After the London conference

This entry has the ambition to open a new year of activities through our Internet space, as well as to offer a brief insight into what happened in the days that saw our sky views change from this…

…to that…

We will not start writing of course about the results of the sports’ events that occupied good part of our thoughts in June, despite the fact that in a blog like this many things about the African teams’ performances in that first African World Cup could be said…

But we will not resist the temptation of sharing this photo from the Nuba Mountains shot by our friends from Salzburg, Clemens and Karin Scheidhammer, who visited us last week in Bergen – perhaps the easiest in their list of difficult destinations, like the last one to Chad.

We had another visit linked to Sudan in our northern home, that of Abu Hani and Agathe. It was nice to walk in the mountains of Hordaland with those whose path had passed from Sai this winter, just before we arrived there for the 2010 season, offering us the first post office experience on the beloved island!

Back to the Sudanological reality now, we only wished to make some short comments about the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies held at the British Museum in London between the 2nd and the 6th of August, an event that brought together in various academic and social instances all the agents of Sudan archaeology.

The first of our comments concerns one of the interesting aspects of this photo, shot by our renown collaborator Dr. Dobrochna Zielinska (djinkuye auntie, also for the rest of the photos;-) after thorough discussion of the “concept” with Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin :

Egyptology seems to be gaining anew the perspectives of research in ancient Sudan. Is it not an eloquent example of this tendency the voting of an Egyptologist as President of the Society for Nubian Studies!?! No matter what, alfi mabruk to Vincent ☺

Then, there was of course the intensity of the program that we were struggling to follow, since the four parallel sessions were organized in a chronological order, thus preventing both the interested audience from attending the maximum possible of the topics close to their specialty, but also misbalancing this audience in choices between the big old names and the new promising figures… We certainly preferred the latter and are of course grateful for the special company of some: zapraszamy domu Obłuskis!

Moreover, it is only natural to highlight the presentation by Henriette who dedicated her paper with the interesting topic visible on the photo to her professor at the University of Bergen, Randi Haaland.

Close to this, the presence of more Sudanese researchers than ever before is most praiseworthy. This photo is from the talk of Ikhlass Abdel Atif, senior curator in the Sudan National Museum and specialist of the Bronze Age too, who delivered a paper representative of the potential of research in the Sudanese heartlands.

Could it be that sooner than later we would see our discipline enlarging its nominative horizons and encompassing the whole stretch of the Middle and Central Nile, if not the entire Sudan? More about that in a paper soon to be published in the Journal of Oriental and African Studies…

Another publication to be sent to print to Beiträge zur Sudanforchung sooner than later is our overview of the knowledge about the Medieval period on Sai Island, the subject of our Internet space as well as of a presentation during the afternoon sessions of the BM conference.

We are happy and proud that our talk – given in the afternoon of Thursday the 5th of August – has added important data to the emptiest of pages among the ones dedicated to The Churches of Nobadia, in the newest publication of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society (number 17, 2009)…
Thus, what is written by the author, W.Y. Adams, in p. 61 is the following:

“The existence of an episcopate at Sai Island is well attested historically. However, the only visible remnants of a cathedral are four monolithic granite columns, rising from a featureless, rubble-strewn plain (Pl. 2.11). A century ago, tree of them were standing upright, and retained in situ their ornate carved capitals. The fourth, also intact, was leaning at a precarious angle (Monneret de Villard 1935, pl. XCVII).”

As another tangible proof that there has been activity in the century that has passed, beyond Derek Welsby’s visit and photographing of the site with some local men and donkeys (as can be seen in this Pl. 2.11), we add here our own contribution to this span of time between the years even before Monneret…

We would very much like to make more comments concerning the content of other talks, the discussions on the future of our discipline, the politics involved with its administration and its intervention in the present-day reality of the land that we dig and search its historical roots. But as the Society wishes to have it in its practice, so let it be – for the time being:

We see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, but only wish to You all: Ramadan Kareem!!!

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