The Mission’s Goals
Origin of the City
The mission’s first goal is to develop a scientific study of the Kerma region, particularly of the urbanisation process in this central area of Nubia. Each year, excavations are conducted at several prehistoric and historic sites.
Research at Epipalaeolithic, Neolithic, Pre-Kerma and Kerma sites allow us to develop scenarios involving social and economic transformations that took place during the millennia and eventually lead to the development of the Kingdom of Kush. Sedentary lifestyle, livestock farming, agriculture, population growth, social disparity and the birth of the first cities are all essential elements in the understanding of dynamics of the Kerma region.
Protection of Cultural Heritage
The mission also participates in the protection of the most important remains in the region, notably those of cities of Kerma and Dukki Gel, where were discovered the statues of the “Black Pharaohs.” These sites necessitate important conservation work in order to make them accessible to the public and preserve them for future generations. The goal of the Kerma Museum is to present to a wide audience the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Site Specific Goals
Dukki Gel : The goal is to understand the planning and the development of the religious quarter as well as the evolution of the fortification system that surrounds it. The study of this site allows the reconstruction of the different stages of the Egyptian conquest and the transition between the fall of the Kingdom of Kerma and the New Kingdom. It also helps understand the city’s development during the Napatan and Meroitic periods (8th century B.C. – 4th century A.D.).
City of Kerma : Various scientific analyses conducted after the excavation of the city, completed in 2002, enabled the understanding of the urbanisation process of the Kingdom of Kush. A book reconstructing the city’s history is currently in preparation.
Eastern Cemetery of Kerma : The renewed excavations of the Early Kerma, located in the northern area of the necropolis, have for goal the understanding of the kingdom’s origins and its relations with the C-Group. It shall also contribute to our understanding of the workings of an entirely excavated sector as well as allow the completion of the general catalogue of the necropolis, currently in preparation.
Pre-Kerma : Excavations will continue in order to trace the enclosure wall, which reveals the extent of the agglomeration. Surveys within the cemetery as well as in the region will enable the identification of settlements and burials linked to this culture.
El-Barga : Excavations were concluded in January 2008. The goal is now to publish the Epipalaeolithic hut as well as the Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic cemeteries.
Wadi El-Arab : The goal is to study the settlement dynamics of the region at the onset of the Holocene. The deposit’s main feature is its series of stratified occupations that span two millennia (8200-6200 B.C.). This site also reveals important information concerning the origins of pastoralism in Africa.
Busharia : The site’s main interest is its date and the fact that its contains ceramics. Indeed, it is the oldest pottery production known in Sudan (8300 B.C.). Extending the excavation area shall provide more information regarding this context and the possible relations with contemporaneous Saharan pottery.