We’re very happy to announce that Kelsey Museum Research Scientist Geoff Emberling and his team have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for their excavation at Jebel Barkal, Sudan. The grant project, entitled “Urbanism in Ancient Kush: Archaeological Investigation of Settlement at Jebel Barkal, Northern Sudan,” was awarded through the Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research grant program.

As members of the Kelsey community will know, Jebel Barkal was one of the capital cities of Kush (ca. 800 BCE–300 CE) and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over two field seasons, the archaeological team plans to excavate six different areas at the site to assess the diversity of activities and identities across the ancient city. The project will contribute significantly to archaeology in the Nile Valley—where urban centers have rarely been investigated by techniques of comparative archaeology—and engage Sudanese colleagues as team members in discussions about and training in these methods. It will also be an important part of broader efforts to engage with the community around the site.

A drone photo showing some of the urban architecture at the Jebel Barkal site.