Kawa Excavation Project
1997 – 2018

The Kawa Excavation Project

Downloads …
SITE GUIDE in Arabic >
[ 8.8Mb pdf ]
SITE GUIDE in English >
[ 5.1Mb pdf ]

Publications funded by the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project

Kawa Basketry

Downloads …
ALL IMAGES : high res >
[ 128Mb pdf ]
ALL IMAGES : optimised >
[ 15.5Mb pdf ]

Map - Kawa

Currently, post-excavation work is being undertaken for this project.

The Egyptian name of Kawa, Gematon, strongly suggests that it was founded by the pharaoh Akhenaten in the 14th century BC although the earliest structural evidence known from the site is a temple built during the reign of Tutankhamun.

The town was abandoned probably in the 4th century AD. It was a major urban centre covering approximately 40 hectares with a build-up probably of 11 metres of stratigraphy in the centre of the site.

The project conducted a detailed contour survey of the town, excavated and planned buildings, and investigated the adjacent cemetery.

The top of Taharqo’s bark stand as found resting on the stone floor of the sanctuary chamber in Building A is shown in the main picture. Taharqo was the Kushite king who reigned 690-664 BC and the probable builder of the shrine shown in the second image.

The third image shows one of two kilns in the lower town, of a type which is extremely rare in the Nile Valley but can be closely paralleled in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire.

In the winter of 2013, a new phase of activity began at Kawa under the umbrella of the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project. Part of this project focused on ensuring the long-term survival of the site and on making it more accessible to both Sudanese and foreign visitors. One of the steps in achieving these aims has been the production of a site guide in Arabic and English — available here for download.

Downloads …
SITE GUIDE in Arabic >
[ 8.8Mb pdf ]
SITE GUIDE in English >
[ 5.1Mb pdf ]

The post-excavation and publication project is in progress, and Volumes 1 and 3 are now available in print and open access online . Further, the Society has decided to make available downloadable draft reports (see below) as soon as they are completed. Much relevant research that is required to complete these reports is not included but some basic data can be consulted.

Final report
It is expected that the final report on the excavations at Kawa will include the sections listed below, each of which may be either a monograph or one or more monographs. Also listed are the specialists currently involved in the research.
Derek A. Welsby
Derek A. Welsby
Derek A. Welsby, Mahmoud Suliman Bashir
Isabella Welsby Sjöström
Derek A. Welsby
Caroline Cartwright et al
Penille Bangsgaard et al
Daniel Antoine et al
Irene Vincentelli
Draft reports currently available

The following draft reports are in pdf format. It must be stressed that they are not the final word and will undoubtedly be augmented or modified before the printed report is produced.

Excavation report : Excavations in the Temenos Gateway, Area (TG5) [2.1Mb], Derek A. Welsby
Excavation report : Excavations of Building Z1 [625k], Mahmoud Suliman Bashir and Derek A. Welsby
Macadam, M.F.L. 1949. ‘The Temples Of Kawa I: The Inscriptions’, London.
Macadam, M.F.L. 1955. ‘Temples Of Kawa. II. History and Archaeology of the Site’, Oxford.
Welsby, D.A. 1993. ‘Kawa Survey Project’, Sudan Archaeological Research Society Newsletter 3-7.
Welsby, D.A. 1998. ‘Survey and Excavations at Kawa, the 1997/8 season’, Sudan & Nubia 2, 15-20 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 1999-2002. ‘Survey and Excavations At Kawa 1997-1998’, Kush 18, 183-190.
Welsby, D.A. 2000. ‘The Kawa Excavation Project’, Sudan & Nubia 4, 5-10 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 2001a. ‘An early Kushite shrine at Kawa in northern Sudan’, Egyptian Archaeology 19, Autumn, 25-27.
Welsby, D.A. 2001b. ‘Excavations within the Pharaonic and Kushite site at Kawa and in its hinterland, 2000-2001’, Sudan & Nubia 5, 64-70 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 2001c. ‘Kushite buildings at Kawa’, British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan 1, 32-45 … download pdf at www.britishmuseum.org
Welsby, D.A. 2002a. ‘Ein Schrein ans frühkuschitischer Zeit in Kawa’, Der Antike Sudan 13, 85-91.
Welsby, D.A. 2002b. ‘The Kushite Town and Cemetery at Kawa, the 2001-2002 season. Survey and excavations’, Sudan & Nubia 6, 32-37 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 2002c. ‘Survey and Excavation in Sudan’, Archaeology Abroad November, 43-46.
Welsby, D.A. 2006. ‘Kawa Kushita e Soba medievale’, in A. Castiglioni and A. Castiglioni (eds), Nubia. Magica Terra Millenaria, Firenze, 222-225.
Welsby, D.A. 2008. ‘The Northern Dongola Reach Survey. Excavations at Kawa, 2007-8’, Sudan & Nubia 12, 34-39 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 2009. ‘Houses and Pyramids at Kawa, excavations 2008-9’, Sudan & Nubia 13, 72-77 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. ‘Excavations at Kawa, 2009-10’, Sudan & Nubia 14, 48-55 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. ‘Excavations at Kawa, 2010-11’, Sudan & Nubia 15, 54-63 … read now >
Welsby, D.A. 2013. ‘Surveys at the Fifth Cataract and on the Sudan Military Railway and excavations at Kawa, 2012-13’, Sudan & Nubia 17, 131-136.
Welsby, D. A. 2023. ‘Gematon: Living and Dying in a Kushite Town on the Nile, Volume I. Excavations at Kawa, 1997-2018’. Sudan Archaeological Research Society Publication 27. London. Open Access >
Welsby-Sjöström, I. 2023. ‘Gematon: Living and Dying in a Kushite Town on the Nile. Volume II. The Pottery’. Sudan Archaeological Research Society Publication 29. London. Open Access >