Dr Elinaza Mjema

BA, MA (Dar), PhD (Frankfurt)


Areas of Specialization:East African Coastal archaeology, Cultural heritage Management, Underwater archaeology.



ElinazaMjema is a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. He completed Bachelor and Master degrees in Archaeology at the University of Dar es Salaam in 2006 and 2008 respectively, and later a PhD in Archaeology from the Frankfurt University, Germany (2015). His PhD study focused on exploring change and the continuity of ancient settlements on the western coast of the Indian Ocean, through the analysis of ceramics, beads and fauna remains.


In 2016, Mjema was awarded an African Humanities Program (AHP) postdoctoral fellowship. Implementing the AHP fellowship atPangani Bay in Northern Tanzania coast, he investigated an ancient burial site he discovered in 2012, and published a paper examining ancient Tsunamic Catastrophes that hit Tanzania’s western Indian Ocean coast during the early Swahili period, AD 900-1100. Mjema is currently implementing a three-year (2017-2019) Postdoctoral project funded by Volkswagen Foundation, Germany) where he investigates the archaeology of the colonial encounter on the Tanzanian coast from the 16th to 19th century.


Current Projects

2017- 2019: Principal investigator (PI) in the project- Investigating the Archaeology of Colonial encounter on The Tanzania coast from 16th to 19th century AD (Postdoctoral project funded by Volkswagen Foundation, Germany).


Completed Projects

2016- 2017: Principal investigator (PI) in the project- Archaeological Investigation of Early Swahili Burial Practices at Pangani Bay on the Northern Tanzania Coast (Postdoctoral Project- African Humanities Program (AHP).


Mjema, E. (2018). “Catastrophes and deaths along Tanzania’s western Indian Ocean coast during the early Swahili period, AD 900-1100”. Azania, Vol. 53 (2): 135-155.

Ichumbaki, E.B and Mjema, E. (2018). “The Impact of Small-Scale Development Projects on Archaeological Heritage in Africa: The Tanzanian Experience”. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, Vol 20(1): 18-34.

Mjema, E (2017). World War I Shipwrecks of the Western Indian Ocean of Tanzania: Neglected Underwater Heritage Resources. In: Harris, L., (ed.), Sea Ports and Sea Power African Maritime Cultural Landscapes, Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp. 67-75.

Mjema, E (2017). My Years in Frankfurt- Reminiscence of my PhD Studies under the Supervision of Professor Peter Breunig. In: Rupp, N., Beck, C., Franke G., Wendt. K.P (eds.), Winds of Change: Archaeological Contributions in Honour of Peter Breunig. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn Germany, pp 337-342.

Mjema, E (2016). The Indigenous Roots of Swahili Culture in Pangani Bay, Tanzania: Continuity and Change in an Archaeological Assemblage. In: Sadr, K., Esterhuysen A., and Sievers, C., (eds.), African Archaeology without Frontiers Papers from the 2014 Pan African Archaeological Association Congress, Wits University Press, Johannesburg, pp. 48-59.

Mjema, E. 2015. Maritime Community Settlement History in Pangani Bay, Tanga Coastal Region, Tanzania. Ph. D. Thesis, Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main.

Mjema, E. 2013. Preliminary report on Excavation at Pangani Bay in Tanga region of Northern Tanzania coast. In: Chami, F, et al., (eds.), Studies in the African Past Volume II African archaeological Network, E&D Publishing Limited, Dar es Salaam, pp. 200-220.

Person, N., Bruce, G &Mjema, E (2010). Archaeological Evaluation, Pangani Town, Tanga Region. On Site archaeology Report No: Osa10ev25. On Site Archeology Ltd, York.

Mjema, E. 2008. The Later Stone Age of Endadu Rock Shelter, Babati District, Northern Tanzania. MA Thesis University of Dar es Salaam.