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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Part II - Looking East

Summary

The Middle Nile (from Aswan in Egypt to Khartoum in Sudan, Fig. 6.1) is quite exceptional in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a region where, from the beginning, archaeological frameworks have been constructed largely on the basis of cemetery excavations. This has, of course, much to do with regionally specific research histories and emergent archaeological practices associated with them. The traditions of materially rich mortuary cultures encountered in the Middle Nile, dating back to the early Neolithic period (here the sixth millennium BC), has continued to attract significant archaeological attention. Numerous, often large, cemeteries are still routinely being explored within the context of both research and rescue archaeology. Their material abundance continues to fascinate. The first extensive archaeological survey of Nubia, completed in 1911, excavated more than 8,200 graves in 151 cemeteries within a ‘survey’ area limited to the riverine oasis and covering an area of less than 250 km2.