Włodzimierz Godlewski, Dorota Dzierzbicka (eds), Dongola 2012–2014. Fieldwork, Conservation and Site Management, (=PCMA Excavation Series 3), Warsaw: PCMA, 2015
Old Dongola, a royal metropolis, the political and economic center of the Medieval Christian king¬dom of Makuria, flourished from the 5th/6th cen¬tury to the 14th century. The royal complex on the Citadel, surrounded by imposing stone fortifications, dates from the earliest period of the city’s exist¬ence. Other representative buildings were founded in the 9th century, among them the Throne Hall later converted into a mosque that still towers over the site today. The city’s grandeur also finds expres¬sion in sacral complexes — numerous churches and a monastery — that shed light on local religious prac¬tice and boast a rich collection of stunning mural paintings. Although the royal court abandoned Dongola in 1364, the city remained an important urban center with extensive residential quarters functioning on and around the Citadel for several centuries.
The Mission of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology to Old Dongola has been excavating the Makurian capital for over 50 years. This volume contains a comprehensive report on fieldwork and conservation conducted by a team led by Włodzimierz Godlewski in years 2012–2014. The con-tributions, however, go beyond the work of recent seasons and refer broadly to the stock of knowledge accumulated over decades of earlier research. Chapters are devoted to the architecture, build¬ing techniques and urban planning of the Makurian capital. Several contributions concern wall paintings, focusing on their iconography, as well as physical characteristics. The tome also includes results of recent specialized research on material brought to light during earlier campaigns. The discussed categories of finds include texts, pottery, drainage installations, animal bones, and vessel stoppers. The wealth of archaeological data recovered on the site offers valuable insight on the history of Dongola, as well as various aspects of Nubian culture, art, architecture and economy.