N. H. BASHIYEHR (Sudan)
Peoples ' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN)
Sudan, Meroite Kingdom, Abu Erteila, Hafirs,Keywords: problems of water supply, archaeological research
Sudan is one of the largest countries in north-east Africa with a rich tradition and eventful history. On its vast territory, ancient civilizations and the Christian and Muslim cultures that came to replace them have been replacing each other and getting along for thousands of years, which contributed to the formation of unique beliefs, rituals, traditions and customs of this amazing country. Many of the most valuable objects of the deep African civilization have so far remained out of the attention of specialists.
This happened to the Sudanese village of Abu Erteila, located less than a kilometer from the ruins of an ancient settlement of the Meroite kingdom period (VII-VI centuries BC-VIII-IX centuries AD). Until recently, this village was not even on the geographical map. Since 2009, a Russian-Italian archaeological expedition has been working in Abu Erteil, and I was a member of it. Her findings and discoveries served as the basis for writing this article.
In ancient times, as in our days, agriculture and the life of the country as a whole were directly related to the available water resources. In the midst of agricultural societies, various rational economic systems were created, the basis of which was irrigation agriculture. Such economic areas undoubtedly included the kingdom of Meroe. The Roman historian Pliny wrote that "in the vicinity of Meroe, the grass is greener and there are some forests" 1, and in the Nile "the only water suitable for drinking"2.
Excavations by archaeologists confirm that the area of central Sudan in ancient times was very fertile and had opportunities for pasture and meadow farming. 3
"Living below the Elephantine mountains* and drinking Nile water" 4 - this is how Herodotus described the population of ancient Sudan. It was on this territory ... Read more