Mariusz Drzewiecki, Budowle obronne w Górnej Nubii na podstawie badań archeologicznych i etnologicznych / (Fortresses of Upper Nubia in the light of archaeological and ethnological researches; in Polish), Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press, PCMA UW, 2020
From simple tower houses for one family or a small group of people to huge defensive complexes with bastions and bastilles guarding the borders of empires and the trade routes. From non-invasive archaeological methods such as photography, analyses of satellite imagery or laser scanning, to surveys and excavations.
The book presents the fascinating world of very diversified fortresses that were built over many centuries in the Upper Nubia region (today’s northern and central Sudan). However, it can be also read as a kind of “guide on archaeology”. Its informal narrative involves the reader into the every-day reality of the archaeologists, shows how they prepare for the research, and what kind of problems they have to face during their work. The book also raises some new research questions and encourages the readers to start their own adventure with archaeology.
Mariusz Drzewiecki – an archaeologist, who started organizing research expeditions to Sudan already as a student. He appreciated both the charm of the Middle Nile valley and the research potential of the local defensive structures. The documentation made during these expeditions, as part of the Fortresses of Sudan project, became the basis for his doctoral dissertation (2013). He studied defensive structures in the village of Jawgul (2013–2016) and in Banganarti (2006–2017, with minor interruptions). In 2017–2020, he headed the project “Were Meroite rulers builders of fortresses? Defensive structures and political changes in Upper Nubia during the fall of Meroe and the beginnings of the kingdom of Alwa”, working in the forts far south of the Nile valley, near Omdurman. In 2019, he started examining the remains of Soba, the capital of the kingdom of Alwa on the outskirts of Khartoum.