Gold working and quarrying in Nubia – some new perspectives

One of the aims of this season was a detailed check of the quarries on Sai Island, especially research on the nice „white sandstone from Shaat“, as the Egyptians called the building materials in inscriptions in Kumma and Semna. Another perspective connecting to raw materials was the question of ancient  goldworking in the region of Sai.

For both questions, two distinguished colleagues from Munich joined us as external expert: Dietrich and Rosemarie Klemm are well known in Egyptology and Sudanarchaeology as specialist for gold and quarries in Egypt and Nubia. Their recent publication (Gold and gold mining in Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Geoarchaeology of the ancient gold mining sites in the Egyptian and Sudanese Eastern deserts. Heidelberg; New York; Dordrecht; London 2013) – is extremely useful for all of us working in Upper Nubia where the “gold of Kush” was of such a high importance.


I am very grateful that they agreed to join AcrossBorders for 1 week in the field – their rich input for the project and the tremendous knowledge we were lucky to experience and share during these days cannot be put in words! Our understanding of the sandstone quarries on Sai is now much advanced.

We also managed to organize an excursion to Gorgod, a site north of Sesebi. There are a number of simple stone huts – together with grindstone fragments and modern gold mining activities, these might indeed be seen in connection with gold exploitation of Post-New Kingdom date. On the way to Gorgod, we passed several modern gold mining camps – again a very useful experience to all of us.

The AcrossBorders team with Dietrich and Rosemarie Klemm at Gorgod in the Third Cataract region.

The AcrossBorders team with Dietrich and Rosemarie Klemm at Gorgod in the Third Cataract region.

Dietrich and Rosemarie Klemm have left Sai Island today – on behalf of my team I would like to express my sincere gratitude – their contribution and stay with us will be held in highest regards!

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