Bayuda

Bayuda is the name of the region defined by the large bend in the Nile’s course between the Sudanese cities of Omdurman and Korti. The desert-like landscape is characterized by stretches of gravel and boulders as well as extensive expanses of sand. The centre of the Bayuda is marked by an impressive currently inactive volcanic region. Wadis that transport the annual rainfall to the Nile originate here and from a few other mountain ranges in the area.

The Bayuda region has been scarcely explored archaeologically. In the last decades, however, interest in the ancient remains of this desert increased. Nevertheless, only few steps have been taken so far to develop an archaeological map and understanding of the region. One of the most exiting facts to note is the difference of the ancient features compared to the archaeological sites the Nile valley. Up to now, no temples, pyramids, and palaces in the Kushite style could have been located. Besides Ghazali, that is quite close to the river Nile, there is also no church known yet, so that the Bayuda even differs from the 4th cataract region.

The aim of the conference is to bring together archaeologists working in or about the Bayuda and studying this region from Palaeolithic to quite recent times. Within this interdisciplinary dialogue we want to present the current state of research and try to define the main research questions for future explorations. One of the main tasks is to discover if the cultural remains constitute a homogeneous horizon in the Bayuda itself and if and how it differs from other areas in the Middle Nile region. This question as well as many others can be discussed at the gathering in Münster, 10.-12.September 2015.

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