People of Wenchi From A Hole – GAEC Scientist

A Senior Scientist at the Accelerator Research Center of GAEC, Dr. Amos Forson has stated that data from his research on the origin of the people of Wenchi buttresses their long-held belief that their ancestors came from a hole.

He made this comment at the maiden edition of the GAEC Seminar Series held on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

Dr. Forson revealed that contrary to the written history about the origin of his people, scientific evidence proves otherwise. “Their history as was mostly written by the Europeans indicates that they migrated from Middle Niger in the 17th century and settled at Bonoso before relocating to their current location, Wenchi. However, results from radiometric dating from the Bonoso Site suggest that the people inhabited that land long (about 400 years) before then.”, he said.

He specifically stated that the results showed that the Bonoso Archaeological Site was inhabited continuously for about 500 years, 610AD (7th century) to 1160AD (12 century) and therefore rejects the Scholarly assertions that Bonoso was just occupied in the 17th Century. “Western-written documentation on Ghana’s past has superficial time-depth going only as far back as the fifteenth century AD”, he added.

He was giving a presentation on “The Vital Role and Application of Accelerator-Based Techniques in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Research for the Development of Archaeo-Tourism Industry in Ghana for National Development”

Dr. Forson stated that Ghana has a high number of excellent and very rich cultural heritage and several historic and archaeological sites, as well as valuable assets. These he said have potentials of becoming major educational and Archaeo-tourists attractions in the country when developed and preserved. “But this is not so”, he lamented.

He said that stakeholders have a huge task of correcting our negative image and providing an authentic reconstruction of past heritage for the development of Ghana’s Archaeological tourism (Archaeo-tourism). “This can be achieved through promoting public interest in archaeology and the conservation of historical and archaeological sites, museums, monuments, Palaces, interpretation centers, etc.”, he added.

He urged that there is an urgent need for the application of appropriate scientific technique(s), to investigate Valuable Heritage materials, potential Archaeological sites, and artifacts.

Cultural heritage studies involve the investigation and analyses of cultural heritage materials such as inorganic (eg; Pottery, beads) and Organic materials (eg; Bones, Charcoal paper, etc).

His work utilized an Accelerator ion Beam Analysis (IBA) and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Radiocarbon Dating (AMS-14C Dating). Although there are other techniques mostly used for elemental characterization of Archaeological materials, such as Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission (ICP-OES), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and Laser Ablation (LA), accelerator-based techniques in recent times have been the most successfully applied technology in the field of Cultural Heritage studies.

The Seminar series is a Ghana Atomic Energy Commission monthly presentation session on scientific findings and innovations and their relation to the socio-economic development of Ghana.

By: Office of Cooperate and Public Affairs, GAEC