New Discoveries - Two temples recently excavated at Abu Erteila (Sudan) - An online lecture

Abu ErteilaBy : Professor Eleonora Kormysheva
Date : Saturday May 16th at 11am
Booking Click here to book / register

The lecture will take us into Merotic Nubia and is devoted to the two new temples discovered by the Italian-Russian joint archaeological mission at Abu Erteila. The site is located on the Wadi Hawad, nine km. from Meroe royal city and Pyramids. One of the temples had been constructed by Meroitic royal couple - Natakamani and Amanitore (1 cent. AD). The temple, built in Meroite style, demonstrates similarities to the temples of Greco-Roman Egypt, and influence of Hellenistic style in painting and architecture. The altar, three stands for the sacred barks or statue, found in the temple, will be discussed in the lecture, namely the typical features of the images (supporting the sky) and hieroglyphic inscriptions on them. It will be demonstrated that the ritual of supporting the sky was performed for Natakamani, Amanitore and their heir Sorkaror in order to confirm the legitimization of Sorkaror's right to the throne.

The lecture will discuss the elements of Meroitic world view similar with the Greek-Roman Egypt, perception and borrowing of rituals, for example Hellenistic-style painting which shows close connections with Alexandria and other cities of Roman Egypt. Similarity in the material, design, inscriptions and finds discovered at Abu Erteila with Meroe, Awlib, Hamadab and Musawwarat es Sufra, integrate Abu Erteila into the historical and cultural area of the "Meroe Island"- heart of ancient Sudanese civilization.

The second temple, which is similar in the layout with the temple of Natakamani, was found on the territory of Abu Erteila as well. The temple has been entitled the Lion Temple because of the lion statuettes found on this territory. The unique design (fresco) was revealed on the all perimeter of the sanctuary. There were remains of the human figures moving in two processions towards each other. Every figures are divided one from another by the ancient Egyptian symbol of "unity". The décor finds an analogue with the decoration of the throne podium found in another room. The remnants of the 'nine bows' - the symbolism of the defeated enemies depicted on it, indicates the royal ritual, which was associated with the coronation as a symbol of victory over enemies. It may assume that both rooms were connected by the single ritual demonstrated confirmation of royal power. The ritual should include a movement of the procession directed from the royal throne to the sanctuary of the Lion temple and back. This demonstrated unity and glorification of the king, who was consecrated and blessed by the Lion God, possibly Apedemak, the god protecting royal power.

Cost: Free for Members (enter the password in the box that appears when selecting a free members ticket) and £4 Visitors (book ASAP as we have a zoom limit of 100 connections)

Joining : Use the zoom link emailed to you after booking to join this online Zoom lecture


Professor KormyshevaProfessor Kormysheva is Chief researcher of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Director of the International Centre for the Study of the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Sudan of Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Director of the Russian Archaeological Mission at Giza (Egypt), Co-director of the Italian - Russian joint archaeological mission at Abu Erteila (Sudan) and Director of the Russian archaeological mission at Meroe (West Dragab).  She is the author of more than hundred scientific publications - books and articles, on ancient Egypt and Sudan.