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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Seminar 'Conversations  about  Nomadism'

Le mardi 12 décembre 2023 à 14h00 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

Views from Eastern Sudan

Gidske Andersen, Stefano Costanzo & Knut Krzywinski

Langue : anglais.

The third session of the Seminar 'Conversations about nomadism' will be held under the title of 'Views from Eastern Sudan' and features two communications: the first by Gidske Andersen & Knut Krzywinski, University of Bergen and the second by Stefano Costanzo, University of Milan.

The seminar is open to all interested parties, both in person at the Ifao, subject to availability, and remotely on Zoom application upon registration (register here to receive the login link).

Communications :

1- Traditional nomadic landuse in the Red Sea Hills.

Gidske Andersen & Knut Krzywinski, University of Bergen

Since the drying up of Sahara 5500 BP nomadic pastoralism has evolved and adapted to a drier environment. Very old management strategies are still in use by the Beja. There is evidence that traditional management strategies and traditional ecological knowledge comply with ecological knowledge about arid ecosystems functionality and long-term resilience. In this talk we will summarise our main findings about nomadic land use based on several years of research in the Red Sea Hills of Sudan and Egypt.

Gidske L. Andersen is an ecologist and geographer. Her research focuses upon landscape- and environmental change in time and space and how these changes are influenced both by social and natural factors. Human interference and in particular our use of natural resources is central. She is interested in how traditional land use has shaped cultural landscapes and how abandonment of this use interacts with concurrent environmental and climate effects. Much of her research has focused on the arid regions Egypt and Sudan.

Knut Krzywinski is an Emeritus Professor in pollen analyses and Vegetation History, archaeobotany, ethnobotany, University of Bergen.


2- Islamic funerary monumentality in southern Beja land: the medieval stone shrines of the Sudano-Eritrean lowlands.

Stefano Costanzo, University of Milan, Department of Earth Sciences.

In the Kassala region of Eastern Sudan and neighbouring Gash-Barka region of Eritrea, the funerary landscape is characterized by all sorts of stone tombs and tumuli, yet there is one kind that stands above all others. Medieval drywall shrines, with square perimeters and domed roofs, cluster in the thousands around the horizon-piercing rocky hills of the region: their origin seems to have been lost in the folds of oral tradition, and no archaeological endeavour has yet been able to clearly define the timing of their appearance and the motives for such prodigious effort.

In this presentation, geomorphology, point pattern analysis and a dash of ethnoarchaeology are used to deliver a provisional interpretation of what could be an archaeological conundrum for the ages to come: are they connected with the Islamization of the region? Are they war cemeteries? Do they belong to Beja groups or to newly penetrated Arab groups?

Stefano Costanzo is a geoarchaeologist trained at the University of Naples "L'Orientale" and the Earth Sciences department of the University of Milan, where he currently holds a postdoc research fellowship. His doctoral work focused on the Holocene climate changes and human-environmental nexus in the area of Kassala (Sudan), where he conducted surveys collecting environmental and archaeological data on the regional scale, coming across the majesty of the Sahelian nomadic funerary landscapes.


Seminar 'Conversations  about  Nomadism'

Within the framework of the "NOMADES" project (Nomads and Nomadism in the Eastern Sahara [Egypt, Sudan, Eastern Libya]), a recurrent seminar (three to four sessions per year) is being launched under the title 'Conversations about Nomadism' in order to create and animate a research network on nomadic societies and forms of nomadism in the Eastern Sahara.

NOMADES is a project funded by the Institut français d'archéologie orientale and the seminar is organised by Marie Bourgeois, Julien Cooper and Maël Crépy.


Dans le cadre du projet "NOMADES" (Nomades et nomadismes au Sahara oriental [Égypte, Soudan, est libyen]), un séminaire récurrent (trois à quatre séances par an) est lancé sous le titre de 'Conversations  about  Nomadism' afin de créer et animer un réseau de recherches portant sur les sociétés nomades et sur les formes de nomadismes au Sahara Oriental.

NOMADES est un projet financé par l'Institut  français d'archéologie orientale et le séminaire est organisé par Marie Bourgeois, Julien Cooper et Maël Crépy.