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Senior Archaeological Fieldwork Manager at the Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA)

Posted on Mon 08th Aug, 2022 - --- (0 comments)

The Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) is an independent non-profit organisation in Nigeria set up to drive research and execute high-value cultural, arts and heritage initiatives in West Africa. Our evolving research partners include major institutions such as the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the British Museum (BM), and the Deutsche Archaeological Institute (DAI).

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Archaeological Fieldwork Manager

Location: Benin - Edo, or Lagos
Reporting Line: Pavilion Director
Start Date: August 2022, 3-year contract subject to 6-month probation period

Job Overview

  • EMOWAA's dynamic research programme will initially focus on the historic core of pre-colonial Benin City, the capital of the Benin Empire and one of the most important archaeological sites in West Africa. Fieldwork began early 2022 with a series of targeted excavations and geospatial mapping of ancient earthwork structures. The next phase of work with the British Museum will begin in October 2022 ahead of the construction of its new heritage research and archive centre - the Pavilion.
  • EMOWAA is looking for an experienced Fieldwork Manager to join our team of leading researchers in archaeology, environmental science and materials science study.
  • As first priority, (she will work with colleagues form the British Museum (BM) and National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM), to undertake one of the largest programmes of excavation carried out in the region in recent years.
  • The appointee will contribute to the management of a diverse project team of Nigerian and international archaeologists, carrying out field archaeological investigations in Benin City.
  • They will be present on site in Benin City throughout the field investigations, commencing in early October 2022 and continuing until early December 2022. Thereafter the appointee will play a leading role in Co-ordinating the analysis, writing up and publication of the results of the excavations.
  • It is also envisaged that, in the longer-term, the candidate will contribute to the development of a regional archaeological centre of excellence. In the future this is likely to include the development of an annual field school, collaboration with other projects in the region and the development of an archaeological team that can provide contracting services on commercial projects in Nigeria and beyond.

Key Responsibilities
Develop Excavation Methodology & Research Questions:

  • Develop methodology, programme and budget for the EMOWAA-British Museum excavations;
  • Co-ordination with the EMOWAA design and construction team to ensure that there are no conflicts/delays caused to the construction team during the excavations;
  • Work with the EMOWAA construction management team to ensure that the excavations are carried out in accordance with EMOWAA and BM Health and Safety protocols, international best practice and relevant Nigerian legal requirements;
  • Ensure that a clear and practical plan for the excavation and recording of trenches;
  • Support the development of project research goals;
  • Work with the EMOWAA and BM teams to plan and develop investigations of the EMOWAA Pavilion site and elsewhere within the wider Cultural Quarter.

Excavation Management:

  • Working in close collaboration with the BM team and NCMM representatives, manage the implementation of the excavation and research design;
  • Lead the EMOWAA archaeological team, ensuring that all members of the team are clear about their roles and objectives over the period of the excavation and on a day by day basis;
  • Liaise on site with the construction manager and contractor representatives to ensure that there is mutual understanding of archaeological and construction programme and operations;
  • Ensure the safe management of excavations in deeply stratified urban contexts, ensuring compliance with health and safety and security standards and procedures at all times;
  • Ensure that finds are collected in line with project standards and processes;
  • Ensure that the project recording methodology is understood by all members of the excavation team and applied consistently;
  • Check the excavation records on a regular basis and ensure that they are complete and digitised at the end of the excavation period.


  • To ensure that there is an effective programme of training and skills transfer supporting the development of an archaeological centre of excellence at the EMOWAA Pavilion;

Post-excavation Analysis & Write Up:

  • Play a key role in the research and write up of the excavation and its results;
  • Working with the BM team, to review the records of all archaeological trenches and collate a reporting of the Pavilion excavations;
  • To ensure that all members of the EMOWAA archaeological team are aware of their responsibilities and the deliverables required from them.

Future Planning:
Work with other members of the EMOWAA team to develop the Pavilion as an archaeological centre of excellence in West Africa over the next few years, with a focus on: 

  • A programme of annual field schools commencing in the dry season of 2023;
  • A suite of Cultural Heritage Management programmes and services at the Pavilion;
  • Direct funding applications, research collaborations and studentships relevant to EMOWAA’s objectives.

Community Engagement and Advocacy:

  • Working with EMOWAA and BM colleagues to develop a programme of public engagement during the October and November excavations consistent with security and safety considerations;
  • To act as an advocate and a voice for the project within Nigeria and internationally.

Experience & Qualifications

  • Preferably a PhD in Archaeology, although not essential for the right candidate;
  • At least 5 years experience of archaeological fieldwork, preferably in Nigeria/West Africa;
  • Experience of managing archaeology in the context of development;
  • Ability to learn quickly and work independently
  • Collaborative approach and ability to contribute to across different projects effectively
  • Proficiency in MS Suite (required) and GIS software(s) (ArcGIS or Q-GIS)
  • English fluency (required)

Career Growth & Development:

  • EMOWAA has a strong culture of constant learning and invests in developing people. This post will be supported by global experts and institutions across EMOWAA’s wide network of partners and affiliates.
  • By joining EMOWAA team, you’ll have an opportunity to shape a growing organization, work on groundbreaking initiatives and build a rewarding long-term career. It is anticipated that the appointee will lead the longer term growth and development of the archaeological team at the EMOWAA Pavilion.
  • The successful specialist will be able to represent EMOWAA at conferences and will take place in international training/exchange programmes.

Compensation & Benefits
Competitive, subject to credentials.

Application Closing Date
30th August, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV and a 1-page Cover Letter to: [email protected] using the Job Title as the subject of the email.


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