18 September 2023
Kirwan Memorial Lecture
Forts of North Omdurman. New insights in the first centuries of Alwa and Makuria
by Mariusz Drzewiecki
— a researcher at the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
6pm – 7pm BST
Each autumn the Society invites a scholar to deliver the Kirwan Memorial Lecture, inaugurated in 2000 in honour of the first President of the Society, Sir Laurence Kirwan (1907-1999), whose interest and involvement in Sudanese archaeology spanned 60 years. The 2023 Kirwan Memorial lecturer is Mariusz Drzewiecki, and he will deliver his lecture in person on 18 September. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception at the British Museum.

About the lecture …

The end of Meroe and the rise of the medieval kingdoms in the Middle Nile Valley are poorly understood. Archaeological research indicates this was a period when defensive architecture began to be used on a large scale — a detail which written sources do not mention. The fortifications were diverse, and some were the largest structures ever built in the region.

Among the many fortified sites created at that time, one group stands out. It consists of nine quadrilateral enclosures similar to small forts built across the Roman Empire. They were erected between the Fourth Cataract and the confluence of the Niles, a section of the valley which was never under Roman authority. This gives rise to questions as to who built the forts and why — and speculations on the reasons, development and outcomes of conflict, based on the distribution of the forts, will be presented in the conclusion of the lecture.

Booking : britishmuseum.org/events/
SARS members will receive a discounted ticket
Venue : Stevenson Lecture Theatre, the British Museum, London
The Kirwan Memorial Lecture is preceded by the Society’s Annual General Meeting, at 5pm in the same venue. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception 7-9pm in Gallery 65.
For further details about Society events or questions about the AGM, contact the Honorary Secretary.