AcrossBorders Study Day in Munich

With all of the exciting results from current fieldwork in Egypt (Elephantine) and Sai (Sudan), it is time to present AcrossBorders’ most recent research in public. I am delighted that the first “AcrossBorders Study Day” is scheduled for the upcoming Friday, June 17, 1-6 pm. Thanks to the kind support by our colleagues of the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, the public lectures will take place in the lecture hall of the museum. Entrance is free and everybody is cordially invited!

A wide range of topics will be presented by team members working on various tasks within the project – fresh results from the fieldwork season 2016 on Sai Island including the GIS based documentation and 4D models, New Kingdom prosopography, aspects of the material culture and general thoughts on New Kingdom temple towns as well as new ideas about the New Kingdom landscape on Sai and data based on the micromorphological sampling programme will be discussed.

Looking much forward to this lecture day and to a reunion with fieldwork team members & friends of AcrossBorders!

Programme AcrossBorders Study-day1

Nehi and Hornakht at Sai Island

Getting ready for the 8. Tagung zur ägyptischen Königsideologie in Budapest (12-14 May, 2016)!

Budka_Budapest 2016

I will speak on this occasion about “Constructing royal authority in New Kingdom towns in Nubia: some thoughts based on inscribed monuments from private residences”. The practice of decorating private residences with scenes of adoring the ruling king, represented by his cartouches, and with corresponding texts giving praise to the king is well attested in the New Kingdom. From the reign of Thutmose III onwards, there are examples from officials of various ranks and with diverse duties at sites located in both Egypt and Nubia. These scenes and texts—like other sources—clearly illustrate that for an Egyptian official, loyalty to the king was the key to general well-being and promotion. My paper will highlight a number of aspects of royal authority and its construction in the New Kingdom temple towns of Nubia, which were built on behalf of the living ruler within a “foreign” landscape.

One important aspect is that power of the king was embodied in Lower and Upper Nubia by the viceroy of Kush and his deputies. This can be nicely illustrated by finds from Sai Island, as I tried to show at the last Königsideologietagung in Prague. At Budapest, I will present new discoveries by AcrossBorders attesting to two well-known high officials:  viceroy Nehi under the reign of Thutmose III and deputy of Kush Hornakht under Ramesses II.

SAV1E 2326 (thumbnail)Among the numerous clay sealings from feature 15, there is also one piece (SAV1E 2326), which gives the name and a specific title for Nehi.

Hornakht was already well attested from several door jambs and lintels found at Sai and Abri – but recent work in cemetery SAC5 allows reconstructing the pyramid tomb of this deputy of Kush from the 19th Dynasty on Sai.

Budka_Budapest HornakhtAll in all, I will propose some new thoughts on the perception of the power of Egyptian kingship in New Kingdom Nubia – looking much forward to feedback and discussions and of course to all of the other papers at the Königstagung in Budapest!

The 10th ICAANE in Vienna

The 10th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna was officially opened today! A large variety of lectures, workshops and papers all dedicated to various aspects of archaeology in the Near East will keep us busy in the next days.

Highlights will be, among others, a kick-off workshop of the ERC Advanced Grant by Manfred Bietak, “The Hyksos Enigma” and keynote lectures on the current status of archaeological research in the Near East considering the present political situation and respective challenges, especially the preservation of cultural heritage.

Budka ICAANE titleMy own paper is part of the section 4 “Landscapes & Settlement Patterns”. I will talk about “The urban landscape of Upper Nubia (Northern Sudan) in the Second Millennium BCE”. Based on the fresh data from AcrossBorders’ ongoing excavations on Sai Island, this paper presents the current state of knowledge regarding the evolution of the pharaonic town on Sai and its role in the urban landscape of New Kingdom Kush. The question whether Upper Nubian sites contribute to our understanding of Egyptian urbanism in general will be addressed as well.

AcrossBorders 2016: the upcoming fieldwork season

Bild10In a few days, the first group of team members of AcrossBorders will be on the way back to Sudan. We will travel via Khartoum to Sai Island and will start our fourth season on January 1 (insha’allah). As in the previous seasons, AcrossBorders will focus on the New Kingdom remains on the large island of Sai. We plan to work in different sectors within the town area and to continue work in the New Kingdom cemetery SAC5, excavating tomb 26.

