As promised, we return to the dialogue with Artur Obluski’s newly launched webpage http://www.nubianmonasteries.pl
The structure of the the webpage will occupy us today.
Artur introduces the visitor to his page by offering him or her four main choices for the wanderings available through the landscape of Nubian monasteries. At least, this is what one would expect from the title of the webpage in combination with what one already knows of the academic activities of Artur Obluski.
Obluski has begun a well-grounded project to remap Nubian monasticism and in his task two major studies are undertaken: the first one is the excavation of the monastic site of Ghazali on the Wadi Ghazali in the Bayuda Desert and the localities’ promotion as an archaeological site; the second one is the publication of the archaeological record from the monastery of Qasr el Wizz, next to Faras, in Lower Nubia, that was excavated by the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition of the University of Chicago in the frame of the 1960s Aswan High Dam International campaign launched by UNESCO.
In the webpage, Obluski has not uploaded yet material from Wizz. Being one of the collaborators in the Wizz publication project, I can confidently ascertain that texts on and images from Wizz will follow in due time.
For the time being, both the texts and the photos from Ghazali are of astounding value. But to these we will return in another venue soon.
Here, we will only discuss these four tags in the homepage of http://www.nubianmonasteries.pl
In fact, there are only two tags that are of interest to the topic of the webpage itself, because one of the tags links to Artur’s academia.edu page and another one opens the default mail software of the visitor’s computer. We would have preferred that these two functions were incorporated in the text of the home page.
In any case, the first tag of interest is not related to monasticism at all, but offers nonetheless a very interesting and rather original overview of “Nubia in the Byzantine Period”. The sheer fact that Nubia is understood as a historical phenomenon to be placed in time in relation with the Byzantine Empire is not a new approach by itself, but a brace statement by Artur whose well-grounded opinion on the matter will be presented online soon in a series of articles that will be hosted by the Greek journal “Archaeology & Arts”.
Finally, it is the tag about Ghazali that opens a path for the visitor of the webpage to the world of Nubian monasteries per se.
The fine logo of the mission welcomes the visitor. The general description of the site and a general story of research at Ghazali occupies two paragraphs. The reader can learn more on the fieldwork conducted at the site by Obluski’s team – and get to know from closer the members of this team – by two more sub-tags that are offered. Rich material, especially to what regards the field seasons of 2012, 2013 and 2014, but no general remarks about Ghazali as one of the windows to contemplate the monastic phenomenon in Christian Nubia.
Knowing Artur, we trust that after presenting the site of Wizz, he will gradually lead as if through a course his readers to the ‘revelation’ of his understanding of monasticism in the Middle Nile Valley during the medieval era. Mushkida ya doktor Artur?