Ten days have passed since Henriette gave a lecture on “The Nile in the 21st century”, in a venue organized by the Norwegian Egyptological Society at the Gallery of Egyptian Antiquities of the Bergen Museum.
The lecture summarized in Norwegian the ethical implications of salvage archaeology and dam building, where the future of traditional societies are at risk, as Henriette discussed in detail in her recent publication in the Journal of Social Archaeology.
Moreover, an update on the geopolitical interests in play between the countries of the entire Nile Basin, and the current plans for further dams by Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda were brought forward, in order to update an audience that showed sincere interest in the topic in the discussion that followed.
The Egyptian gallery of the Bergen Museum is not unfamiliar with Sudan archaeology. In one of its showcases, a very important find from Central Sudan, discovered by professor emeritus at the University of Bergen Randi Haaland, is also displayed (we’d like thank the administration of the museum for the permission to publish here these photos).
It concerns a large piece of a Mesolithic pot from Sudan, which was one of the first places in the world where pottery was invented. The cultural significance of pots has often been discussed academically by Haaland – two of the latest examples are the articles Ancient Nubia – a Culinary Cross-Road between Africa and the Near East in Mahmoud Salih’s festschrift, Connecting South and North, and Porridge and Pot, Bread and Oven in Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
And this is not all: the first possessions of the Egyptological collection of Bergen were a gift by a Greek merchant from 19th century Alexandria, Giovanni Anastasi, who was the consul in Egypt for Sweden and Norway, in the period from 1828 to 1857. A particular case of Greek-Norwegian cooperation on the Nile that we might return to in the future…
Another topic linked with Nubia and Bergen Museum is the fate of the Nubian material from the Scandinavian Joint Expedition to Sudanese Nubia in the framework of the Aswan High Dam UNESCO campaign. For the time being, suffice it to say that in 1963, Bergen Museum hosted an exhibition titled “Nubia og Nilen” from which a pamphlet is still kept at the University Library.