I am very happy that well-known team members will join us again – Martin Fera, Jördis Vieth and Sayantani Neogi. Other core team members, Sean Taylor, Vanessa Becker and Daniela Penzer, joined AcrossBorders in 2015 and will be travelling to Sai for the first time in the upcoming season. The object registration will be again in the hands of Kenneth Griffin and Meg Gundlach. Klara Sauter from Vienna will be working for the first time in Sudan, supporting the fieldwork in SAV1 West.

I am delighted that there are several newcomers from Munich joining AcrossBorders as student assistants: Bartlin Schöpflin, Adrian de Vries, Cajetan Geiger, Michaela Janker and Lucia Sedlakova. Furthermore, I am very happy to welcome Dietrich Klemm and Rosemarie Klemm – distinguished colleagues from Munich and well-known specialists on the geology of Egypt and Nubia.

Last but not least, the FWF START project will be again represented by Austrian physical anthropologists – Andrea Stadlmayr and Marlies Wohlschlager are more than keen on the prospects excavating the burial chamber of tomb 26.

Most important: our dear friend and colleague Huda Magzoub will join us again as inspector of NCAM – helping us in the field and gaining more experience in New Kingdom archaeology.

As in 2015, the 2016 fieldwork will focus on the continuous excavation at SAV1 East and SAV1 West, the excavation of our newly discovered tomb in cemetery SAC 5 and the documentation of already excavated material from SAV1E and SAV1W (sorting and recording of the material in the courtyard and working room).

SAV1 East

It is planned to continue and hopefully to complete fieldwork on the site SAV1 East. The remains pre-dating the Building A in the southern part of the site have to be investigated in detail, especially to establish an absolute date for them. For this we will extend our excavation trenches towards the south and especially towards the west.

SAV1 West

The interesting results from fieldwork in a site to the west of the Pharaonic town, labelled SAV1 West, from 2014 and 2015 allow us to continue focused work there. There are 3 major aims for 2016: 1) investigating the ditch in front of the enclosure wall; 2) complete excavation of the 18th Dynasty structures in trench 1S; 3) extending trench 1 towards the east in order to investigate the building horizon within the town.

We will also continue the investigation of the ancient landscape of Sai – and plan to take several sets of sample for various types of scientific analysis.

Without doubt another busy season is waiting for us – with a team of both experienced scholars and newcomers and thanks to all of the support by our Sudanese friends and colleagues, I am more than confident that the results will be amazing and the 2016 season productive – providing more food for thoughts on the nature of the New Kingdom occupation on Sai Island.

Looking much forward to travel to Sudan and wishing all team members & friends of AcrossBorders very happy holidays and a perfect start into 2016!

“Settlement patterns in Egypt & Nubia”: Workshop in Munich, 29-30 June

AcrossBorders focuses on settlement patterns in Egypt and Upper Nubia in the 2nd Millennium BC – various interactions and mutual influen­ces are attested for these regions which are situated across ancient (Phara­­onic Egypt and Kingdom of Kush) and modern (Egypt and Sudan) borders with diverse environmental and cultural pre­­cond­itions. Much progress has been made in Egyptian and Nubian settlement archaeology in recent years, but further research addressing general aspects of living conditions and the specific coexistence of Egyptians and Nubians is required. Of chief interest are the architecture and structure of the Egyptian towns established in Upper Nubia during the New Kingdom, their social stratification, the local relations of Nubians and Egyptians and the specific material culture.

To provide a platform for the scientific exchange and discussion of ongoing research, AcrossBorders will hold a workshop at the end of June. Thanks to the kind support by my colleagues in the Egyptian Museum Munich, the event will take place in the museum. Bringing together all of AcrossBorders’ cooperation partners and other distinguished colleagues working on settlement sites in Egypt and Nubia, the upcoming 2-day workshop in Munich will focus on recent fieldwork at key sites like Elephantine, Amara West, Sesebi and Sai Island. Diverse evidence and new findings relevant for establishing standards of living at the respective towns will be discussed. The programme comprises a range of interesting topics, covering a time span from the Neolithic period to the New Kingdom and introducing current research from Bubastis in the North to Kerma in the South.

Budka Summary titlePresentations about Sai by AcrossBorders researchers will start the event: Giving an overview of three field seasons, I will present, among others, feature 15 and its implications for understanding the evolution of the fortified town of Sai. Ingrid Adenstedt will show her latest results working on the town map of Sai. Area SAV1 North is the focus of the research conducted by Florence Doyen. Giulia D’Ercole and Johannes Sterba will cross the bridge from Prehistory to the New Kingdom and show some of their results of iNAA on ceramics from Sai.

