Discovering a Lost Nubian City: Archaeology of Jebel Barkal, Sudan

The Amun Temple at Jebel Barkal

Ancient Nubia may seem to have been a civilization without cities, due to archaeological traditions that focused on temples and burials. But recent excavations near Jebel Barkal, an ancient temple center in northern Sudan, reveal traces of a nearby settlement. Research scientist Goeff Emberling discusses these findings, and the collaborative project between the University of Michigan and the Sudanese department of antiquities, which are beginning to give a fuller picture of this fascinating African empire.

Geoff Emberling is an associate research scientist at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and currently directs archaeological research on ancient Kush at Jebel Barkal in northern Sudan. His research interests include comparative perspectives on ancient cities, states, empires, and ethnicity with a particular focus on ancient cultures across the Middle East and North Africa. He received a BA in anthropology from Harvard University and a PhD in anthropology and Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan with a dissertation on ethnicity in early Mesopotamia.