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VIRTUAL - Sifting Sand in Sudan: New Light on Life and Death in Ancient Nubia

April 25, 2021 @ 3:00 pm EDT Eastern Time

This is an online event.

AIA Society: Staten Island

Lecturer: Brenda Baker

The Bioarchaeology of Nubia Expedition (BONE) project area lies between the fourth and fifth cataracts of the Nile River in northern Sudan, covering an area nearly 100 m2. Fieldwork and lab research have documented sites as old as the Early (>250,000 years ago) and Middle Stone Age. Work has emphasized habitation, rock art/gong, and cemetery sites dating from the Mesolithic to Christian periods in the eastern portion of the project area. Spatial and contextual relationships between archaeological sites and the natural environment are examined, particularly among clusters of Kerma period graves (c. 2500-1500 B.C.) and for Post-Meroitic fortifications and cemeteries (c. 350-550 A.D.) within a broader region. This research provides insight into people’s adaptations to the environment and ties to core areas of state societies through time. Grave architecture and treatment of the dead show variable local practices but inclusion of imported grave goods reveals integration into far-flung trade networks from the Kerma through Christian (c. AD 550-1400) periods.  Persistence of local traditions, spatial and social organization of cemeteries, and distinct identities marked in life (e.g., dental avulsion) or death (e.g., interment with archery equipment) illuminate new aspects of ancient Nubian mortuary behavior and identity.  Additionally, indicators of residential mobility, diet, and disease in the skeletons reveal shifting patterns of subsistence and the life histories of specific individuals in different eras.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Baker, Brenda J. 2014. Tracking Transitions in the Fourth Cataract Region of el-Ginefab:  Results of the Arizona State University Fieldwork, 2007-2009.  In The Fourth Cataract and Beyond: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies, edited by Julie R. Anderson and Derek A. Welsby, pp. 841-855.  British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan 1. Peeters, Leuven.

Baker, Brenda J., and Sarah M. Schellinger. 2017. The Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project–Fourth Cataract. Preliminary investigation of a recently discovered fort in the ASU BONE concession near el-Qinifab, Sudan. Sudan & Nubia 21:169-176.

Kleinitz, Cornelia, Rupert Till, and Brenda J. Baker. 2015. The Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project–Archaeology and acoustics of rock gongs in the ASU BONE concession above the Fourth Nile Cataract, Sudan: A preliminary report.  Sudan & Nubia 19:106-114.

English Lecture

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Dr. Peter Russo


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