I am especially delighted that Charles Bonnet and Dominique Valbelle will join us for the workshop – the highlight of the event will be an evening lecture by Dominique Valbelle on Tuesday evening. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception at the Institute for Egyptology.

Looking much forward welcoming all colleagues and discussing settlement archaeology here in Munich!

AcrossBorders 2015: the fieldwork season approaches

In a few days, the first group of team members of AcrossBorders will be on the way back to Sudan. We will travel via Khartoum to Sai Island and will start our third season on January 1 (insha’allah). As in the previous seasons, AcrossBorders will focus on the New Kingdom on the large island of Sai. We plan to work in different sectors within the town area and to renew work in the New Kingdom cemetery SAC5.

The 2015 fieldwork will concentrate on the continuous excavation at SAV1E and SAV1W in the New Kingdom town, the new excavation of presumed tombs in cemetery SAC 5 and the documentation of already excavated material from SAV1N, SAV1E and SAV1W (sorting and recording of the material in the courtyard and working room).

One of the main goals of the project is to improve our under­standing of the population on the island and to explore the nature of the coexistence of Egyptians and Nubians. A comparison between the material culture from the Egyptian style cemetery and the Egyptian town will be highly relevant in this respect; human remains will offer multiple aspects for analytical research, especially for studies of biological identities.

SAV1 East

Continued fieldwork in the site to the east of the Pharaonic town, labelled SAV1E, investigated for the first time in 2013, is planned for 2015. The orthogonal structure called “Building A” was largely exposed; we aim to finish the complete excavation of this important complex of the mid-18th Dynasty. Contemporaneous to the excavations, the pottery will be studied.

SAI_1887SAV1 West

New fieldwork in a site to the west of the Pharaonic town, labelled SAV1W, was started in 2014. The western enclosure wall was traced in two squares and brick work datable to the 18th Dynasty exposed. Very promising New Kingdom deposits have been noticed within the town, to the east of the enclosure wall – several phases for these structures are visible in sections of Post-Pharaonic pits. This interesting area of 18th Dynasty occupation will be the focus of the 2015 season. Contemporaneous to the excavations, the pottery will be studied. Work will also focus on a detailed study of the stone tools from SAV1W by Silvia Prell.

Sector SAV1 West.

Sector SAV1 West.

SAC 5

In 2011, a geophysical survey was conducted in the area of the most important New Kingdom cemetery of Sai, SAC5 to the South of the Pharaonic town. We plan to excavate unexplored tombs visible on the magnetometric map of the cemetery, starting with the surroundings of tombs 14 and 15 in the southern part of the cemetery. Our work will include besides the study of the architecture, finds and human remains Structure-From-Motion techniques to create a 3D model of the cemetery and especially of the newly exposed tombs.

The New Kingdom cemetery SAC 5 to the south of the Pharaonic town (view from the north).

The New Kingdom cemetery SAC 5 to the south of the Pharaonic town (view from the north).

I am especially happy that Florence Thill (Lille University) will join us during the excavations in the cemetery and will offer her expertise based on her previous work in SAC 5.

Other tasks

This year, the team will be strengthened by two geoarchaeologists, Miranda Semple and Sayantani Neogi. They will build upon the geological survey conducted in 2014 and will focus on questions of the location and nature of the ancient harbour and the ancient stone quarries. Furthermore, they will collect samples to investigate the micromorphology of the Pharaonic town, focusing on formation processes and cultural activities. It is planned that they will compare the different excavation areas (SAV1N, SAV1W and SAV1E as well as SAV1) to each other. Environmental and climatic settings and changes during the New Kingdom will be focal points in the next years – being investigated by surveying, drilling and test pits.

Furthermore, I am very happy to welcome Frits Heinrich (archaeobotanist) and Jaime van der Heul from Groningen University as external experts – they will conduct archaeobotanical research and will take relevant samples in different areas of the town.

Without doubt another busy season is waiting for us – with renewed work in the cemetery, there will be fresh challenges and for sure a lot of new material. Thanks to all of the support by our Sudanese friends and colleagues and of course due to the joint efforts of all team members, I am more than confident that the results will be amazing and the 2015 season again very productive and highly interesting.

Looking much forward to travel to Sudan and wishing all team members & friends of AcrossBorders very happy holidays and a perfect start into 2015!

New Year Sai

Update of the research on the so-called temple towns in New Kingdom Nubia

In the last few months I was very busy with the review of the literature so far published  concerning especially the New Kingdom architectural remains which the Egyptians left on their way from north to south during the so-called conquest of Nubia and afterwards.

