Missions at the Margin: excavating the London Missionary Society in Botswana

Author(s): Ceri Z Ashley

Year: 2013


The activities of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Botswana are widely known thanks to the popular writings and high profiles of pioneers such as John Moffat and David Livingstone. The role of archaeology within such discourse may thus appear redundant. However, as widely recognised within the discipline, the scope and scale of archaeology, and in particular its focus on the mundane and everyday, has the potential to add a new dimension to our historical understanding of early Missions in the region. This is particularly relevant, as the influential anthropological studies of Comaroff and Comaroff argue that missionary activity in Botswana extended far beyond moral conversion and evangelisation, and instead imbued every aspect of social practice in the mission to ‘colonise consciousness’. This paper will present evidence from the short-lived LMS mission at Lake Ngami, combining archival and archaeological data to unearth patterns of daily practice within the mission society.

Cite this Record

Missions at the Margin: excavating the London Missionary Society in Botswana. Ceri Z Ashley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428723)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 16.49; min lat: -46.97 ; max long: 37.82; max lat: -22.192 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 528