The site of Garumele (Widi, Republic of Niger) has many times been described, not least because of its alleged connection to the early Kanem-Borno polity: it is said to have served as a capital after Njimi was abandoned, and before Birnin Gazargamo was built. But Garumele had never been subjected to systematic archaeological excavation, while in contrast neighbouring sites in Nigeria, with apparently a shared history, have been well studied in the past decades and detailed and systematic analyses made of the ceramics excavated. Accordingly, preliminary archaeological work was initiated at Garumele in 2005, with special attention to issues of ceramic traditions and chronology. This paper presents an overview of the research undertaken and the results of the pottery analysis. The latter are considered in relation to assemblages of the wider region in order to suggest how Garumele may fit, culturally and chronologically, within Kanem-Borno’s activities.