“Sai: From Local to Regional” or “Adam Łajtar in Bergen”

This last weekend, Gdansk was hosting the annual meeting of Polish Nubiologists. One of them, however, decided to exchange for this time his country’s Nubiological environment with the one of Bergen! Adam Łajtar was the guest of the Greek Norwegian Mission and it is with nostalgic tones that this entry is composed, while the plane that takes Adam away from us is just departing…

This very honoring visit was of course not only an academic one; probably not even primarily! Many years of friendship have almost made it imperative that in every possible occasion and corner of the world we meet and enjoy the company of each other. This was the case for example with our excursion to the ocean on Sunday.

While acting like “cave dwellers” with access to super markets…

We “played experimental archaeology” to make our stay most pleasurable…

…and experienced the contrasts of the weather of western Norway each in one’s own way…

And then on Monday we woke up in an almost white Bergen, contrasting both with the state of being of things still reminiscent of the summer activities (that is shrimps and white wine on the veranda, upon Adam’s arrival on Saturday!)…

…and with the Sudanese aura that we wanted to bring to the north!

The outcome for our small discipline was as refreshing as it can get though, since all three contributions of the day dedicated to Sai and its region gave new insights – we believe – to the world of Christian Nubia:

We tried to make (some) sense of the inscriptions from Medieval Sai, both graffiti, stelae, and inscribed pottery, integrating these finds in a complex underastanding of the way scripture may have been functioning in the Christian states ruling over Nubia in the Middle Ages.

We presented GNM’s ways of protecting and promoting a site that has carried to the present the symbols of its power in the past, while revisiting through our open area style digging the questions of its character in the frame of the identifications of the base(s) of (ecclesiastical) authority when the island was a bishopric of Makuria/Dotawo.

We reevaluated our knowledge of the details of the history of Christian Nubia, by focusing on the identification of possible regions, districts, and subdivisions of a larger realm, whose patterns of continuity and change still underline the “Nubian experience” today – or in a very recent yesterday.

This last part was referring mainly to the presentation by Adam (inspired by earlier publications of professor emeritus at the University of Bergen, Tomas Hägg, who honored us with his presence in our seminary).
We expressed in first person plural forms these insights that the Sai May Day in Bergen offered, not in order to incorporate them arbitrarily to the GNM’s contributions, but because Adam is indeed one of us, in mind, spirit, and heart!

This entry was posted in Norway, Sai Island. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.