I commenced this task from a chronological point of view: with the “reoccupation” of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom fortresses between the First and Second Cataract. The common sense in Egyptological publications is that the Egyptians reused the Middle Kingdom fortresses such as e.g. Kuban, Ikkur, Aniba, Uronarti and Semna as staging posts at the beginning of the conquest and afterwards also as residential areas sometimes with the feature of an newly built Egyptian stone temple (säve-söderbergh 1941; Trigger 1976); Adams 1977; Bard 2007; Heidorn 1999). One point of the thesis is to clarify whether these fortress settlements played a role in the development of the temple towns as kind of ancestors or if the latter is a peculiar type of settlement specific for New Kingdom Nubia.

Studying relevant publications it became clear that the evidence of the so often mentioned reoccupation and renovation of the forts in the New Kingdom is rather hard to find. Also the meaning and usage of this obviously exchangeable description of reusing of the forts attracted my attention. It is not in any case clear if the authors really differentiate in general between undertaken renovation in the course of the reoccupation or the restoration of the defensive fortifications (e.g. Emery 1965; Trigger 1976; Adams 1977; Bard, 2007; Heidorn 1999). Of course it makes a difference concerning the nature of the settlement to speak of reoccupied or refortified settlements. Thus I searched intensively in the old excavation reports and publications for any hint of New Kingdom construction activity in the Middle Kingdom forts (like Emery & Kirwan 1935; Steindorff 1937; Randall-MacIver & Woolley 1911; Emery etal. 1979; Dunham & Janssen 1960; Dunham 1967). But unfortunately in most cases there is only little building activity or material post-dating the Middle Kingdom mentioned, because the main focus lies on the primary architecture and remains. Another issue in this respect is in general the dating of the late Middle Kingdom and/orSecond Intermediate Period material: it still remains unclear whether some of the fortresses have been still occupied during the Intermediate Period or not.

What I can say by now is that serious reconstruction and restoration of the fortifications only took place at Aniba and Buhen, where it is proofed by archaeological evidence. In contrast, because of absence of archaeological evidence, Semna seems not to have been refortified as always stated in the literature (Reisner 1929a; Säve-Söderbergh 1941; Adams 1977; Bard 2007; Heidorn), but indeed reoccupied, attested by the presence of a New Kingdom temple and cemetery (Reisner 1929b; Dunham & Janssen 1960). Another observation I made concerns the fortress of Askut near the Second Cataract. Excavation work was conducted there in the 1960ies by Badawy and the excavated material was reinvestigated by S. T. Smith in the 1990ies (Badawy 1964; Badawy 1968; Smith 1995; Smith 2003). They plausible ascertained a New Kingdom occupation phase at Askut, but still this fortress is often neglected in general studies concerning the New Kingdom occupation phase in Nubia (e.g. Emery 1965; Trigger 1976; Adams 1977; Bard, 2007; Heidorn).

Further and detailed studies are necessary to give an answer to the development-issue of the temple towns and to the dating-issue of the maybe continuously settled or indeed reoccupied fortresses. But the fresh evaluation and reconsideration of the literature shows by now some interesting first results.

Bibliographie

Adams, W. Y. 1977      Nubia. Corridor to Africa, London.

Badawy, A. 1964      Preliminary report on the excavations by the University of California at Askut, Kush 12, 47–56.

Badawy, A. M. 1968      A history of Egyptian Architecture. The Empire (the New Kingdom), Berkely.

Bard, K. A. 2007      An introduction to the archaeology of Ancient Egypt, Malden, Mass.

Dunham, D. 1967      Uronarti, Shalfak, Mirgissa: excavated by George Andrew Reisner and Noel F. Wheeler, Second cataract forts 2, Boston.

Dunham, D. & Janssen, J. J. 1960      Semna, Kumma, Second cataract forts 1, Boston.

Emery, W. B. 1965      Egypt in Nubia, London.

Emery, W. B. & Kirwan, L. P. 1935      The excavations and survey between Wadi es-Sebua and Adindan 1929 – 1931., Mission Archéologique de Nubie 1929 – 1934, Cairo.

Emery, W. B., Smith, H. S. & Millard, A. 1979      Excavations at Buhen. The archaeological report, Excavation memoir 49, London.

Heidorn, L. A. 1999      Nubian towns and temples, 579–583, in: Bard, K. A. & Shubert, S. B. (Hrsg.), Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt, London, New York.

Randall-MacIver, D. & Woolley, L. 1911      Buhen, Eckley B. Coxe Junior expedition to Nubia 7, Philadelphia.

