New Discoveries in the Wadi Abu Dom by QSAP-16 (University of Münster)

    Since 2009, the Wadi Abu Dom Itinerary (WADI) has been conducting a survey to map all pre-Islamic remains on both banks of the Wadi Abu Dom in the Bayuda desert situated in the great bent of the Nile north of Khartoum. Numerous sites have recently been identified, mostly very small sites consisting of single burials, shelters or camps ranging in date from the Palaeolithic to the medieval period.

    Throughout, the most prominent phase is the Post-Meroitic Period, 350-550 CE. This is visible in enormous cemeteries of artificial grave mounds (1). Some of these cemeteries were also in use in the Middle Ages, too and then included rows of box graves (2). The most significant site is Umm Ruweim, a stone structure with a hitherto unknown function (3) which can be dated to Late Meroitic-Post-Meroitic by C14 analysis. As the communication routes through a desert are another focus of the project, the team investigates the rock art along the tracks. Although most of these images are of a medieval or later date, some go back to the (Post-)Meroitic period (4).

    (1)  Post-Meroitic cemetery in the middle Wadi Abu Dom

    (2)  Areal view of a cemetery with Post-Meroitic artificial mounds and medieval box-graves

    (3)  Umm Ruweim, a mysterious stone structure in the lower Wadi Abu Dom

    (4)  Large cow (rock art) of Meroitic date



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