From the Edge of the Desert

After spending awhile in London doing curatorial research, I am now in the Sudan on an archaeological dig–doing research by playing in the dirt at Dangeil. This is a British Museum and National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums excavation project, but the main team is comprised of Canadian and Sudanese archaeologists. It happens that Julie, the Canadian co-director, is a keeper at the BM.


Dangeil is a small village on the east bank of the Nile, approximately 350 km north-east of Khartoum, the capital of the Sudan. Dangeil currently has no electricity and ‘running water’ only 3 hours each day (when the pump of the artesian well works, that is). Strangely enough, we now have Internet access in Dangeil !!! You can’t even imagine how weird it is to have Internet in the desert… I mean, really. It is out of this world…

Thank goodness we have a generator to power the computer because otherwise Internet access is worthless…

What kind of archaeological site is Dangeil? Well, it is a Meroitic city dated to circa 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. It comprises a large temple dedicated to the god Amun (which we are currently excavating), a cemetery, and a settlement (located under the modern village). There are other mounds on site (perhaps another temple and a few things we can figure out just yet) and we probably have enough work here for the next 30 years.

I think this is it for my first post from the edge of the desert.

Caroline’s posts from the desert have been delayed due to the sometimes-sensitive nature of the research.

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