“Transitions of the city of Tungul” – workshop of the ERC UMMA project

The research team of the ERC grant “UMMA: Urban Metamorphosis of the Community of a Medieval African Capital City” led by Prof. Artur Obłuski, is organizing workshops summarizing five years of research at the archaeological site in Old Dongola.

Old Dongola is an important archaeological site, investigated by the team from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw for over half a century. As the capital of Makuria, it thrived between the 11th and 13th centuries. After the downfall of Makuria, a small kingdom emerged around the city, maintaining intensive trade contacts both with the Far East and Europe. The UMMA project team is interested not only in the collapse of one state organism and the emergence of a new one but also in the transitional period that includes Dongola’s transformation into a Muslim city and the formation of a new society.

Field research lasted for five years, from 2018 to 2023, covering several locations within the so-called citadel, the fortified part of the city. The excavations examined archaeological layers dating from the 13th to the 18th century, spanning from the Makurian times to the Funj period. This allowed tracing the changes occurring in the society of Old Dongola from the fall of the Makurian kingdom almost to the end of the city’s existence.

During the workshops, various issues related to the ongoing changes will be discussed, concerning the organization of the city, functioning of households, economy, traditions, and beliefs. The conclusions will help to characterize the changes occurring in the African city after the downfall of the state of which it had been the capital.

The workshop will take place on 11th and 12th January 2024.
Program PDF

The meeting will be available via Zoom. To receive a link, please write to pcma@uw.edu.pl