African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187

Full Length Research Paper

Critical analysis of archaeological research trends in Uganda: 1920-2018

Charles Kinyera Okeny
  • Charles Kinyera Okeny
  • Department of History, Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Makerere University, Kampala, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
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Elizabeth Kyazike
  • Elizabeth Kyazike
  • Department of History and Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kyambogo University, Uganda.
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Gilbert Gumoshabe
  • Gilbert Gumoshabe
  • Department of African Languages, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda.
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  •  Received: 18 November 2019
  •  Published: 31 January 2020


Much as the first collections of stone tools in East Africa were made by geologist J.W. Gregory, beginning in 1893, E.J. Wayland’s joined the government service in Uganda in 1919 to set East African Archaeology on the course that it was to follow for the next 40 years or more. However, over 90 years from its inception, a larger percentage of archaeological research in Uganda seems regionally imbalanced, dominated by foreign researchers and periodically generalized. In order to understand these anomalies, this study undertook a critical literature review of archaeological research data from 1920 to 2018. The main objectives were to; document the regional distribution of archaeological research in Uganda; analyze the interplay between local and foreign researchers, and examine the period of archaeological research, that is Stone Age or Iron Age.  Results show that, there is a wide gap in regional distribution of archaeological research in Uganda, dominated by foreign researchers with a focus on Iron Age period. The study concludes that, the limited research interest in other parts of Uganda is not because of lack of archaeology but a long set ideology of foreign researchers to dominate local research space. This calls for active involvement of local researchers in archaeological research, in order to neutralise the long set colonial research ideology and take charge of archaeological research directions. This will aid in narrowing the regional research gaps as well as presenting the true picture of Uganda’s past.


Key words: Archaeology, archaeological potential, stone age, iron age, ideology.