Mograt’s Present and Recent Past

This collaborative research project is dedicated to the present and immediate past of the people of Mograt and the surrounding islands. Mograt has a rich and deep past, which is the main focus of archaeological research, including survey, mapping and excavation. However, archaeological and geographical methods can also help us to explore the more recent past of the island as well as its present. Mudbrick buildings and compounds in Mograt’s villages, for example, are dynamically adjusted. They are built, modified, abandoned, renovated, re-occupied, etc., to fit the changing needs of their occupants. These buildings are material manifestations of personal and family histories, and they reflect the fortunes and misfortunes of the people of Mograt over the past one hundred years or so. The location of villages may tell us about the effects of the introduction of the diesel pump, as fields were expanded and settlements shifted. The present villages on Mograt thus contain the stories of their people as they move(d) across as well as in and out of the island, and as they change(d) its landscape.

The knowledge and memories of the people of Mograt help us to better understand the material traces of Mograt’s recent past – and how the island has become the place it is today. We would like to explore this local knowledge together with partners from Mograt who are interested in telling and collecting personal, family, village and island (his)stories, and in preserving them locally for the(ir) future. Indeed, we hope that the people of Mograt will teach us about their lives today and how the island has changed over the past one hundred or more years – as far back in time as they/their family histories remember. Combining local knowledge with archaeological methods, we can then explore together the somewhat deeper recent past of Mograt, i.e. the past few hundred years of the island’s history.