It’s almost June and the next DiverseNile Seminar Series is approaching. We are delighted that the next lecture will be given by Carl Walsh on June 6. The very promising title is: “Monsters in the Bed: Hybrid Furniture and Composite Creatures in Kerman Cross-Cultural Interactions”.
Carl is an archaeologists who has received his PhD in 2016 from the University College London. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Barnes Foundation, USA. He is an expert on the Kerma culture and has successfully placed Kerma and Nubia in his publications within wider theoretical and archaeological discussions of the eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze and Iron Ages.Carl kindly provided us with an abstract of his talk – this nicely illustrates why you really should not miss it!
The Kerma state in Upper Nubia (modern Sudan) was a major cultural, political, and economic power in northeast Africa, especially in its later phase during the Classic Kerma period (1700-1550 BCE). While originally viewed as an isolated periphery of Egypt, this kingdom is now understood as heavily interconnected with other Nile Valley and desert groups in northeast Africa—and perhaps even further afield in the Mediterranean and western Asia. This paper builds on recent approaches on Kerman cross cultural interactions through examining the evidence for Egyptian influences in furniture forms and styles during the Classic Kerma period. The distribution and forms of furniture—bedframes, beds, and stools—are examined across Kerma sites and periods and are argued to be indigenous Kerman status objects. At the start of the Classic Kerma period, however, new hybrid furniture types incorporated Egyptian furniture designs alongside fantastical imagery of composite creatures and fauna. The incorporation of these foreign styles and development of composite creatures is argued to be part of a concerted effort by the Kerman court to construct inter-regional identities through shared “international” visual vocabularies and courtly habitus. Diplomacy provided a social and embodied framework for these engagements, which connected different court and elite groups in a wider diplomatic system within northeastern Africa, the Mediterranean, and western Asia during the later second millennium BCE (Abstract by Carl Walsh).
Summer term has started at LMU today and we are happy to announce the start of the online DiverseNile Seminar Series 2023, organised by Chloe Ward. The theme of this year’s DiverseNile Seminar Series will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to archaeological research in the Nile Valley. A detailed programme will follow soon.
Our very own Kate Rose (PostDoc of the DiverseNile project) will give the first talk on Tuesday 25th of April (13-14 CET) with the title “Inscribing the Landscape: Continuity and Change in Napatan Royal Cemeteries”.
A must for anyone interested in landscape archaeology! See you next week!
P.S.: I would like to stress that also here in quiet Germany, nothing has been routine since Saturday and the outbreak of fighting in Sudan. My thoughts are with all friends, colleagues and the civilian population at large who are once again paying such a heavy price, suffering in this political fight for power. In the hope that peace will soon return to our beloved Sudan.
Excavations at the site AtW 001 on the west bank of Attab yielded a very large number of pottery sherds – I processed more than 10.300 pieces in our digging house in Ginis during the 2023 season and the final analysis and reconstruction of the number of individual vessels is still ongoing. Already in the field it became clear that a surprisingly large number of intact vessels has survived. These included primarily dishes and plates, beer jars, zir vessels, pot stands and cooking vessels – thus a clearly domestic set of ceramics which finds many parallels in the corpus I processed from the temple town of Sai, but also shows unique and specific features – just fantastiic material which allows addressing a number of various research questions!
One particular interesting piece which I would like to present today is a large fragment of a typical Nubian style cooking pot. The complete profile of this pot is preserved and it was found in dense mud brick debris, half buried below a collapsed brick. This context yielded a total of 34 pottery sherds with 15 diagnostic pieces and several almost complete vessels; the total of Nubian wares accounted to 32%, nicely confirming our results from 2022 when the number of Nubian wares in the various fill horizons was high, accounting for on average 33% of the ceramics (Budka 2022).
The Nubian pot in question is an example of the most common type of Nubian globular bowls used as cooking pots we found at AtW 001. The vessel shows plaited basketry impression with large rectangular patterns and a distinct rim zone. Such vessels find close parallels at Sai, Sesebi and other New Kingdom sites in Nubia (e.g. Rose 2012; Budka 2020). These basketry impressed cooking pots are firmly rooted in a Kerma tradition of shaping pots in a concave hole using mats/baskets but show an intriguing change of technique in the early 18th Dynasty which is present at sites between the Dongola Reach and southern Upper Egypt (see Gratien 2000 for the new style of basketry impressions starting with so-called Recent Kerma).
