Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Archaeology of Kurkur Oasis, Nuq‘ Maneih, and the Sinn el-Kiddab

Yale Egyptological Institue in Egypt

By John Coleman Darnell and Deborah Darnell

Nearly one hundred years ago, Arthur Weigall was inspired by the excursions of Harkhuf, the Old Kingdom official who made at least four trips deep into the Western Desert to contact and “pacify” various Libo-Nubian groups, opening up a road to the south. Although Weigall wrote vividly of the routes leading from Aswan across and beneath the Sinn el-Kiddab plateau, accessing the region of the Second Cataract and points beyond,2 his invitation to visitors to leave the attractions of Aswan for the roads of the southwest has attracted relatively few archaeologists and Egyptologists.

The Yale Toshka Desert Survey represents the first investigation devoted to assessing the presence and extent of evidence for activity in the small oasis of Kurkur (Figure 1) during the Predynastic and Pharaonic periods. During the Nubian Salvage Campaign of the 1960’s, an earlier Yale expedition studied Kurkur for about five days; although the expedition achieved considerable results of a geological and climatological nature, its archaeological observations were more modest, and are known only through a number of preliminary reports. Hester and Hobler published some additional archaeological material from Kurkur, as part of an expedition covering a larger area of the Sinn el-Kiddab and its western hinterland.

See the above page for more.

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