Reisner, G. A. 1929a    Ancient Egyptian forts at Semna and Uronarti, Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts 27, 64–75.

Reisner, G. A. 1929b    Excavations at Semna and Uronarti, Sudan notes and records 12.

Säve-Söderbergh, T. 1941      Ägypten und Nubien: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte altägyptischer Aussenpolitik, Lund.

Smith, S. T. 1995      Askut in Nubia. The economics and ideology of Egyptian imperialism in the second millennium B.C, Studies in Egyptology, London, New York.

Smith, S. T. 2003      Wretched Kush. Ethnic identities and boundaries in Egypt’s Nubian empire, London, New York.

Steindorff, G. 1937      Aniba. Mission Archéologique de Nubie 1929 – 1934. 2, Glückstadt.

Trigger, B. 1976      Nubia under the pharaohs, Ancient peoples and places 85, London.

Crossing borders: from Egypt to Nubia

Remains of the ancient town in the southern part of Elephantine Island.

Remains of the ancient town in the southern part of Elephantine Island.

The importance of Elephantine as site with strategic value due to its location just north of the First Nile Cataract is well known. More than forty years of excavations by the joint German-Swiss mission have considerably increased our understanding of this beautiful island in Egypt’s South.

For a long period Elephantine functioned as base for Pharaonic expeditions to Nubia and as important trading point at Egypt’s southern border (cf., e.g., von Pilgrim 2010). With the so-called reconquest of Nubia, the Egyptian expansion towards the South during the 18th Dynasty, there was an increased demand for the transport of goods, materials and people to and from Upper and Lower Nubia. Elephantine flourished and gained significance during the early New Kingdom and especially in Thutmoside times.

Egyptian officials who participated in expedition and/or military campaigns towards the South had to pass through the First Cataract region. Obviously they spent some time there, at Aswan and Elephantine, before their departure to Nubia as hundreds of rock inscriptions attest (cf. Gasse/Rondot 2007; Seidlmayer 2003).

Further first hand testimony for the presence of these officials comes directly from the settlement of Elephantine – inscribed door jambs attest well-known individuals like viceroy Nehi. Of special interest is the context of these epigraphic sources: living conditions of people like Nehi traceable by the architecture and material culture. For the latter, ceramics are of high significance allowing reconstructing aspects of the daily life like food production and consumption and much more.

Within the framework of AcrossBorders, it is therefore of key importance that the 18th Dynasty pottery from Elephantine provides very close parallels to the corpus excavated at Sai (cf. Budka 2011). Within the next years, a detailed comparison of the two sites is planned and the ceramics form main elements of this study. This week, we just started our 2014 season of documenting and processing pottery at Elephantine thanks to our cooperation with the Swiss Institute Cairo and kindly supported by the German Archaeological Institute.

The focus is on material from the very early to the mid-18th Dynasty: Bauschicht/level 10 at Elephantine corresponds to levels 5-4 and the early phase of level 3 at Sai Island. Thanks to the stratigraphy at Elephantine, where several phases within one building from a certain building level are much better preserved than at Sai, a fine dating of the material from the earliest occupation at both sites seems possible in the near future.

Having just started to work with the material, the close comparisons are striking me once again: the main types of vessels are consistent at both sites and include carinated bowls and dishes, plates, footed bowls, stands, beakers and beer jars, cooking pots, storage jars, water jars as well as decorated jars and Nubian vessels.

Differences can be noted in small details – for example regarding the quantities of certain wares and fabrics or technical features of the finished vessels.  All in all, we have now a considerable amount of data and material and these are supporting my first assessment published in 2011: The comparison between the material from Sai and Elephantine and especially the imported Nile clay and Marl clay vessels at Sai suggest for at least part of the corpus a provenience from the First Cataract area illustrating the importance of Elephantine as trading point and for equipping expeditions and settlements located in the South (Budka 2011, 29) .

References

Budka 2011 = Julia Budka, The early New Kingdom at Sai Island: Preliminary results based on the pottery analysis (4th Season 2010), Sudan & Nubia 15, 23–33.

Gasse/Rondot 2007 = Annie Gasse and Vincent Rondot, Les inscriptions de Séhel, Cairo 2007.

von Pilgrim 2010 = Cornelius von Pilgrim, Elephantine – (Festungs-)Stadt am Ersten Katarakt, in Cities and Urbanism in Ancient Egypt, eds. Manfred Bietak, Ernst Cerny and Irene Forstner-Müller, Vienna 2010, 257–265.

