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An interesting article on archeology in Sudan


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Brilliant contribution, @robinjojo; Thanks!!!  I really need to spend more time with the Guardian ...and less with CNN.

Can't resist showing off (again) my only Meroitic artifact, a small amulet with the ram's horns of Amun, a primary deity common to the Egyptian, Napatan and Meroitic pharaohs.  Circa 3rd c. BCE, from a reputable British dealer who'd gotten it directly from Christie's, with loads of provenance.



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That is a very interesting amulet!  The material seems to be a variety of quartz, chalcedony.  These quartz varieties, including jasper and agate of various types, were favorite stones for carving mostly small, often times beautifully intricate works of art.

Yes, the article, with its focus on the development of local, native archeologists is a positive step forward, and I hope the trend continues not only in Sudan, but throughout Africa, the Middle East and beyond. 

The axiom that the past informs the present can have a great bearing for these young archeologists as they pursue their professions. 

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Thanks for your further, incisive and generous comments, @robinjojo.  Got a chance to dig up the printed documentation on this amulet; yep, it's white jasper, and one of the ones from this lot.


The documentation from the intervening dealer, Artancient (based in London), notes Elias David's prominence as a New York-based dealer in "ancient and Near Eastern art," a source for "some of the greatest museums in the US, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art."  Artancient is the source for the more precise date of this and the similar ones from the Christie's lot, "c. 200 BC."  ...I got it within a year of the Christie's auction, and am newly amazed at how cheaply it closed, even given how far below Christie's estimate the original lot sold for.

...And, Yes, the material that Artancient sent included a listing of a separate, more elaborate amulet in carnelian --to your point about the intricacy that was achieved on this scale-- noting that it was excavated from "Meroe pyramid W 20," in 1922 (Howard Carter, anyone?) by a joint "expedition" of Harvard University and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  Thank you, evoking your OP, along with @Al Kowsky's thread about what happens after the excavation.


Right, when I bid on it, the rationale ran heavily to, Welp, it's already for sale; if I don't get it, someone else will.  That's really the best there is to tell you, regarding the attendant ethics.  At least within the broader, operative context, I like to think it found a good home.

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the egyptean archaeology of Sudan is not known by many people. In the middle of the sixties, I met a student from Tchad in Antwerp, who was living very near to the Sudan border. Issen, his name, was also appreciated by my parents and after 2/3 years, as he was also student in Antwerp, he came living by us. When his father knew it, the first thing he did was thanking my parents. When his son went back to Tchad, he invited me to come also to visit the country. When I told him of my interests , he organized also a trip to Sudan (without visum). So  I have visted the Meroe Pyramids in the 'Old Times'. It was very beautiful and special.

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