Our complete example from AtW 001 started its long journey on Jan. 30 which is not yet over – from the field to the digging house where it was washed, photographed and then put on my drawing table. The pencil drawing I created in Sudan is now in the process of being digitalised – Caroline scanned the drawing already and started the final digital drawing for publication on our interactive multi-touch pen display in the office.
Apart from this, we took two samples from this Nubian cooking pot. One of which will be analysed using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis – here, we aim to get information about the provenience of its fabric since this pot clearly seems to be a local product. The second sample is waiting for Organic Residue Analysis, hopefully enabling us to reconstruct what was once cooked within this pot. More details about our approach combining standard macroscopic analysis of pottery with various complementary laboratory methodologies can be found in an earlier blog post by Giulia D’Ercole.
As I hopefully could illustrate, the complex voyage of this Nubian cooking pot will continue – but within just 2 months we have already achieved important working steps in order to publish this important fragment of evidence of settlement activity on the west bank of Attab during the early New Kingdom.
Budka 2020 = Budka, J. AcrossBorders 2. Living in New Kingdom Sai. Archaeology of Egypt, Sudan and the Levant 1. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2020.
Budka 2022 = Budka, J. Early New Kingdom settlement activities in the periphery of Sai Island: towards a contextualisation of fresh evidence from Attab West, MittSAG – Der Antike Sudan 33, 2022, 45‒61.
Gratien 2000 = Gratien, B. Les pots de cuisson nubiens et les bols décorés de la première moitié du 2e millénaire avant J.-C.: problèmes d’identification, Cahiers de la céramique égyptienne 6, 2000, 113‒148.
Rose 2012 = Rose, P. Early 18th Dynasty Nubian Pottery from the Site of Sesebi, Sudan. In Nubian Pottery from Egyptian Cultural Contexts of the Middle and Early New Kingdom. Proceedings of a Workshop held at the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Cairo, 1–12 December 2010. Ergänzungshefte zu den Jahresheften des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes 13, ed. by I. Forstner-Müller and P.J. Rose, 13‒29. Vienna: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2012.
The excavation season of the fourth MUAFS campaign lasted from January 23 to March 18 2023, and focused on aims of the ERC Project DiverseNile, investigating Bronze Age sites (Kerma and New Kingdom) and cultural diversity in the region. The team was supported by Huda Magzoub Elbashir as Antiquities Inspector from NCAM. Our major activities in the 2023 season are summarised in the following.
We focused on Bronze Age sites in the area of Ginis and Attab. Our selection included two settlement sites, AtW 001 and site 2-S-54, and one cemetery, GiE 003. Work was carried out with the support of a team of 12 local workmen from Ernietta, Ginis and Attab.
In 2023, the complete mound of this site in Attab West was excavated (Trench 2). Substantial layers of mud brick collapse were found as well as several phases of poorly preserved mud brick structures.
The domestic character of the site is also obvious from many ashy spots, rubbish deposits including much animal bones and charcoal as well as loads of broken pottery and a surprisingly large number of intact and almost intact vessels. In addition, several round and oval-shaped storage pits were documented, some of them with traces of firing/ash and possibly also connected with heating/cooking.
Most importantly, the same ashy layer on the alluvial surface like in 2022 was reached in the northern part of Trench 2. It is now clear that apart from a slight natural slope, most of the mound-like appearance of site AtW 001 was composed of settlement debris and especially mud brick debris in several layers, all dating to the 18th Dynasty.
Vila site 2-S-54
Structure 1 at site 2-S-54 is a domestic building measuring 6.5 x 3.5m on the interior and preserved to more than 80cm in height, datable to the 18th Dynasty. We cleaned it from windblown sand and exposed a substantial layer of mud brick debris as well as internal mud brick structures. The feature seems to have been divided in at least three parts, presumably with an open courtyard in the centre. It is still unclear where the main entrance of the structure was originally located (one side entrance seems to have been on the east side in the centre, leading into the open courtyard). Ceramics and collapsed mud bricks were also found on the slope towards the south and this area still needs to be fully cleaned and documented.
We excavated three new trenches (Trenches 3, 4 and 5) to check the extension of this Kerma cemetery, the distribution of burial types and chronological aspects.
The oldest material was exposed in Trench 5, just north of the Middle Kerma burials in Trench 2. One Middle Kerma circular pit (Feature 53) and a total of four pits associated with Pan-grave style material were discovered.
