This week in Bergen was full of interesting academic activities for those interested in Sudan, both the place and its archaeology.
Already on Tuesday there were two events that attracted our attention:
At mid-day, Mahmoud Suleiman, the Antiquities Inspector of N.C.A.M. who is finishing his PhD thesis under the supervision of Randi Haaland, gave a talk on The Region of Berber as a Meroitic Trade Centre: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives. The talk first presented the many impressive finds from the Meroitic cemetery that Mahmoud has been directing the salvage excavations of at Berber. The site was found accidentally during construction work. On the basis of the rich finds, Mahmoud argued that the trade routes through the Eastern Desert – both northwards to Egypt and eastwards to the Red Sea – were controlled from the region of Berber!
And today he screened the famous film “The Lost Kingdoms of Africa: Nubia” where he plays an important role himself! We can offer the entire video from here, but we cannot share the pleasure of the interesting discussions that followed the screening.
Another screening took place on Tuesday, at 20:00, at UiB Global. Those attending saw the opening of the documentary series “Kampen om Nilen” (trans: Fight over the Nile) from the national broadcast of Norway (NRK. For those in Norway HERE you can see the first episode).
Interestingly, Henriette had also written a paper with that same title earlier than Tvedt’s documentary was produced. You can read this article (in Norwegian) HERE.
In the beginning of this week an official visit from Sudan took place in the frame of the Sudan TV digitalization project. Social activities and technicalities filled the program, but the feeling was one of seeing things moving ahead in one of the most ambitious projects undertaken in Sudan cultural heritage.
Finally, during this week, the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies hosted the last visitor from Paris in the frame of the Aurora program. Ph.D. candidate Clélia Coret had a lot of fruitful discussions with Anne Bang, the head of the Centre and with other researchers of similar interests and participants of the Aurora program, before offering a most interesting talk yesterday afternoon on the Swahili Sultanate of Witu followed by a very lively and constructive discussion that surely benefited both Clélia and us all.
Clélia had the kindness to share with us her article on Witu, that you can find here:
In the autumn semester, the Bergen group will be visiting Paris, Alexandros meeting Robin there in December to continue their coopération aurorienne!
But much sooner, in fact in three days, we will meet at Neuchâtel for the 13th International Conference for Nubian Studies. More from there…