Dr. Tomomi Fushiya’s project with Egypt Exploration Society’s Centenary Award

Dr. Tomomi Fushiya’s project entitled “Conservation of monuments and sites in Sudan during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium period (1898–1956)” has been selected for the Egypt Exploration Society’s Centenary Award.

Dr. Fushiya’s research and practice focuses on collaborative archaeology, heritage values and decolonising methodologies in archaeology and heritage management in North Africa. Her latest project investigates the history of conservation at archaeological sites in Sudan through an archive-based study.

Conservation of archaeological sites and monuments is essential to preserving the ancient remains that are important for research, education, enjoyment, and shaping identities. Since the inception of the Sudan Antiquities Service, the state of preservation of monuments was one of its concerns, along with archaeological excavations. However, this topic has not been systematically studied, in contrast to archaeology and museums. The idea for this research was motivated, in part, by the archival records of discussions about the conservation of the temple of Amun at Amara West housed at the Lucy Gura Archive in the Egypt Exploration Society.

The project aims to investigate the following questions:

  • What were the scope and methods of conservation of monuments and archaeological sites during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium period?
  • How is conservation relevant to colonialism in terms of representation, narrative, and selection of archaeological sites?
  • How did the major deterioration causes and the methods used to mitigate the damages in the past differ from today’s conservation needs? By comparing to the past situation, can we identify the impact of climate change on built heritage today?
  • How and to what degree did local materials, skills, and communities contribute to the conservation and protection of monuments?

The project also intends to collect information and images that would facilitate co-decision-making on heritage preservation and presentation with the Sudanese National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, local communities, and the PCMA UW Old Dongola project team. A participatory approach is an important aspect of another ongoing project in Old Dongola: “Baraka: revitalization of the oldest preserved mosque in Sudan” funded by the ALIPH Foundation.

The newly-awarded project is a continuation of Dr. Fushiya’s previous extensive research on the historiography of archaeology in Sudan that focused on excavations at Amara West (publication forthcoming) and is relevant to her project: “Testimonies of cooperative care: A socioeconomic system of maintenance of the oldest mosque in Sudan” funded from the University of Warsaw’s IDUB program by the Centre for Research on Ancient Civilizations.

Egypt Exploration Society (EES) was founded in the United Kingdom in 1882. Since then, it has been promoting and supporting Egyptological research. It also provides funding for researchers, e.g. through its Centenary Awards.The awards that can be used to fund archaeological fieldwork, museum/archive-based research, publication/dissemination or engagement activities, are intended for postgraduate research students or PhDs within five years of having been awarded their PhD/DPhil (link to EES website).

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