The largest pit, Feature 50, contained the remains of a wooden bed frame, the remains of a human contracted burial, several goat offerings and a considerable number of intact pottery vessels, comprising Black-topped fine wares as well as incised and impressed decorated vessels.
Trench 3 yielded a total of 14, Trench 4 ten new Classic Kerma burial pits, closely resembling our results from 2022 in Trench 1. These burials are rectangular east-west oriented burial pits with rounded corners, vertical walls, and two depressions in the east and west for the funerary bed of which wooden remains were found in some of the features. Two niche burials in Trench 4 also seem to date to the Classic Kerma time.
Drone Aerial Photography
Kate Rose was busy conducting Drone aerial photography (DAP) at the excavated sites and on a larger scale at Attab West, Attab East, Ginis East and Ferka East. Many precise measurements were taken with our new Trimble Catalyst GNSS Antenna and extensive mapping of drystone walls in Attab and Ginis West was carried out as well.
We used a total of 566 find bag numbers in the 2023 spring season. 229 finds were registered, photographed and recorded in detail in the Filemaker Database.
Simultaneously to the excavations, I carried out the recording of the pottery. The numerous settlement material from AtW 001, accounting to more than 10.000 sherds, was very time consuming to process, especially since a large number of pottery vessels could be reconstructed from fragments to complete vessels like an amazing hybrid cooking pot. A total of 43 vessels was documented by drawing in 2023.
The 2023 season survey
Two Vila sites in Attab West and one in Kosha East were newly identified and documented as well as seven new MUAFS site in Attab East, Attab West and Kosha East. A number of these sites is difficult to date and might be sub-recent.
In sum, our 2023 season was very successful, achieving all planned work tasks despite of the looting events and the destruction of site 2-S-54. Especially cemetery GiE 003 with its mixed material culture of Middle Kerma, Pan-Grave and Classic Kerma illustrates cultural encounters between various Nubian groups in the region. The living aspect of these cultural encounters seems to be traceable at sites like 2-S-54 where both Egyptian and Nubian ceramics were found, rectangular and circular buildings appear side by side and mud bricks were used jointly with dry-stone architecture.
Plenty of post-excavation work is now waiting for us and updates will follow soon.
We are almost there – I am still waiting for last papers, but we are almost ready for departure tonight. The 2023 season really has come to an end.
The last days were really busy and a proper summary of the 2023 season will follow shortly. For now, I would just like to repeat my thanks to all the team – and here especially to our local workmen from Ernietta, Attab and Ginis who were: Nail Mohamed, Fuad Ali, Afifi Mohamed, Mohamed Soubho, Aboud Abdu, Samer Ali, Ali Mohamed Ali, Mohamed Gelal, Ahmed Moukhtar, Ahmed Elzebeir, Abdelfatah Mohamed, Ibrahim Abdo, Ahmed Ibrahim and Awad Arafat. They did an amazing job, partly in very difficult circumstances, like during the very windy days in Attab West in February. Some of them have worked with Neal Spencer and his team at Amara West before and their expertise in working at both settlement sites and in tombs was very valuable for the project! Mohamed Soubho also turned out to be a great expert of animal bones and helped sorting this material at the site.
Here are some working pictures from site AtW 001 which was anything else than easy to excavate with its sandy layers, mud brick debris and various levels:
One of the nearby dry-stone walls of site Vila 2-T-62 was also cleaned and documented.
And here some impressions from work in the cemetery GiE 003 – these pictures should work without words I hope!
Well done, guys, it was a great pleasure, many thanks and I am looking much forward working again with this great team next year!
Time flies by, especially when you are enjoying and/or are very busy! This clearly holds true for our last days here – they were extremely demanding but also very pleasant and full of important results and discoveries.
We managed to close the excavation in Kerma cemetery GiE 003. The original aims for the 2023 season there, building on our work from 2022, were to clarify its dating, the distribution of certain burial pit types and to check for aspects of cultural diversity. All of this worked out perfectly and more details will follow soon. For now, the most important result is the discovery of a Pan-Grave style burial in Trench 5, located just north of Trench 2 from 2022 (with Kerma Moyen burials). Since some of our pottery from 2022 was already indicating that we might have the presence of what is normally called Pan-Grave horizon, this did not come as a big surprise, but simply as what I was really wishing for.
Feature 50, the Pan-Grave burial pit, yielded not only the remains of a funerary bed, of goat offerings as well as jewelry and ivory objects but also several intact pots. This complete beaker with some repair holes is a typical Black Topped ware associated with the Pan-Grave horizon.
In Trench 4, there were two important niche tombs cutting Classic Kerma burial pits. At least Feature 66 (which was discovered just before closing for the weekend last week) is clearly associated with Classic Kerma material culture as well – thus providing much food for thought about who decided when (and why) to be buried in a niche tomb rather than in the more common rectangular burial pits? The burial of Individual 18 found in Feature 66 was unfortunately looted, but it can be reconstructed as a contracted burial which was placed in the oval niche without a funerary bed with the head in the West and the feet in the East.
Furthermore, we finished sampling of pottery from AtW 001, GiE 003 and the Vila site 2-S-54. Giulia did prepare more than 100 samples which we will hopefully analyze together with Johannes Sterba of the Atominstitut Wien by iNAA, just like the samples we took already in 2022. Our focus was on a range of Nubian wares and Egyptian-style Nile clay wares.
Thanks to the support of NCAM and our colleague Sami, Kate managed to conduct at least three days of Drone Aerial Photography after the crash of our own Phantom 4 Pro. I also managed to squeeze in some surveying on the west bank – with the discovery of some amazing new 18th Dynasty sites – very promising for the next season!
By now, most of our team members have already left – many thanks to all of them! It was a particular pleasure to welcome Mohamed and Tasabeh from Al-Neelain University – hope to see you again next year!
The remaining small team of Jose, Sofia, Huda and I will be busy finalizing everything here in Ginis before our own departure early next week. More updates about our results of the 2023 season will follow soon insha’allah.
Week 5 of our 2023 field season just flew by, especially because of several very disturbing incidents.
On the positive side, we managed to close excavations at site AtW 001, postponed further exploration of Vila site 2-S-54 to next year and made good progress in the Kerma cemetery GiE 003.
AtW 001 will require much post-excavation work – we documented several still standing mud brick walls, there were clearly several phases of building and use. Chloe Ward who did an excellent job this season has already arrived back in Munich and is busy finalizing the stratigraphy and feature description as well as other details from her desk back home.
Most importantly, we managed to reach the same ashy layer on the alluvial surface like in 2022. It is now also clear that apart from a slight natural slope, most of the mound-like appearance of site AtW 001 is actually composed of settlement debris and especially mud brick debris in several layers.
Excavations at Vila site 2-S-54 came to an unexpected stop – the material culture of the mud brick and stone building is really intriguing and currently being studied by Giulia D’Ercole and myself. Giulia arrived this week and already prepared all the samples from site 2-S-54 we will export for iNAA analysis in order to investigate the provenience of Nile clay wares (see earlier posts by Giulia on this subject, e.g. https://www.sudansurvey.gwi.uni-muenchen.de/index.php/2020/12/22/where-are-you-from-a-diverse-material-perspective-on-this-common-tricky-question/). Of course, a substantial part of our 2023 samples will come from site AtW 001, but here I am still busy reconstructing the large number of complete vessels. More than 10.000 sherds need to be checked for matching pieces and this clearly takes a while.
Finally, much progress was made in the Kerma cemetery GiE 003, where work in Trench 3 was concluded (and yielded a total of 14 new Classic Kerma burial pits, closely resembling our results from 2022) and excavation in Trench 4 is still ongoing. All tombs have been looted in antiquity, most probably in Medieval times, but there are still substantial remains of material culture, especially pottery, beads and remains of wooden funerary beds.
One of the most remarkable finds of this season is a small ivory bracelet from Tomb 33 in Trench 3. It was clearly used for a long time, was broken at a certain point, and then repaired by means of repairing holes – this is how we found it deposited in the burial pit. An intriguing object in many respects!
Jose M.A. Gomez, Huda Magzoub, Sofia Patrevita and our team of local workmen got new reinforcement this week: two students from Al-Neelain University in Khartoum have joint us. Tasabeh Obaid Hassan and Mohamed Abdeldaim Khairi Ibrahim have been already extremely helpful at the excavation in the Kerma cemetery and for example very quickly learned to measure targets and outlines of stratigraphic units with the totalstation.
I am very grateful to all team members and looking much forward to the results of week 6!
We all know that science is also all about failure, mistakes, and unexpected events. I have addressed this topic already on several occasions, especially for outreach activities like podcasts, Science Slams and blog posts (see, e.g. https://on.soundcloud.com/MYkcX). All of us working in Sudan also know that despite of the beauty of the country, the great Sudanese people, and the wonderful archaeology here, it takes a good amount of resilience to work here – and flexibility.
Having said this all, it is not my intention to write a just negative piece here, but nevertheless to share at least a small glimpse of all the frustration I experienced this week.
According to plan, I shifted my focus from site AtW 001 to the Vila site 2-S-54 in Foshu where we have been already working earlier this season (when I had to come up with Plan B with the crash of our totalstation). Despite of severe nimiti attacks, all went well on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and I was getting all prepared to excavate the original occupation deposit of this well-preserved 18th Dynasty building, when one of the most depressing days of my professional life to far occurred on Tuesday.
I arrived at the site, a bit ahead of my co-worker Mohamed Soubho (since he was kindly pushing the wheelbarrow with our equipment), and could not believe my eyes: every single brick, almost every laid stone block of the structure were simply gone, have been destroyed and smashed to pieces! This destruction was so massive that I was simply speechless and felt completely helpless.
Yes, of course we documented everything until the destruction, but the original deposits were now simply gone and the previously complete architecture severely damaged, including a deep hole cut into the bedrock in the center of the site.
By the time Mohamed arrived, I had found my voice again, made some phone calls and informed our inspector Huda and the tourism police in Abri and Wadi Halfa. We gave a complete report also to higher authorities in Dongola – it is clear that the destruction must be seen in connection with the increase in modern gold working in the area. And that this poses a major threat for all the other sites located nearby.
Mohamed and I started then cleaning up the mess these looters left when I received a phone call from Kate Rose, who was nearby busy flying our drone. First, I thought her slightly irritated voice is probably because her workman Samer told her about our disaster at Foshu (Mohamed called him of course). But then I realized what she is telling me: for unknown reasons, our drone crashed, simply fell from the sky, from the height of 70m. When a very bad day is about to get worse… and yes – it really did: once we had finished cleaning our mess and I was about to document everything with my camera, the camera did not work… it’s also broken – like site 2-S-54, like our drone, and all of this within a few hours.
Well, by now, thanks to Kate and our colleague and friend Sami from NCAM at Khartoum, we will probably be able to kindly borrow the drone of NCAM in the next days… but the site is lost (and my camera still not working).
Why do I share this with you all? Well, maybe partly out of selfish feelings, I just needed to get all of this out, this was a real nightmare week and not business as usual. But more importantly, I believe that we do not talk enough about things which go wrong in academia and in science – partly because of a false feeling of embarrassment (even if much like in in our case is due to external factors and not to real human-caused errors; not wanting to say that mistakes do not also happen), but most prominently because we are trained that only success and more precisely in archaeology great discoveries count and receive attention. But there is so much more than that, so much is hidden below the surface, so much energy is sapped by all these things which do not work out as planned.
I am very frank here – I consider myself a resilient person, but it took me two days to recover, it really was a shock, especially in combination with the drone and camera. And I am still sad when I see the damaged site I was about to excavate (of course we went back to check if further destruction happened which is not the case…), but I already have specific ideas about the improvement of the protection of our sites in the next years. Although it was impossible for me to continue at 2-S-54 after this disaster, I am now done with its documentation and description, including the pottery analysis for 2023. Despite of a vague sad feeling, I very much appreciate what we documented this season and how much new material and ideas we gained from this amazing site – even if we lost the most crucial part of it.
Archaeology is not just about progress, discoveries, and success – we should be open about the fact that we also constantly fail in many respects, for a great range of different reasons. This then also allows us to appreciate our positive results and working steps even further – because these are rarely what we call in Viennese “a gmahte Wiesn”.
Week 4 of our 2023 field season has just ended – time passes very quickly and there are three more weeks to go!
Much progress was made this week – especially because we are currently working both on the west bank in Attab, at site AtW 001, and in the Kerma cemetery GiE 003 on the east bank.
Chloe Ward, Mohamed Soubho and I managed to come close to an end at the intriguing settlement site AtW 001. We cleaned further substantial mud brick debris and revealed faint traces of mud brick walls – clearly datable to the 18th Dynasty.
Unfortunately, we also had an incident of looting at the site this week – one complete pottery dish was pulled out from its location and an intact zir vessel was partly ripped apart. We reported this event to the tourism police and hope it will not happen again! Thankfully the vessels were left on site, obviously the looters were looking for gold or hidden treasures and did not like the ceramics which hold such great significance for us archaeologists.
The zir vessel still poses several questions – it seems to have been still in situ in a kind of silo or room, but this needs to be checked early next week. The same holds true for confirming the stratigraphic connection of our lowest ashy layer exposed in 2023 with the one excavated in 2022 in Trench 1.
All in all, AtW 001 yielded a large number of mud bricks, mostly as mud brick collapse but fortunately also as some in situ walls as well as considerable amounts of stone tools, ceramics, clay weights and various animal bones. Sheep/goat and donkey seem to be the dominant species, but some fish bones already attest to more complexity of the animal remains.
Contemporaneously to our work in AtW 001, Kate Rose, assisted by Samer Ali, was busy in taking drone aerial photos (a big challenge in this windy weather) and especially measurements with the Trimble Catalyst antenna. She focused on dry-stone walls in Attab and Ginis – some of which are clearly Kerma in date, others presumably of New Kingdom origin and some probably as late as Napatan.
At the Kerma cemetery GiE 003, three new trenches were set up and the work supervised by Jose M.A. Gomez and Huda Magzoub focused on Trench 3 were a number of rectangular Classic Kerma burial pits with trenches for funerary beds were exposed. Our gang of local workmen is well familiar with this type of tombs from last season. There were already some interesting finds like one steatite scarab and one ivory bracelet, and more are to come! Especially intriguing is the abundant evidence for looting – maybe it will be possible to confirm my hypothesis from 2022 that most of the plundering happened in Medieval times.
Much progress was made for all work packages of the ERC DiverseNile project this week – the diversity of settlements (WP 1), cemeteries (WP 2), the material culture (WP 3) and the landscape of the Attab to Ferka region (WP 4). We have already plenty of data for post-excavation processing back home in Munich and thankfully we still have three more weeks here in the beautiful landscape of Attab and Ginis!
Our week 3 of the 2023 season was dominated by another drop in temperatures and very windy weather – there were only three days when we could work all day, on the other days too much sand in the air forced us to stop work early and continue with documentation and processing in the digging house.
Most importantly, our totalstation was fixed and is back to its normal daily routine. The wind prevented Kate to do much drone aerial photography, but thanks to the new Trimble Catalyst Antenna she was very busy documenting the landscape and many dry-stone walls in the area of Attab West and Ginis West.
While we were waiting for our totalstation, Chloe, Jose and I continued at the intriguing site 2-S-54, the 18th Dynasty building made of mud bricks and stones located on a steep slope of a rocky outcrop within the district of Foshu. A stunning view to work!
We exposed more of the surface around the structure and worked on the dense mud brick debris on its interior – more early 18th Dynasty ceramics, including Nubian style pots and also one hybrid cooking pot were unearthed – extremely exciting! A good number of large fragments of sandstone grindstones came to light and these were already documented by Sofia. This could already be a small hint that also this site is associated with goldmining. Modern gold working is carried out in large scale just next to us – in general a nice continuation illustrating the long-lasting impact of the natural resources for this part of the Middle Nile. However, since some of these modern pits and diggings also threaten the archaeological sites, I am rather concerned about this new development at Attab West.
Work at 2-S-54 will continue in week 4, since we moved back to the domestic site AtW 001 with our gang of local workmen during week 3. Here, the dense mud brick debris revealed further complete pottery vessels as well as a very well preserved animal skull, most probably of a donkey.
There are plenty of other animal jaws and bones in the collapse and it really seems as if most of this debris is partly rubbish. In addition, we have exposed more circular pits, presumably fire pits or storage structures.
Since we have reached a level where the contexts are now quite delicate and also space for work is limited, we moved our team of local workmen to the East bank (this is the “better” bank regarding wind and was thus received with much enthusiasm by the workmen). Jose and Huda started yesterday at the Kerma cemetery GiE 003 with two new trenches, aiming for a better understanding of the distribution patterns of burials at the site. Chloe and Sofia were busy setting up the new fix points and conducting measurements with the totalstation. The first burial pits are already visible in the new Trench 3 and I am sure I will be able to report interesting finds on the next update coming Friday.