Principal investigator
Henry Lovejoy 

Collaboration + support
Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA); Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

For the first time ever, Henry Lovejoy, a CU Boulder history professor, has mapped the boundaries of a fallen African kingdom best known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade. 

During its reign, the kingdom of Oyo—which was in present-day southwestern Nigeria, parts of Benin and Togo—captured and enslaved an estimated 128,000 people from West Africa. 

Using geographic information systems (GIS) mapping software and historical and local records, Lovejoy determined the rough ebb and flow of the kingdom of Oyo—including the origin of these enslaved people. 

By providing these boundaries, Lovejoy hopes that he’ll eventually be able to give people an idea of where their ancestors may have come from in Africa.