Ifao-PCMA UW Fellowship awarded to Dr. Cristina Alù

PCMA UW Research Centre in Cairo and Institut français d’archéologie orientale awarded their fifth joint Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The new Fellow will be Dr. Cristina Alù. As part of the scholarship, she will organize a conference “Place-making in the desertscape: the socialization of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert landscape in the longue durée (4th millennium BCE–4th century CE)”.

Dr. Alù studied archaeology and Egyptology at the University of Pisa. Her doctorate focused on various aspects of natural resource extraction in the Eastern Desert, in the borderland between Egypt and Sudan. She also participated in several archaeological expeditions in Egypt, including excavations in Wadi el-Hudi in the Eastern Desert.

Dr. Alù’s project to be carried out as part of the PCMA-Ifao scholarship will also concern this region, which bears traces of natural resource extraction from prehistory to the present day. Archaeological remnants of these processes include places of extraction and processing of raw materials, desert trails connecting them, as well as burials, and petroglyphs, including rock art and inscriptions. During the planned interdisciplinary conference, various aspects of human interaction with the natural environment of the desert will be discussed, with particular emphasis on the processes leading to the naming and mental mapping of the desert landscapes (or ‘desertscapes’) and the creation of cultural meanings of places and related identities and cultural experiences.

The conference is planned for the Spring of 2024. Like its predecessors, it will be held in Cairo, and its organization will be shared by the Ifao and the PCMA Research Centre in Cairo.