This is the first entry to the blog for the promotion of the study of the Medieval period of the Island of Sai in the Sudan.
It is an idea and a realization of Alexandros and Henriette, sharing a life between Norway and Greece.
They are the agents of the Greek-Norwegian Mission to the Sudan (GNM) working on Sai under the most hospitable auspices of the Sai Island Archaeological Mission, University Charles-de-Gaulle – Lille 3, France, and the National Corporation of Antiquities and Museums, Sudan.
Let’s start with some basic info on Sai:
It lies c. 170 km. south of the border between Egypt and the Sudan. Closest towns are Abri to the north and Delgo to the south.
The island is 5.5 km. wide and 12 km. long; it is thus the second largest island on the Nile (the first one is Mograt much upstream, opposite Aby Hamed).
Sai has a central mountain, called Jebel Adou, against which the island was formed by the silt of the river.
The jebel slopes down to the river banks through gravel plains, fine traditional villages, and cultivation zones, sometimes ending to sandy beaches…
It has preserved traces of human occupation from the Old Stone Age, through the first African state of Bronze Age Kerma culture, down to the Pharaonic conquest, the Kushite kingdoms of Napata and Meroe, and until it became one of the seven (?) bishoprics of Medieval Nubia.
In post-Medieval times, it hosted within the ancient pharaonic fortress the southernmost fortress of the Ottoman Empire! Then, Sai belonged to the sanjak of Qasr Ibrim.
Later, the Nubians of Sai were integrated into the Islamic Republic of the Sudan…