Antiquity Vol 86:334, 2012 pp 1068-1083 - Stan Hendrickx and others - The vivid engravings on vertical rocks at the desert site of Nag el-Hamdulab west of the Nile comprise a rock art gallery of exceptional historical significance. The authors show that the images of boats with attendant prisoners, animals and the earliest representation of a pharaoh offer a window on Dynasty 0, and depict the moment that the religious procession of pre-Dynastic Egypt became the triumphant tour of a tax-collecting monarch.
Highlight: Fifth millennium BC pastoral Neolithic sites in the western desert of Egypt, which has yielded some emmer wheat and Claris fish bones, both of which are resources that must have been acquired in the Nile valley where cultivation and fishing would have been possible....
Official ingentaconnect Abstract: KS043 is a stratified site associated with a complex of artesian springs. The archaeological remains, as well as a series of radiocarbon determinations, date the site to between 4800 and 4200 b.c. Our study suggests a connection between Saharan pastoralists, forced to move into oasis areas by increasing aridification, and the first Predynastic cultures of the Nile Valley. The site is the only well dated stratified settlement attributed to the Late Neolithic in the eastern Sahara that is characterized by Tasian cultural traditions.
I was first invited to Sai as an archaeobotanical specialist. After the death of Francis Geus in 2005, I continued work at 8-B-52A and 8-B-10A with funds from the US National Science Foundation. Research by my team has clarified several aspects of early food production and storage on the island
Scientists studying 1,600-year-old cotton from the banks of the Nile have found what they believe is the first evidence that punctuated evolution has occurred in a major crop group within the relatively short history of plant domestication.
As branches of the Nile River descend from the highlands of East Africa, they join in a single course and pass through the land of Nubia, in what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt. The river has always provided life in this arid region as a source of water, food, and transport. It flows through areas known as cataracts, traditionally numbered from north to south, where the river valley narrows and rocky outcrops define islands, rapids, and waterfalls. The Nile also traverses broad plains that provide a basis for agriculture as well as for concentrations of population, wealth, and power. The savannas and deserts on either side of the river are integral to settlement, supplying raw materials including gold as well as areas for herding and hunting.
Antiquity Vol 86:334, 2012 pp 1155-1166 - Alex de Voogt - Game-boards carved on monuments offer an intriguing opportunity to track a certain mindset in time and space. In an earlier Antiquity article, the author showed us that mancala boards were carved on the Roman plinths at Palmyra by Arab soldiers. Here he takes us into Sudan, finding new mancala boards on the first-millennium pyramids at Meroe. With adroit detective work, he shows that these too are probably owed to military visitors, this time a group of nineteenth-century Turkish soldiers of the Ottoman empire—perhaps those assigned to help Giuseppe Ferlini to blow up and pillage the tombs.
Through the twentieth century much of the Nubian Nile Valley has seen archaeological survey and excavation, largely in response to its destruction by successive dams built at Aswan. The Mahas Survey Project of the University of Khartoum has continued this work on the Third Cataract approximately 700 km upriver of the First Cataract, within a survey concession extending over some 80 km of the Nile and its immediate hinterlands, an area now under threat by the construction of a dam at Kajbaar. We present here an outline of the long-term development of the region's settlement landscapes, broadly conceptualised, and their relation to those encountered in adjoining regions. It is possible to draw out some aspects of its cultural distinctiveness at a regional or larger scale, as well as the varying rôle of the Third Cataract as a cultural and political frontier in different periods. A contextual approach to its rock art suggests some fresh insights into the latter's likely significance. A complex and varied settlement history is beginning to emerge which both challenges representations of a uniquely timeless and ancient occupation of the land by autochthonous ‘Nubians’, while raising many new questions concerning the history of this frontier land.
The European Committee for Preserving the Middle Nile is a group of Africanist archaeologists deeply concerned that the building of these dams will displace tens of thousands of people, damage the river's fragile ecosystem and destroy a heritage of vast importance — not only for local people, but for humanity as a whole. We believe that allowing the inhabitants of the Middle Nile Valley to remain where they are, leaving the environment undiminished and preserving the antiquities in place, is of great importance.
The Greek-Norwegian couple Alexandros Tsakos and Henriette Hafsaas-Tsakos have lived and worked in Sudan for several years. You can take part in their adventures and learn more about their archaeological fieldworks through a photo exhibition at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies in Rethymno, Crete.
Join us at Hierakonpolis as we dig into the dawn of Egyptian civilization.
In addition to these Egyptian monuments, there are also cemeteries that display distinctly non-Egyptian attributes. Surface surveys undertaken across the site by Michael Hoffman in 1978 and Fred Harlan in 1983 revealed the presence of three discrete cemeteries with Nubian cultural traits apparently dating to the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate period (ca. 1800-1500 B.C.). These had never been investigated, so in January-March 2001 we decided to take a walk on the historic side and conduct test excavations at each of these localities. Initially we thought all three belonged to the mysterious Pan Grave culture, which was first identified in 1910 by Flinders Petrie, who is also famous as the father of Egyptian prehistory. At the site of Hu near Abydos, while undertaking important Predynastic excavations, he also found two cemeteries of these strange people, previously mistaken for Predynastic as they also used blacktopped pottery. He coined the name Pan Grave because of the shallow, round burials, which he thought looked like frying pans--as indeed they sometimes do!
Due to the quantities of material recovered from tombs, temples and settlements, UNESCO was encouraged in the 1980's to plan a new Nubian museum in Aswan where the objects could be stored and exhibited. It was universally felt at the time that they should be kept as close as possible to their principal places of origin.
Nearly twelve years later, the Museum became a reality and opened its doors in November 1997. It was designed by the late Egyptian architect Mahmoud al-Hakim, and Mexican architect Pedro Vasquez Ramirez designed the museum's interior display. The Museum won the Agha-Khan Award of Architecture 2001.