New Mural Paintings Discovered in the Monastery of Old Dongola

    Over the last days, archaeologists of the Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw (QSAP-31), have made an important discovery in the medieval monastery of Old Dongola on the Nile, more than 500km north of Khartoum. Old Dongola was the capital of the Christian kingdom of Makuria between the 6th and the 13th centuries CE, and a large fortress, palace as well as several churches bear witness to its former power and wealth.

    Within the main monastic complex, the Polish mission unearthed now a second, well-preserved church with vivid mural paintings and inscriptions in Greek and Old Nubian. The new, larger than life-sized paintings are all dating from the 13th century and represent the Virgin Mary on a throne with baby Jesus on her lap, but also the Archangels and saints, and finally the King of Dotawo, one of the last Christian states in Sudan.

    The most complete wall painting shows in vivid colors the king of Makuria with his horned crown assisted by two saints to his right and left.

    The mission will now start with protecting the building and its mural paintings by adding a roof on top. The structure will be fully protected and documented within this current season.



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