May 2, 2016
Forgotten Fortress: Returning to Uronarti
Saturday, May 7, 2016
LaSalle Banks Room of the Oriental Institute.
In the early 2nd millennium BC, Egypt conquered Lower Nubia, a stretch of the Nile now partly in northern Sudan. This resource-rich territory was controlled by means of a series of monumental mudbrick fortresses. Lower Nubia was flooded when the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s, and was long assumed to be an archaeological dead zone, all remains destroyed. Recent discovery that two of the fortresses are still above water has allowed us to return to this area with new questions, asking not only about the motives of the Egyptian state in imposing colonial rule but also about the lived experiences of both Egyptians and Nubians in the resulting zone of contact. This talk focuses on a newly started project of survey and excavation at the site of Uronarti, one of the remaining fortresses.
Laurel Bestock is the Vartan Gregorian Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology at Brown University. She received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2007. Having excavated early royal remains at the site of Abydos in Egypt for many years, she has recently indulged her long-standing interest in the Nubian fortresses by beginning the project at Uronarti. Her additional research interests include the development of sacred space over time, and artistic representations of violence, which latter is the subject of a current book project titled Power and Violence: images and ideology in early Egypt.
This lecture is brought to you by the American Research Center in Egypt, Chicago Chapter.