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Nubia

When the Society ceased excavation at Amarna in 1936, attention shifted to the northern Sudan where an expedition, directed first by Alyward Blackman and later by Herbert Walter Fairman, excavated the Egyptian town at Sesebi which was of the same date as the town at Amarna. In 1938 Fairman and the EES team moved north to another Egyptian town at Amara West. Both Sesebi and Amara were walled towns, containing temples dedicated to Egyptian gods.

The epigraphic recording of the temple of Amara West

The Second World War halted the excavations at Amara West and they were not resumed by Fairman until 1947. The final two seasons (1948-50) were directed by Peter Shinnie though the excavations remained largely unpublished until 1997. In 1957, when archaeological work was restricted in Egypt during the Suez crisis, the Society returned to the Sudan with an excavation, directed by Bryan Emery, at the site of Buhen where the ancient Egyptians had built impressive brick fortifications on their southern frontier.

Workers clearing sand from the dry moat of the Middle Kingdom fortress of Buhen

The building of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s led to the UNESCO campaign to save the monuments of Nubia and the Society extended its work to include the recording of the temples and shrines of Buhen, Semna, Kumma and Qasr Ibrim, all copied and published with meticulous care by Ricardo A Caminos (left). The sites of Buhen, Semna and Kumma are now lost beneath the waters of the new Lake Nasser behind the High Dam, but their remains have been published by the Society. 

The Society also took on the excavation of the fortress site of Qasr Ibrim which was also expected to be submerged but which actually survived as an island in the lake. The Society continued rescue archaeology at the site and on the nearby mainland until 2008, and publishing the results, and the recent decision to raise the level of the lake for the development of the Tushka region increased the danger to the archaeological levels of this important site, which was inhabited continuously from antiquity until the nineteenth century AD.

 

The Delta and Deir el-Bahari Tell el-Amarna
The Archaeological Survey Nubia
The Graeco-Roman Branch Saqqara and Memphis
Abydos and Armant Further information

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