Roof completed over the Church of Archangel Raphael in Old Dongola

Working at an archaeological site not only includes excavations but also preserving its heritage. This is especially important at sites with noteworthy artwork, such as Old Dongola in Sudan, where there are several sacred buildings with preserved wall paintings. In December 2022, a replacement roof over the 9th-century Church of Archangel Raphael was completed there as part of an emergency relief project funded by the International alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH).

The project’s aim was to construct an innovative, two-level roof that would protect the church (so-called building B.V) from the elements and enable it to maintain appropriate thermal and humidity conditions through proper air circulation. This required dismantling the old metal roof, raising the current structure and installing a roof layer composed of locally available natural substrates: djarid – palm leaf stems and muna – mud mortar, then covering it with a layer of sheet metal to protect against precipitation. This is the first stage of a holistic programme of protection and conservation of the church of Archangel Raphael in Old Dongola.

The project “Emergency Measures to Preserve the Church of Archangel Raphael, Old Dongola, Sudan” was funded by the ALIPH Foundation.

Authors and coordinators of the project: Prof. Romuald Tarczewski (Wrocław University of Technology), Joanna Wyżgoł, Prof. Krzysztof Chmielewski (Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw), Dr. Dorota Dzierzbicka, Magdalena Skarżyńska, Zaki Ed-Din Mahmoud
National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Sudan, inspector: Habab Idriss Ahmed

More about Old Dongola