In November 2011, Museum Curator Alex de Voogt, Postdoctoral Fellow Vincent Francigny, and Research Associate William Harcourt-Smith set out on a Constantine S. Niarchos Expedition to Sudan.
Over the course of two weeks, the team traveled some 2,000 kilometers and visited about 20 archaeological sites dating from the ancient kingdom of Meroë.
Beautiful Ancient African Pillars
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Meroë was an independent kingdom of Nubia, centered in the north of Sudan and contemporaneous with Greek and Roman domination of the Mediterranean world.
Location Map Of Sudan
While Meroites were influenced by their Egyptian neighbors, they had a distinct political state, writing system, and religion.
Archaeologists have only been able to translate a few Meroitic texts, so researchers must use other clues from the past to learn about this ancient civilization.
One of the 2011 Niarchos expedition’s main goals was to document depictions of animals at archaeological sites.
The animal representations they detailed in the field—ranging from elephants to frogs—will be compiled with images from artifacts in existing museum collections to create a “bestiary” for Meroë.
This bestiary will be an organized catalog of animals, giving insight into how different species were used and ultimately leading to further research questions about religion, environment, and other subjects.
The expedition team also investigated other topics, including paleoanthropology, board games, and zootherapy—the use of animals in medicine.
This 2011 Constantine S. Niarchos Expedition was generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
ARCHIVE IMAGES COURTESY OF
Steve F. E. Cameron
R. David / Sedeinga Mission
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Alex de Voogt
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Ancient Nubian Pyramids and tomb in Sudan
Map of Ancient Sudan
Beautiful Ancient African Objects
This color blue & yellow combination are spectacular!
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Ancient ruins of Sudan
Ancient Statue of our ancestors
A rare wall depiction of a voluptuous warrior Nubian Queen on the right hand side
I guess we were always looking at stars
Curious looking image
That’s one large animal or statue?