Pharaonic sites

Less than 40 sites were registered as ‘Pharaonic’ by the ASSN; these include a few Middle Kingdom sites, north of Semna. These supplement the well-known Egyptian fortresses which link the 2nd cataract and Semna-Kumma.  Most were of New Kingdom date, a few are later, relating to a 25th Dynasty/Napatan period presence.

These included a small number of new Pharaonic inscriptions/graffiti. One interesting group, recorded as site [21-S-29], overlooked the rapids at the Akasha bend (where the river turns 90 degree); inscribed on rocks c.200m from the river bank.  One inscription bears a cartouche of Tuthmosis I and this, and others, may be linked with the series recorded above Tanjur island (Hintze and Reineke 1989, I, 171-2, no. 561, II, pl. 238). This site was relocated in December 2013 and re-examined (see Davies 2014)

Akasha 21-S-29Inscription at Akasha West of year 2 of Tuthmosis I – relating to his campaign which reached Kurgus, near the Fifth Cataract


The Middle Kingdom fort at Shelfak [11-U-1]. Reisner’s excavations were published by Dows Dunham (Dunham 1967).


The southern end of the Middle Kingdom military frontier was linked by  a mudbrick wall [10-Y-12] which ran for c.5km from Semna South to near Uronarti. Not all of its line was traced but some sections were exposed.


 Following an irregular path, this section of the wall approaches the river (this view is looking toward the SE)

In two areas, Saras and Duweishat numerous traces of Pharaonic mining operations were encountered. These including mining camps, around excavations/shafts as well as several ‘workshops’, commonly containing numerous grinding stones, ore-crushers and other processing installations, within dry-stone built structures.

looking N 11-Q-62 view2 copy

A view across the workshop site (11-Q-62) in Saras East, looking N, during excavations winter 1965-1966 (photo ASSNF314:9). A number of grindstones are visible, in situ or reused in the walls. The 19th century fort is visible on the hilltop, top left.

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