Project: Unraveling Nubian Funerary Practices

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Elsa Yvanez


    Project collaborator:

    Dr. Magdalena M. Woźniak (PCMA UW)


    NAWA Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, Ulam programme PPN/ULM/2020/1/00246

    Project term:

    April 2021 to March 2022


    PLN 127 000

  • Unraveling Nubian Funerary Practices. Textiles and body wrappings in ancient Sudan

    This project aims to bridge the gap between textile studies and funerary archaeology, using interdisciplinary approaches to renew our understanding of funerary practices in Late Antiue Sudan (c. 350 BCE–550 CE). Using methods from physical anthropology, archaeology, conservation, and textile studies, the project will lead to the creation a protocol for the best practices in the excavation, conservation, and analysis of funerary textiles, from the in-situ find all the way to advanced testing in laboratories.

    Led by Dr. Elsa Yvanez in close collaboration with Dr. Magdalena M. Woźniak and other PCMA UW colleagues, the project will be composed of multi-disciplinary training events, research in archives and in the field, and dissemination of research results (publications, seminars, etc.). Our collective aim is to rethink our approach to funerary remains: not as a disjointed group of scattered artifacts, but as the result of a multi-step and complete practice where textiles conceal, dress, shape, and protect the body of the deceased, while giving the individual a clear identity in the worlds of both the living and the dead.

    Lectures and conference presentations:

    April 15-16, 2021: Organisation of the international workshop “Funerary textiles. Towards a better method for in situ study, retrieval and conservation”. Warsaw/PCMA and online, with the support of EuroWeb (COST 19131).

    April 15, 2021: lecture “Rewinding the thread. Archaeology and textile archives from the Scandinavian Joint Expedition to Nubia”. Workshop ” Funerary textiles. Towards a better method for in situ study, retrieval and conservation”. Warsaw/PCMA and online.

    June 16, 2021: lecture ” ‘All tucked in’! Textile furnishings and funerary beds in ancient Sudan “. International conference “Old Textiles – More possibilities”, Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen and online.

    June 26, 2021: lecture “The Nubian site of Karanog through the lens of textile research (100-300 CE)”. International conference “Die textile Dimension / The textile dimension. Textile Finds in Archaeology”. University of Bönn and online

    September 4, 2021: lecture “Re-contextualizing textiles in the grave. The Unravelling Nubian funerary practices project”, with Dr. Magdalena M. Wozniak. International conference “Sudan Studies 5, Warsaw edition”, University of Warsaw and online.

    Project bibliography:
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