged to the local settlers who used it for defensive purpose. These findings disapprove the belief that Fort Patiko was built and established by Arabs and Sir Samuel Baker respectively.
Available in print
Historical sites, Archaeology, Philosophy, Patiko-gulu district, Uganda
Kinyera, O. C. (2011) The historical archaeology of northern Uganda: a case study of Fort Patiko-Gulu District. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at