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Archeological missions


Archeological missions


In the picture, the archeological mission in Abu Erteila


Thanks to a close collaboration with the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) and to intense synergies with local academia, Italy plays a fundamental role in the preservation of the Sudanese archeological heritage, through 5 Italian archeological missions benefitting from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ funds. The missions are:

  •  Università Ca’ Foscari mission in the Jebel Barkal area, headed by prof. Emanuele Ciampini. The Università Ca’ Foscari retains a historical presence in Sudan and has made a rich contribution in the classification and archeological inquiry of the Meroitic Era, bringing to light not only the remains of votive temples of the area but being also able, lately, to uncover the lifestyle and the level of technological development of northern Sudanese populations at that time:
  •  Associazione Internazionale di Studi sul Mediterraneo e l’Oriente (ISMEO) mission in Abu Erteila, headed by prof. Eugenio Fantusati. This mission inquires, in a collaboration with Russian archeologists, on the palace complex situated there, managing to obtain very important findings which echoed on international media;
  •  Università di Napoli “l’Orientale” and ISMEO mission in the Kassala zone, headed by prof. Andrea Manzo. Aside its important scientific results, this mission found a consistent appreciation by local authorities thanks to its training activities carried out in cooperation with NCAM. This eventually created a remarkable demand of training for Sudanese archeologists and spurred the idea of eventually create a Museum depicting the historic-cultural development of the region;
  •  Centro Studi Sudanesi e Subsahariani mission in the mesolitic village and cemetery of Al-Khiday, headed by prof. Donatella Usai. Through a fruitful collaboration with experts from other disciplines as well as the employment of advanced techniques, this mission allowed for important progress in understanding the cultural evolution of societies living in that area (not far from Khartoum);
  •  Università di Napoli “l’Orientale” mission entitled “Progetto Nilo”, headed by prof. Chiara Zazzaro. This mission applies etnological and etno-archeological techniques to the study of traditional watercrafts used along the Nile and of the people still using such boats nowadays for fishing. The aim of the project is to understand, protect and preserve ancient techniques of building that go back to pharaohs times.

Furthermore, the mission of Istituto Superiore per Ia Conservazione ed il Restauro di Roma (ISCR) in Jebel Barkal should be added to the list, since it is focussed on the restauration and preservation of the Mut temple. Headed by prof. Maria Concetta Laurenti, this mission – counting also on a close relationship with NCAM – has been successful in bringing to light paintings of the meroitic era and in taking care of the temple.