Three PCMA UW projects have received funding in the 19th edition of the National Science Centre’s Opus and Preludium competitions. Opus 19 grants were awarded to Prof. Tomasz Waliszewski, head of the PCAM UW expedition in Mustis (Tunisia), and Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda, who will conduct research on marbles from the Levant. The Preludium 19 grant went to Maciej Wyżgoł, working with the PCMA UW expedition in Old Dongola (Sudan).
The PCMA UW research project in Mustis started in 2018 in cooperation with the Institut National du Patrimoine (Tunis), as the first Polish-Tunisian archaeological project since the 1970s. The site is located about 130 kilometers from ancient Carthage. Public and private buildings from the Roman and Byzantine periods cover an area of 34 ha of the site. Investigations in Mustis can improve our understanding of the process of colonization and Romanization in northern Africa. The new Opus 19 grant project is: (Reading) African Palimpsest. The dynamics of urban and rural communities of Numidian and Roman Mustis (AFRIPAL) and Prof. Waliszewski and his team will focus on the changes accompanying the Numidian settlement’s transformation into a Roman city and the further development of Mustis within the Roman Empire. The interdisciplinary research will also cover the vast rural surroundings in the city’s hinterland.
Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda’s Opus 19 project is entitled: Marmora Byzantina. Identification of the origin of marbles and their use in secular and sacred space in the southern Levant of the early Byzantine period (4th–7th century AD). Dr. Gwiazda will study marbles from the area of today’s Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. The multi-faceted analysis will include investigations on the origin of this raw material, its use, and its importance for the economy of southern Levant. One of the results of the project will be an open-access database of early Byzantine marble objects from the study area and of the source texts mentioning them.
Maciej Wyżgoł’s project: Histories Imprinted on Floors. Functioning of Households in Old Dongola after the Fall of Makuria in the Light of the Multielemental Analysis of Occupational Surfaces received a grant in the Preludium 19 competition. Old Dongola, the capital of the Kingdom of Makuria (5th–14th century) is one of the longest-studied sites in the PCMA UW portfolio. Excavations have been ongoing there since 1964, and since 2017 an ERC project has been underway there. Maciej Wyżgoł’s research will cover the Islamic period: to learn about the changes that have taken place in society at that time, his studies will focus on everyday life and on households. Archaeological research will be complemented with geochemical analyzes, which will help to shed light on the daily activities of Dongola’s residents.
Our congratulations to all project heads!