Archaeology Based Articles - I

Archaeology based Articles - I

We have compiled for you some articles based upon esoteric topics like Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Philosophy, etc (which are usually asked in exams) to make you comfortable with reading of such topics. Reading of such topics can greatly help you in solving RCs.

Each passage is followed by Central idea of the passage. Our advice is that you read the whole passage first and try to figure out the main idea and then see whether you were close to the stated Central Idea or not.

Today the northern region of Sudan that borders with Egypt is mostly desert. But this part of the Nile’s valley was once home to a powerful African civilisation called Kush. It traded gold and the products of inner Africa to Egypt and the Mediterranean world beyond. Kush was a major power in this region for over 2000 years, reaching its largest extent when it conquered Egypt and ruled as its 25th Dynasty from about 725-653 BCE.

In the years 300 BCE to 300 CE, Kush was ruled from the capital of Meroe. The city, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was located along the Nile about 100 miles north of modern-day Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Other regions of Kush remained important, however. These included the older capital region of Napata, which centred on the “holy mountain” of Jebel Barkal and included the nearby pyramid cemetery of El-Kurru.

There were a number of temples and other sacred sites in Kush. And, as our ongoing research in El-Kurru has documented, visitors to these sites had one particular religious ritual that may strike some as strange: they carved graffiti in important and sacred places.

These graffiti can still be seen today at several sacred sites in what was the kingdom of Kush – on a pyramid and in a temple at El-Kurru, at a seasonal pilgrimage centre called Musawwarat es-Sufra, and in the Temple of Isis at Philae, at the border with Egypt.

We’re the curators of an exhibition detailing the recently discovered graffiti from El-Kurru. The exhibition is on view at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan until March 2020. It features photographs, text, and interactive media presentations that unpack the practice and its importance in Kushite society. A catalogue written in conjunction with the exhibition presents selected examples of graffiti from the Nile valley and beyond, including the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

We are all accustomed to understanding ancient cultures almost entirely through the activities of the powerful elite and the art they left behind in their palaces, temples, and tombs. But that creates a distorted a picture of ancient life – as distorted as such a picture would be today. The graffiti featured in this exhibition allow a glimpse into some of the activities of non-elite people and their religious devotion to particular places. It’s a reminder that society is more than the elite and powerful.

The graffiti at El-Kurru were discovered by a Kelsey Museum archaeological excavation, on a pyramid and in an underground temple at the site. El-Kurru was a royal cemetery for the kings of the Napatan dynasty, who ruled Egypt as the 25th dynasty. But the graffiti date to several hundred years after the kings’ rule. By this time the pyramids and funerary temple were partially abandoned, yet people were visiting the site and carving graffiti.

The graffiti include clear symbols of ancient Kush, like the ram that represented the local form of the god Amun, and a long-legged archer who symbolised Kushite prowess in archery. There are also intricate textile designs as well as animals – beautiful horses, birds, and giraffes.

The most common marks are small round holes gouged in the stone. By analogy with modern practices, these are probably areas where temple visitors scraped the wall of the holy place to collect powdered stone that they would ingest to promote fertility and healing.

Central Idea - The author gives a detailed report about the graffiti found in Sudan.

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