Seidlmayer 2003 = Stephan J. Seidlmayer, New Rock Inscriptions on Elephantine Island, in Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century, Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists Cairo 2000, ed. Zahi Hawass, Vol. 1, Cairo 2003, 441–442.

 

Annual Egyptological Colloquium at the British Museum: Nubia in the New Kingdom

On our way to London: Giulia, Florence and me will be attending scientific events at the British Museum, organized by our British colleagues headed by Neal Spencer. In addition, Veronica Hinterhuber, much waited-for future collaborator of AcrossBorders, will also join us on this occasion from Berlin! And I am especially happy that Huda Magzoub, our inspector from NCAM, kindly accepted an invitation as well and is already waiting for us in London!

Tomorrow we will be busy with two informal workshops, bringing together scholars currently working on New Kingdom sites in Nubia as well as some other colleagues with specific expertise. Giulia will present our pottery samples and I will mainly focus on questions of the early development of Sai at the very beginning of the 18th Dynasty. Huda has prepared a presentation on some nice New Kingdom pot sherds from the Sudan National Museum’s collection, among them an amphora from Sai with an hieratic docket.

Thursday and Friday will be completely occupied by the two-day colloquium “Nubia in the New Kingdom: Lived experience, pharaonic control and local traditions” – a very rich programme focusing on new insights from the latest fieldwork at major settlements and cemeteries in Nubia. Elephantine, Aniba, Amara West, Sai, Sesebi, Dukki Gel, Tombos and other sites will be in the spotlight – temple architecture, settlements, tombs, statues, ceramics and other finds will illustrate the complex picture of the material culture and social identities at Egyptian sites in Nubia during the New Kingdom. Abstracts of the colloquium are available via the British Museum website!

New finds from recent excavations and old archives

Having just returned from London, I am still really excited – the SARS-colloquium yesterday offered a lot of new information and was extremely interesting! A splendid event thanks to both SARS and the British Museum!

Besides fantastic new work at Kawa, the Fifth Cataract and at Kurru (among others), the period of the New Kingdom was addressed in several papers. Our “neighbours” at Amara West offered impressive summaries of the 2013 fieldwork – Neal Spencer reported on the investigation of the town, Michaela Binder showed the highlights of work in the cemetery. Thanks to our visit to Amara back in February, we have seen some of the new features and unexpected finds in course of excavation. As on the site, I was especially fascinated by the newly discovered inscribed door lintels and door jambs – now also with a personal name and title! Congratulations on these important finds adding new information on the administration and history of Ramesside Upper Nubia!

One of the highlights was definitely the lecture by Hans-Åke Nordström – he reported on his major publication project of the last years, to be submitted for printing very soon: “The West Bank Survey of the 1960s. From Early Nubian to New Kingdom.” This is the first of a series of volume on the UNESCO-campaign undertaken in Lower Nubia – an analysis of the complete fieldnotes and records by the Scandinavian Joint Expedition which all have been collected in a large FileMaker database. Nordström presented the diachronic distribution of sites in the area surveyed more than 50 years ago – among them important A-group and Kerma sites, but also New Kingdom sites and here in particular tombs of various types. This new material, presented in a splendid overview and set into context, will be of major importance for comparison of current fieldwork.

Equally impressive was David Edwards’ paper – he gave an overview of “Pharaonic” Sites in the region of the Batn el-Hajjar, focusing on the 130 km from Gemai to Dal, surveyed by Tony Mills from 1963-1969. Edwards has carefully revisited the archives and fieldnotes of the work in the 1960s – they offer a lot of information, raise many questions and illustrate the rich potential of this early work. Edwards contextualised the location of major “Pharaonic” sites within the ancient landscape, especially referring to ancient goldmines, strategic and administrative values of fortresses. It was in particular striking that he could show how much an isolated perspective on “Pharaonic” sites can gain if we consider contemporaneous Nubian sites at the same time!

All in all, yesterday clearly illustrated how much is changing in Nubian archaeology with every new season of excavation, but also with careful (re)assessments of older excavations, archives and survey reports. It was especially stimulating that most of us working currently in Northern Sudan in the period of the Egyptian New Kingdom share similar thoughts and ideas on certain subjects – especially about the so-called “Colonisation” of Nubia, presumably much more complex than previously thought, an on proposed firm frontiers between “Nubian” and “Egyptian” in this region, not reflecting obviously the past reality. The New Kingdom in Nubia must have been a period of a highly interesting co-existence, a merging and also adaptation of different cultures – requiring a lot of future research to be assessed in more detail.