Skip to main content
×
×
Home

From holes to huts: reconstructing an extinct type of architecture at the Sixth Nile Cataract

  • Ladislav Varadzin (a1), Lenka Varadzinová (a2) and Jan Pacina (a3)
Abstract

Evidence for light architecture characteristic of mobile and semi-mobile societies is difficult to detect archaeologically. This article investigates such evidence in the form of narrow cylindrical holes discovered on rock walls at the archaeological site of Sphinx, in the Sixth Nile Cataract (central Sudan). Using innovative experimental reconstruction, these holes are interpreted as features associated with wooden pole-built structures, some of which may have been dwellings. This research highlights a significant category of North African archaeological evidence which has, to date, received limited attention.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: sukova.lenka@gmail.com)
References
Hide All
Anderson, J. & Mohamed Ahmed, Salah eldin. 2010. Ethnoarchaeology and post-holes: building a Bisharin house. Sudan & Nubia 14: 96106.
Bednarik, R.G. 2008. Cupules. Rock Art Research 25: 61100.
Berger, F. 2010. Djedefre's water mountain: phases of degradation. Rock Art Research 27: 185–94.
Binford, L.R. 1980. Willow smoke and dogs’ tails: hunter-gatherer settlement systems and archaeological site formation. American Antiquity 45: 420. https://doi.org/10.2307/279653
Cribbs, R. 1991. Nomads in archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511552205
Francaviglia, V.M. 2005. Le coppelle dellʼarea di El-Geili (Sudan). Rapporto preliminare. Sahara 16: 169–72.
Gabriel, B. 2003. Cultural relics as Saharan landscape elements, in Krzyżaniak, L., Kroeper, K. & Kobusiewicz, M. (ed.) Cultural markers in the later prehistory of northeastern Africa and recent research (Studies in African Archaeology 8): 2133. Poznań: Poznań Archaeological Museum.
Huard, P. 1978. Die Felsbilder des Tibesti-Gebirges, in Kuper, R. (ed.) Sahara: 10 000 Jahre zwischen Weide und Wüste: 272–78. Köln: Museen der Stadt.
Jelínek, J. 2006. Střecha nad hlavou: kořeny nejstarší architektury a bydlení [Roof above the head: roots of the earliest architecture and housing]. Brno: Vutium.
Kleinitz, C. 2004. Rock art and ‘rock gongsʼ in the Fourth Nile Cataract region: the Ishashi Island rock art survey. Sudan & Nubia 8: 1116.
Kuhlmann, K.P. 2002. The ‘oasis bypath’ or the issue of desert trade in pharaonic times, in Jennerstrasse 8 (ed.) Tides of the desert—Gezeiten der Wüste. Contributions to the archaeology and environmental history of Africa in honour of Rudolph Kuper (Africa Praehistorica 14): 125–70. Cologne: Heinrich-Barth-Institut.
Kuper, R. & Kröpelin, S.. 2006. Climate-controlled Holocene occupation in the Sahara: motor of Africa's evolution. Science 313: 803807. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1130989
Kuper, R., Leisen, H., Riemer, H., Förster, F., Krause, S., Büttner, E., Darius, F. & Kindermann, K.. 2010. Report on the second field season of the Wadi Sura Project (Gilf Kebir, SW Egypt) in autumn 2009. Cologne: University of Cologne. Available at: http://wadisura.phil-fak.uni-koeln.de/fileadmin/_migrated/content_uploads/WADI_SURA_report_2_2009-2.pdf (accessed 6 March 2017).
Le Quellec, J.-L., De Flers, Pa. & de Flers, Ph.. 2005. Du Sahara au Nil: peintures et gravures d'avant les pharaons. Paris: Soleb.
Lenssen-Erz, T. 2015. Cooperation or conflict? Identity and scarce resources of prehistoric Saharan pastoralists. African Study Monographs 36: 526.
Majlis, B.K. 1978. Der Nomadenhaushalt der Tuareg, in Kuper, R. (ed.) Sahara: 10 000 Jahre zwischen Weide und Wüste: 365–69. Köln: Museen der Stadt.
Nicolaisen, J. 1963. Ecology and culture of the pastoral Tuareg: with particular reference to the Tuareg of Ahaggar and Ayr. Copenhagen: National Museum of Denmark.
Peel, R.F. 1942. The Tibu peoples and the Libyan Desert. The Geographical Journal 100: 7387. https://doi.org/10.2307/1789494
Riemer, H. & Bartz, F.. 2013. The archaeological survey: landscape and context of Wadi Sura's rock art, in Kuper, R. (ed.) Wadi Sura—the Cave of Beasts. A rock art site in the Gilf Kebir (SW Egypt) (Africa Praehistorica 26): 3237. Cologne: Heinrich-Barth-Institut.
Schild, R., Królik, H., Wendorf, F. & Close, A.E.. 1996. Architecture of Early Neolithic huts at Nabta Playa, in Krzyżaniak, L., Kroeper, K. & Kobusiewicz, M. (ed.) Interregional contacts in the later prehistory of northeastern Africa (Studies in African Archaeology 5): 101–14. Poznań: Poznań Archaeological Museum.
Simonis, R., Faleschini, G. & Negro, G.. 1994. Niola Doa, ‘il luogo delle fanciulle’ (Ennedi, Ciad). Sahara 6: 5162.
Smith, A.B. 1992. Pastoralism in Africa: origins and development ecology. London: C. Hurst & Co.
Suková, L. 2011. The rock art of Lower Nubia (Czechoslovak Concession). Prague: Charles University in Prague.
Suková, L. & Varadzin, L.. 2012. Preliminary report on the exploration of Jebel Sabaloka (West Bank), 2009–2012. Sudan & Nubia 16: 118–31.
Varadzinová, L., Varadzin, L., Čuláková, K., Řídký, J. & Sůvová, Z.. 2016. Výzkum lokality Sfinga (SBK.W-60) v pohoří Sabaloka v centrálním Súdánu: poznatky z výzkumné sezóny 2015 [Exploration of the site of Sphinx (SBK.W-60) at Jebel Sabaloka in central Sudan: findings of the 2015 field campaign]. Pražské egyptologické studie 16: 4761.
Varadzinová Suková, L., Varadzin, L., Bajer, A., Lisá, L., Pacina, J. & Pokorný, P.. 2015. Tracing post-depositional processes at Mesolithic occupation sites in central Sudan: view from the site of Sphinx (SBK.W-60) at Jebel Sabaloka. Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica: Natural Sciences in Archaeology VI (2): 133–50.
Wendorf, F. & Schild, R.. 1998. Nabta Playa and its role in northeastern African prehistory. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 17: 97123. https://doi.org/10.1006/jaar.1998.0319
Wolf, P. & Nowotnick, U.. 2005. The second season of the SARS Anglo-German expedition to the Fourth Cataract. Sudan & Nubia 9: 2331.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed