Scientific mission in the karstic region of central Congo
The field mission in Congo Brazzaville in September 2023 took place in the Madingou region. It was carried out in collaboration with the geological team from the Kongo area of GeoRes4Dev prpject (Pascale Lahogue and Imen Arfaoui) and the archaeologist from the Department of Cultural Anthropology & History at RMCA, Nicolas Nikis, a specialist in Central African archaeology, comparative technology (metallurgy and pottery), and trade networks. The MRAC scientific team played a central role in the scientific supervision of fieldwork on the karst in Madingou-Bouenza.
The main objective of this mission was to provide training for geologists, doctoral scholarship recipients from the University Marien Ngouabi RC (Nicy Bazebizonza and Prefina Samba), as well as a scholarship recipient pursuing a DEA at the University of Kinshasa (Nadège Ngala), who joined the team in Madingou. Fieldwork included the exploration of new cavities, studies of biocorrosion, the evolution of karst networks (formation and hydrology), and the installation of new devices for cave monitoring.
The collaboration with archaeologist Nicolas Nikis primarily involved identifying archaeological sites detected by the geologists during previous missions and studying new sites. This paved the way for future archaeological research and the proposal of new scholarships in archaeology as part of the continuity of the GeoRes4Dev project from 2024 to 2028.
These international missions within the GeoRes4Dev project highlight the importance of collaboration between scientists from various Congolese and European disciplines and speleologists to explore and understand the geological and karstic riches of Central Africa. They have opened up opportunities for interdisciplinary research, the preservation of the underground environment, and sustainable development in the region.