Traces on the Snow

Can we actually measure the passing time in definite terms?

For the time of our blog, it surely makes no big difference if the last entry was three weeks ago, more or less… or if the entry, of which we follow up some content, was written on the Equinox while we are now well into winter time…

It all concerns the carvings on the Medieval port site identified by the GNM on the island of Sai.
Does it make any sense that what we will be writing today about happened 9 months ago? Perhaps only for those who follow the life of the agents of GNM from close than through the blogs. But all stories must have a starting point, and ours is the tracing of the graffiti on that port site…

After the actual job of tracing these graffiti was implemented, the time came that the data collected needed to be studied. Following Henriette’s idea, we decided to profit from the privileged condition of owning a veranda on the second floor overlooking a backyard open area…

A fixed and high enough distance from the ground proved an excellent prerequisite for the good quality of the shots taken. The stability of space did not prevent the autumn weather of Bergen, however, from altering the surrounding conditions to the extreme, just in the time-lapse of some hours between the two shots!!!

In any case, now we can zoom in these vertical shots and trace the panels in details through an editing software and using the last gadget acquired by the GNM funds, a Wacom Intuos graphic tablet!

How much better results will one get after this digitalization is completed, we will only show in the final publication of our Medieval Sai Project. For the time being, just some comments on the specific graffito, after discussing it with our friend and colleague Mohamed Faroug Abdelrahman who deciphered the name of the person commemorated as Elzein Mehi Eldin Wardi.

We had ourselves already seen the date in the last line of the stela-like graffito, which reads : 1354, obviously of the Hijra chronology. This means 1934/1935 of the Common Era.

But who can this Wardi man be, surely a local since the name is originating from the Halfa region?

And what was the purpose of this carving and the relation to the rest of the graffiti at that site, which are of seemingly Medieval date due to their Christian character? Can it all be considered a result of the collective memory of Nubians, nowhere else more eloquently expressed than in the painted decorations of local houses?

Sometimes, even the exact definition of time is not enough for the decipherment of the historical reality…

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4 Responses to Traces on the Snow

  1. Pingback: Grafito en la isla de Sai (Sudán):¿ « El Grafito Histórico

    • ergamenis says:

      Thanks for the link!
      In due time you will find more interesting things around…
      But in the meantime, let us remind you that the reading was accomplished with the help of our friend and colleague Mohamed Farouq Abdelrahman.

  2. chirine nour says:

    the photos of this post make me think more about an art happening than a scientific mission!!!;-)
    nice and interesting as usual!!!

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