Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean — 9.1997(1998)

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SOUTHERN DONGOLA REACH SURVEY
ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECONNAISSANCE NEAR ABKOR 1997
Bogdan Zurawski
In February 1997, a brief archaeological reconnaissance was
conducted on the right bank of the Nile in the environs of Abkor,
opposite Ed-Debba (Map Sheet 45-E). The survey was a prelude to
The Southern Dongola Reach Survey which is scheduled to start
fieldwork in January 1998.1
The area had been visited by several travelers who left brief
descriptions.2 The 1997 reconnaissance trip was organized in virtue
of the written authorization from the National Corporation for
Antiquities and Museums. The fieldwork conducted in Feb. 9-16,
1997, included:
- surveying the area covered by dunes southeast of the Estabel
fortress, where in 1991 the sandstone relics of a hitherto unknown
building resembling the Napatan temple were shown to the author
by the Howawir Beduins;
- brushing the topmost parts of the walls of the ruined structure;

1 The Southern Dongola Reach Survey has been organised jointly by the Centre for
Mediterranean Archaeology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Centre of
Mediterranean Archaeology of Warsaw University , Archaeological Museum in Poznan,
and the Faculty of Mediterranean Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University. SNCAM
has offered a survey concession on the right bank of the Nile between Old Dongola in the
north and the right bank of Khor El-Mahfour, a few kilometers downstream from
Ez-Zuma, in the south.
The team consisted of: Dr. Bogdan Zurawski, Dr. Mahmoud El-Tayeb, Mr Zbigniew
Borkowski, Mr Kazimierz Kotlewski.
2 Most important of these early descriptions was a narrative by a Turkish traveler, Evliya
Celebi (who journeyed through the Sudan in 1672/1673) who mentioned that the Abkor
fortress stood on the river bank. Today the Abkor Fortress is a couple of kilometres away
from the river, cf. Linant de Bellefonds, Journal d'un voyage a Meroe dans les annees
1821 et 1822. Khartoum 1958, p. 36 n. 3.

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