the first day on Sai Island in 2012

This morning I allowed myself the luxury of waking when the sun was just appearing on the horizon of Sai Island.

Every archaeological adventure on Sai begins from the the Ottoman fortress (in its latest phase – first built most probably by the invading Pharaonic army of New Kingdom Egypt). In the case of the short field season of 2012, a fox welcomed me when I was contemplating the game on the horizon between the mihrab of the Ottoman mosque and Jebel Abri…

…while this seluka field will be the center of my activities tomorrow morning, because it houses the most intriguing rock inscriptions on the island.

The second part of the morning was dedicated to a visiting of the so-called Cathedral site. Both positive and negative observations were made concerning the conditions of the site since 2010, but suffice it to say here that the main kom remained untouched, but (as it can be seen in the photo) signs, rocks, and gates were not respected and the cars are still crossing the site.

The day closed with a visit to our friend Sheikh Ad Din, ghafir (guard) of the site of Dibasha. His welcome was the most cordial until now during these days in Sudan. Driving on the dirt roads of the island offered a sense of freedom that is unique to fieldwork and traveling in places like Sudan. When I returned from Dibasha, I felt that the old Land Rover of the French Mission against the setting sun was a fine conclusion for the first day on Sai.

Until tomorrow then, with more about the inscriptions site at the seluka field and more about Sheikh Ad Din’s world on the Dibasha plateau…

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