— a researcher at the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
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.