This season, we continued to excavate a previously found pyramid structure. The monument was built on top of a sandy layer that contains debris from the collapse of the 18th Dynasty pyramid of Siamun. The shaft, located in the chapel, is unique in its stone lining. All of our other pyramid shafts were lined in mudbrick or cut directly into bedrock. As far as we are aware, this is the only structure of this kind in Nubia or Egypt. This building’s construction over earlier debris points to a date at the end of the New Kingdom or the early Third Intermediate/Napatan Period, suggesting both a long continuity and innovation in pyramid building at Tombos. We plan to continue excavation next season.
Elliot (and his dad Kory Cooper) visited Tombos (and mom, Co-Director Michele Buzon) for the first time (Kory’s second visit) and joined the excavation team for a week at the site. Elliot provides a glimpse of his experiences:
The landscape of Sudan is very bumpy. The Sudanese people were very nice. The field house was nice and big. There was this really good bread [note: we’ve had trouble buying from bakeries this year so have paid a local woman to bake bread for us and it is amazing]. The best part about excavating was digging. I found a piece of a pot. My favorite site was Jebel Barkal. It has pyramids and a big mountain. I want to visit Sudan again. It was warm and very nice.
We are collaborating with colleagues from the University of Dongola at Wadi Halfa, Department of Geophysics. The team (pictured) is led by Associate Professor Mohamed Abd alwahab Mohammed Ali with Ammar Adam Ali Ibrahim, Muhannad Hassan Orkeldin and Mosaab Hussein Altom.
نحن نتعاون مع كليات من جامعه دنقلا قسم الجيوفيزياء في وادي حلفا ، يقود الفريق استاذ مشارك محمد عبد الوهاب محمد ومعه عمار آدم علي ابراهيم ومهند حسين ومصعب حسين التوم .
Using magnetometry and resistivity, we have identified anomalies that could represent buried domestic and/or public structures and the southern boundary of the Tombos town fortification. We plan to conduct test excavations to ground truth the geophysical data. We hope that these data will open a new avenue for our research, allowing us to investigate daily life in the town of ancient Tombos.
باستخدام قياس المغناطيس و المقاومه حددنا حالات يمكن أن تمثل الهياكل المحليه والعامه المدفونه والحدود الجنوبيه لحصن مدينه تمبس.نحن نخطط لإجراء حفريات تجريبية للكشف عن البيانات الجيوفيزيائية علي أرض الواقع ونأمل أن تفتح هذه البيانات مكانا جديداً لابحاثنا مما يسمح لنا في التحقيق للحياه اليوميه لمدينه تمبس القديمه.
I joined the Tombos archaeological team from this season to enhance community engagement efforts in the village that surrounds archaeological remains of Tombos and where the team have stayed over the last two decades. The archaeological team previously created educational materials for students and teachers at a local primary school in 2017 , an information pamphlet for them and excavation workers in 2016, and organised public talks at the nadi – soccer club. To continue and further develop the previous work, I’ve started asking schoolteachers and local people if they have any questions to archaeologists or whether they are interested in any programmes about archaeology. We invited a group of 5th grade students and a history teacher to visit the excavation in the cemetery (image below). I also investigate stories and ritual practices that relate to archaeological records in Tombos – the rock inscriptions, statue and ancient cemetery, and whether aspects of the local history and heritage are considered associated to these records. As I am a new face for the residents of the village, I started from having conversations with some of them to get to know each other and talk around the topics of my interests over tea and breakfast.
Follow our upcoming field season! Check back in January to hear updates during our excavations. تابع موسمنا الحقلي القادم في يناير لمعرفه المستجدات أثناء التنقيب
New Publication! Whitmore KM, Buzon MR. 2019. “Two cases of skeletal dysplasia from New Kingdom (c. 1400–1050 BCE) Tombos, Sudan.” International Journal of Paleopathology 26:135-144.
Available to read online for free: new volume including a chapter by Stuart Tyson Smith and Michele R. Buzon that details our recent discovery of a fortress at Tombos, the ancient place of Taroy.
The Fortified Settlement at Tombos and Egyptian Colonial Strategy in New Kingdom Nubia
Stuart Tyson Smith and Michele Buzon