Archaeological Sites In Sudan
Sudan is considered one of the few countries which enjoy a variety of tourism resources. These resources are represented in the Red Sea Coast which extends for more than 700 kilometers and is characterized by many tourist attractions, including diving and under-water photography, besides boat rowing and water skiing.
The Red Sea Coast enjoys many gulfs and coral reefs as the area is free from contamination which plagues many seas and tourist areas in the world. Sudan also enjoys an ancient heritage in the field of civilizations and antiquities representing a great attraction for tourists both from within and outside the country. This heritage is centred in the Northern areas including Al-Naga’, Al-Musawarat, Karima, Al-Berkal, Merwie, Dongola and others.
These areas and others saw ancient civilizations proved by the remains of the pyramids and temples, with a great part of them still lying unearthed. These areas attract many experts and researchers in this field. In addition, they are considered archaeological sites not experiencing any toursit leap before, despite the availability of huge resources in them. Central areas in Sudan, including Sennar and Sinja, contain antiquities of Al-Funj Kingdom (The Black Sultanate). The antiquities of this area bear testimony to the long and authentic history of the kingdom.
There are many antiquities of the Mahdi State in east and west of Sudan and in the National Capital. These antiquities which reflect the glory and history of the Sudanese people, beside the existence of many other antiquities in other areas deserve concern to attract tourists from abroad to get acquainted with the history of the country at that time.
In East Sudan, at Sawakin area on the Red Sea, there are great antiquities indicating the existence of a historically great period of Sudan’s history. Sawakin island, for example, is considered one of the areas which witnessed urban development and unique styles of architecture. It is now regarded as one of the world’s few areas in this field. There are many tourists interested in this aspect of history and who can be attracted to these sites.
The state also set up Al-Dinder National Tourist Park for wildlife in the central state in 1935. This park is considered one of the greatest game reserves in Africa. It occupies a unique position north of the equator on an area of 2,470 square miles.
In 1990, the Government announced the establishment of Sanganieb national marine reserve on an area of about 12 square kilometers as a first Sudanese sea reserve at the Red Sea area. The government also set up Arous Tourist Village at the Red Sea area and villages of Jemieza in the Equatorial State.
Areas of games are represented in the Red Sea Hills and birds hunting at Kindy Lake in Darfur state after it had been protected against poaching. There are also game areas in South Sudan, Al-Dari Mountain, Al-Fuweir area, Al-Rugia Al-Zargha area, Talha Al-Misairi and Foanghar Mountain in Kordofan State. Sudan also enjoys many other tourist attractions such as the archaeological sites in the northern and eastern states.
Sudan stepped a vague, hostoric period as a political, local power emerged at the end of the 9th century B.C. which was named Kosh Kingdom. This historic period was divided into two eras: Nabta Kingdom – Merwie Kingdom. The history of most archaeological sites found in Sudan dates back to different periods including the Pharaohnic period – Karma – Kosh – Christianity – Islam.
The most important archaeological sites lying between the North and the South of the country, are:
Sai island lies to the south of the second cataract. It contains many antiquities including temples, monuments and cemeteries which almost represent all the cultural periods of the first stone age. They also represent the Pharaohnic period till the advent of the Ottoman Rule.
It contained some temples which represent the Pharaohnic period, besides some other cemeteries concerning Nabta and Merwie.
It contained a temple that dates back to the Pharaohnic period and other antiquities of Egyptian and Merwatic origins.
Egyptian writings have been found in this area inscribed on rocks lying near the third cataract and a statue which dates back to the Merwatic period.
It is one of the most important archaeological sites in Sudan. It enjoys huge buildings made of unbaked bricks and is known as “Al-Duafoofah”, which dates back to the 203rd century B.C.
This site is found on Argo Island, south of the Third Cataract and contains a Koshite temple and antiquities that date back to the Merwatic and Christian periods.
This site has a number of temples of Egyptian origin as it also represents the Kush era.
This is the capital of the lower Christian Nubia Kingdom (Mayuria). It was a church which has now been changed into a mosque. There are also houses, palaces and cemetries in this area.
It is regarded as the religious capital of Nabta Kingdom. It lies near the Fourth Cataract and contains some antiquities including temples, palaces, pyramids and cemeteries which date back to different periods since the time of the Pharaohnic era, Nabta and Merwie.
This site contains pyramids and royal cemeteries as a number of members of the ruling dynasty had been buried there during Nabta era.
This location is famous for a group of cemeteries inscribed on rocks with ornaments that date back to the era of Nabta’s first kings.
The new town of Merowe now lies near the Fourth Cataract and enshrines cemeteries which dates back to the era of Nabta. Yet, no excavation work has been conducted there.
This site is an oasis in Bayoudah desert, a few kilometers away from Merowe town. Al-Ghazali contains relics of the Christian era.
This is the capital of Kosh Kingdom (Old Merowe). It enshrines some pyramids, temples and relics of a royal town.
This area represents a religious centre that dates back to the Merwatic period. It contains temples with remarkable inscriptions and a great building made of sand stones which is called the great yard.
This site is similar to yellow Musawarat; it represents a religious centre lying in Al-Butana region (in the central part of the country). It contains many ornamented and inscribed temples, besides cemetries and relics of a town.
It represents the remains of Merowe town and contains relics of a royal palace and many other relics.
Here there are relics of a church, palaces, houses and cemeteries.
This site comprises relics of beautiful buildings made of coral rocks of special Islamic architectural style.
It contains antiquities of an Islamic town, but work has not been completed to determine the size of those relics.
Sudan has a vast and various stock of antiquities and national heritage which represents promising resources for investment if it is utilized in the best way.
The previous period saw the rehabilitation of some antiquities sites in the areas of Al-Fiqh, Yellow Musawarat and Al-Bejrawia in Nahr El-Nile State, besides Al-Barkel Museum in the Northern State. Sawakin has also been rehabilitated to protect the Islamic heritage. In Darfur, the Sultan Palace and cemetries of the Sultans in the area has also been rehabilitated and maintained.
There are a number of archaeological missions in Wadi Hor area, Jabal Marrah and Kordofan. Sheikan Museum has also been rehabilitated. In Khartoum State, there are investment projects intended to rehabilitate Sudan National Museum and add some tourist aspects. In Western Sudan, Jabal Marrah represents a unique tourist area with its splendid natural scenery, captivating water falls, mineral water, moderate climatic conditions, besides the folklore, heritage and popular arts of the area.