21-S-15 Akasha East/Khor Akasha

This site lay amongst rock outcrops c.1200m from the river, and c.300m from the north-south channel of the lower Khor Akasha, on  the south side of the Akasha-Kulb road. The site remains unflooded. This was a fairly large site covering c.175m x 150m, bounded to south and west by rocky outcrops and descending on north side to  the long khor which connects Kulb and Akasha. Running parallel to the main Nile this was a palaeochannel, along which much river-laid alluvium was visible. The surface of the site was uneven and variable, with outcrops of bedrock in places and an area of fossil alluvium. For the most part it was littered with small rocks and stones, mainly black or deep brown in colour, and there was an abundance of quartzite chips. There was a fair number of surface sherds (c.4-5/m2), almost entirely of ‘Khartoum Neolithic’ types.

Vieew over test excavation at 21-S-15, with ancient palaeochannel which runs between Khor Akasha and Kulubnarti area beyond

A test excavation examined an area of c.10.5m x 11.5m in January 1968, undertaken by A. J. Mills. The ‘fill’ apparently all represented one level of occupation, surviving to a depth of no more than 30cm containing sherds and quartzite pieces. There were remains of some structures on the site; in the tested areas consisting of a number of walls of rough local stone, set in and possibly plastered with mud. Very eroded these suggest a series of adjoining rooms, not necessarily connected. In plan these seemed irregular in shape and size. Their date  was uncertain but, on the basis of the predominance of ‘Khartoum Variant’ material (almost entirely Ware K1.01), potentially associated with that period. The nature of the site remained uncertain. The large number of quartzite flakes and the proximity of a large quartzite outcrop suggest a ‘tool industry’ here. However, there were found in the  tested area a fair number of smooth oval rubbing stones, and in the same area a powdery white deposit, in a considerable quantity. A further puzzle at the site was that, despite the abundance of chipped quartzite pieces, nothing resembling a stone blade was seen (nor anything resembling lithics found by Arkell), nor any fragments of bone or horn. The only ‘tools’ seen were the c.30 pounder/grind stones.

Pottery sample from site 21-S-15
Pottery sample from test excavations at 21-S-15.