Research themes

The following themes are grouped largely on the basis of chronology and give an overall snapshot of the specific research areas our team is investigating as part of our continued work on Mauritius. For more information on specific sites, please visit the 'sites' section.


Provide ‘base-line’ data for the island prior to human intervention. Gives us both the ecological signature to track climate changes as well as the impact of human activity. As important, this aspect allows us to contextualise the historical archaeology that forms a large component of our work.

Key Sites: Trou aux Cerf, Trois Cavern, Le Morne coastline, Mont Choisy

Imperial Powers

Through the lens of material artefacts and standing structures, this theme investigates how the Imperial forces that colonised Mauritius integrated the island into a ‘world order’ and delves into Mauritius’ role in the development of post-medieval ‘globalisation’.

Key Sites: Aapravasi Ghat warehouse, Flat Island, Grand Port Bay defence works, Battery Dumas


Provides the archaeological component to both complement and complicate what we know from the historical record. Through osteological evidence, this theme investigates the movement of people around the Indian Ocean, and gives clues as to the lifeways of slaves and freed slaves.

Key Sites: Le Morne Brabant, Ilot Fourneau, Le Morne Old Cemetery


Gives us insight in the largest ‘ancestral’ population of modern Mauritius. Through scientific analysis we can add important dimensions in order to address where indentured groups derived from and the conditions of their lives when in Mauritius.

Key Sites: Aapravasi Ghat, Vagrant Depot, Trianon, Bois Marchand