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Interview: Kefilwe Rammutloa – Uppsala Exchange Program

Today, we have a short interview with Kefilwe Rammutloa, an Archaeology Masters student at the University of Pretoria. Kefilwe just came back from an exchange program in Sweden and we asked her to tell us about her experience:
I went to Uppsala University, Sweden, for an exchange program with the aim of developing my academic career further. The exchange program was made up of laboratory work, as well as coursework. I took courses in Ethnoarchaeology that aimed at creating critical understanding and the importance of understanding past communities and cultures using modern societies. Another course that I took was GIS for humanities students, this course was essential in teaching me basic GIS applications. The GIS skills I have learned are vital in mapping the trade, exchange and consumption arteries during AD900 to AD1300 in the Greater Mapungubwe Landscape, which my MA disseratation is focusing on.
I also took a course in Historical ecology, this course enhanced my understanding on multidisciplinary projects in understanding how past communities influenced their environments and how the environments they lived in were not passive, rather, reacted to these actions. This course has influenced the focus of my future studies.  The Laboratory practicals were focused on ancient Botanical remains from a site known as Vasatagatan, Uppsala. The practicals aimed at teaching me how to flot soil samples, microscopic analysis and classification of charred botanical remains.
During my stay in Uppsala, I attended  multiple seminars that were focused on archaeological theory, these were very instrumental in shaping my understanding of trade and exchange networks, as well as interaction studies across the globe. I spent a little over eight months learning Awedish, living with absolutely amazing people (19) in a student commune known as Fjillet. This was a magical experience, especially, the unconditional love and warmth I received from my housemates and many close friends I met in the student town. One thing I will never forget is the feeling of excitement as I saw the first fall of snow, and then seeing the sun setting 10:00pm and rising at 3:30am in the morning!
My exchange to Uppsala University has definitely encouraged me even further to do a PhD abroad and bring back the skill to the African continent and grow African archaeology even further.


I would like to encourage all  upcoming post-graduate archaeology student to apply for the next season of  the exchange program as this is a lifetime opportunity that will enrich you, and I would also like to thank the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria and the  Department of Archaeology at Uppsala University for making this possible! I really appreciate the opportunity you gave me.

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