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Department of Archaeology



I obtained both my B.A. (in Archaeology and Tourism) and M.A. (in Cultural Resources Management) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I was named the Best Graduating Student both times with First Class honours and a Distinction, respectively. I have a Lectureship with the University of Nigeria and am a 2021 Gates Cambridge Scholar. 

My research interests cut across (Post-)Conflict and Memory, Critical Heritage Studies, Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management, Museum Studies, and Community Archaeology, where I also have a growing number of publications and conference presentations. Outside of academia, I love food, football, politics and music.


Civil wars are anything but civil when it comes to their impact on the lives and cultural heritage of communities. Their damages also have lasting legacies. Among the Igbo people of Nigeria, names like ‘Ozoemena’ (‘never again’) and ‘Echezona’ (‘never forget’) continue to be used in reference to the 1967-1970 civil war. Decades later, my Ph.D. research is shedding light on the legacies of the ‘Biafra war’ on the cultural landscape of present-day Igboland in Nigeria. I explore the complex interaction of conflict and intangible heritage as well as the dissonances in memorialization, canonization, representation, and silencing. This will contribute an important intangible heritage perspective and a West-African case study to the heritage-conflict discourse.

Beyond my Ph.D., I am interested in the broader themes of research that cut across sustainable cultural heritage management, museums, community archaeology, and traditional/indigenous knowledge systems.

Key Publications

Key publications: 
Other publications: 
  • Onyemechalu, S. J. (2021 November, 19). Review of the book Cultural heritage and the Future, Edited by C. Holtorf and A. Högberg. 
  • Onyemechalu, S. J. (2019) NVIVO and Technological Innovations in Research: Trends, Approaches, Limitations, and Implications for Qualitative Research. Nsukka Journal of Humanities, 27 (1), pp. 88 – 101.
  • Onyemechalu, S. J. and Osinem, S/ C. (2018) Assessing the Contributions of TVET Practitioners to Tourism Development in Nsukka Metropolis. Journal of Centre for Technical Vocational Education, Training and Research, 3 (2), pp. 93 – 117.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 
  • Supervisor: Dr. Dacia Viejo-Rose
  • Advisor: Prof. Paul Lane

Other Professional Activities

Assistant Lecturer, Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Job Titles

PhD Student in Archaeology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Socio-Politics of the Past
Heritage Management
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

sjo50 [at]


Person keywords: 
Critical Heritage Studies, (Post-)Conflict and Memory, Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management, Museum Studies, Community Archaeology
Heritage Studies
Geographical areas: