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Across ancient borders and cultures: An Egyptian microcosm in Sudan during the 2nd millennium BC

Objective

Pharaonic Egypt is commonly known for its pyramids and tomb treasures. The present knowledge of Egyptian everyday life and social structures derives mostly from mortuary records associated with the upper classes, whereas traces of ordinary life from domestic sites are generally disregarded. Settlement archaeology in Egypt and Nubia (Ancient North Sudan) is still in its infancy; it is timely to strenghten this field. Responsible for the pottery at three major settlement sites (Abydos and Elephantine in Egypt; Sai Island in Sudan), the PI is in a unique position to co-ordinate a research project on settlement patterns in Northeast Africa of the 2nd millennium BC based on the detailed analysis of material remains. The selected case studies situated across ancient and modern borders and of diverse environmental and cultural preconditions, show very similar archaeological remains. Up to now, no attempt has been made to explain this situation in detail.
The focus of the project is the well-preserved, only partially explored site of Sai Island, seemingly an Egyptian microcosm in New Kingdom Upper Nubia. Little time is left to conduct the requisite large-scale archaeology as Sai is endangered by the planned high dam of Dal. With the application of microarchaeology we will introduce an approach that is new in Egyptian settlement archaeology. Our interdisciplinary research will result in novel insights into (a) multifaceted lives on Sai at a micro-spatial level and (b) domestic life in 2nd millennium BC Egypt and Nubia from a macroscopic view. The present understanding of the political situation in Upper Nubia during the New Kingdom as based on written records will be significantly enlarged by the envisaged approach. Furthermore, in reconstructing Sai Island as “home away from home”, the project presents a showcase study of what we can learn about acculturation and adaptation from ancient cultures, in this case from the coexistence of Egyptians and Nubians

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/archaeology

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-StG_20111124
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Address
Geschwister Scholl Platz 1
80539 Muenchen
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 811 762,74
Principal investigator
Julia Budka (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Dorothee Strobl-Hasebrink (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (2)

LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 811 762,74
Address
Geschwister Scholl Platz 1
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Julia Budka (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Dorothee Strobl-Hasebrink (Ms.)
OESTERREICHISCHE AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN

Participation ended

Austria
EU contribution
€ 685 697,26
Address
Dr. Ignaz Seipel-platz 2
1010 Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Dagmar Melman (Ms.)