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Sudan – Italo-Russian archaeological mission “sets an example”

The discoveries made by an Italo-Russian archaeological mission in the Abu Erteila site in Sudan have aroused great interest. The mission at the site, about 200 kilometres north of Khartoum, is headed by Professor Eugenio Fantusati of the Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East (IsMEO). Among the finds, of particular significance is a stand for a sacred boat engraved with inscriptions which are currently being deciphered and should contribute to better understand the history of the site but also more generally of the Meroitic world and its relationship with the nearby Egyptian civilisation. The temple grounds have unveiled findings that help to better typify the building, increasing and enriching the discoveries of previous expeditions. Indeed, the archaeologists discovered a number of scrolls with Egyptian hieroglyphics in the ruins of a temple, which was probably destroyed by fire. The scrolls mention King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore, who ruled in the golden age of Meroitic civilisation which developed along the Nile and played a very important international role.

Khartoum could host an exhibition next autumn

News of the discovery has toured the world, appearing on news agency releases, in magazines and on specialised websites, translated into many languages. The prestige of the Abu Erteila site has thus grown and the remains of the temple on which the mission has been working for eight years fully rank among the most interesting finds of contemporary Nubian archaeology. To highlight the discovery, the Italian Embassy in Khartoum and the Sudanese authorities are planning to hold an exhibition in the capital in the autumn. The director of the National Museum of Khartoum, who also runs the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM), not only expressed great gratitude and appreciation for Italian activities in Sudan, but also his willingness to work in making the event a success.