MEROWE DAM ARCHAEOLOGICAL
In February-March 2004 the author, acting upon invitation from NCAM, organized a survey
and follow-up salvage operation on Saffi Island within the NCAM concession.1
The island, together with the neighboring Uli in the Jebel Kulgeila Reach of the Nile, is
a high-priority agenda for the Merowe Dam Archaeological Survey Project (=MDASP),
since both will be among the first sites to be flooded by the artificial lake created behind the
The only testimony before the time of Terence Gray's and Thabit Hassan Thabit's visit
to the island in 19492 is a brief note by R.C. Lepsius dated to 1844.3 4 In 2000, a team
from the Institute of Developing Countries at the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies
of Warsaw U niversity carried out a season of field research focused on agricultural economy
in general and on changes in traditional agriculture in the rural farming communities of
Saffi Island in particular.f
1 A joint mission of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of Warsaw University and the National Museum
in Warsaw worked on the island from February 8 until March 27, 2004. The staff consisted of regular members of the
Southern Dongola Reach Survey (SDRS), active in the area in 1997-2003. Mr. Piotr Osypinski and Mrs. Marta
Osypinska did most of the fieldwork, helped by Mr. Artur Obluski, Mrs. Edyta Klimas2ewska-Drabot and Mr. Habab
Idriss representing the NCAM. Most of the ceramic drawings were done by Mrs. Edyta Klimaszewska-Drabot, Ms
Dobrochna Zielinska and Mrs. Marta Osypinska; the latter also studied the animal and human bones.
2 T. Gray, The Fourth Cataract, SNR 30 (1949), 120-130.
3 R. Lepsius, Briefe aus Aegypten, Aethiopien und der Halbinsel des Sinai (Berlin 1852), 245.
4 J. Gudowski, Rolnictwo i jego ekonomiczne efekty. Badania terenowe w dystrykcie Karima, in: Wokol IV Katarakty,
ed. M. Z^bek (Warszawa 2005), 123-124.