Wednesday, 19. June 2019, 17:30

We are Family … aren’t we? Re-linking the Middle Nubian traditions

Aaron de Souza (OREA)

The Kerma, C-Group, and Pan-Grave traditions of ancient Nubia inhabited the Nile Valley between its First and Fourth Cataracts during the mid-Second Millennium BC. All three groups were defined in the early 20th Century based on their material culture and spatial distributions, creating the impression that each was a distinct and bounded cultural entity. This rigid framework stood for almost a century, but we now realise that the boundaries between the groups are much more fluid. Rather than bouncing off one another like cultural rubber balls, the groups merge and diverge in complex ways dependant on the social and environmental systems in which they interacted.

This lecture presents how our perception of Nubian archaeological cultures became fixed, how we began to realise that they are not, and the difficulties involved with reconfiguring the models of the previous century. Initial findings from ongoing re-examinations of the material record and recent excavations will also be presented in an effort to stimulate updated interpretations of the ancient Nubians and their remarkable material traditions.