ARCE Northern California: The Land of Gold and Nomads: The History and Archaeology of the Atbai Desert of Sudan

Registration is required

Presented by: Dr. Julien Cooper; Research Fellow at United International College, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, China

3PM Pacific Time

  • 6:00 PMNorthern California
  • Online-Zoom
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Register for this lecture HERE.

Lecture Information:

A cemetery of ‘ring-graves’ found at Gebel Di’irabab in the Eastern Desert of the Sudan (Photo Credit: Julien Cooper)

The vast and rocky deserts of the Eastern Desert of Sudan, known as the ‘Atbai’, is the heartland of ancient nomadic groups known as the Medjay, Blemmyes, and Beja. The desert was also the source of much of the gold for Egypt and Nubia, making it of vital importance to the Egyptian and Kushite states. Despite this importance, very little archaeological exploration has been undertaken in this desert – little is known of the nature of foreign incursions in this area nor the archaeology of the indigenous inhabitants. As part of a program aiming to uncover the local archaeology this region, a new fieldwork survey began in 2018 largely designed to record archaeological sites under threat from modern activities. This presentation will showcase the history of this desert and the discoveries of the Atbai Survey.

About Julien Cooper:

Julien Cooper is a Research Fellow at United International College, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, China. He received his Ph.D. in Ancient History from Macquarie University, Australia in 2016. He was then a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Oxford University and a Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer in Egyptology at Yale University. He has conducted research in the areas of Egyptology and Egyptian Language (Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian, hieratic); Egyptian Epigraphy; Ancient Sudan & Nubia and relations with Egypt; Archaeology of Sudan; Red Sea Studies; Nomads and ancient nomadism; Blemmyes and nomads of Northeast Africa; Afroasiatic Languages; and Language Contact.

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