Posted on March 10, 2020

A Qatar Museums’(QM) delegation, accompanied by His Excellency Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Kubaisi, the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Republic of Sudan, visited the Al-Barjawi region in Sudan. The delegation was introduced to the activities of the Qatari mission – considered as one of the most important missions working under the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project (QSAP), which are over 40 missions – and its work in Nubian archeology sites.

The delegation was led by Mr. Ahmed Al-Namla, CEO of QM, and included Mr. Mohammed Juma Al-Kuwari, Rapporteur of the Supreme Committee for the project, and Abdullatif al Jasmi, Rapporteur of the Scientific Committee of the project. Mr. Ahmed Al-Namla expressed his happiness at the great achievements attained by the Qatari mission saying: “We are very proud of this achievement, the result of a strong cooperation between Qatar Museums and our brothers in Sudan.” He also noted the great support provided by Qatar to preserve such a valuable and important human heritage.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Namla also pointed QSAP’s achievements and discoveries which, over the past five years, have greatly contributed to developing tourism in Sudan. He also expressed his appreciation to the German delegation which has given Sudan a copy of Dr. Friedrich Hinkel’s archive, stressing how this will greatly contribute to enriching the work conducted by German missions today. The CEO also noted that QSAP aims to highlight Sudan's civilization and support cultural tourism, training programs and scientific research. He explained that through the archaeological discoveries, supported by Qatar, the project will have an impact not only on Sudan and its civilization, but also on Arab and international heritage and history. This will in turn, make Sudan a cultural attraction, creating economic returns from establishing tourist projects, museums, and visitor centers.

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The QM delegation heard a detailed explanation from Dr. Mahmoud Suleiman Muhammad Bashir, co-director  of the Qatari mission and director of the World Heritage site "Meroe Island", about the activities of the Qatari mission in Al-Bajrawi, considered as one of the most important and highly visited archaeological sites in Sudan. Al-Bajrawi (Old Meroe) is the capital of the state of Meroe (4th century BC - 4th century AD). The site contains a royal city with the remains of temples, palaces, three baths, groups of pyramids, quarries and piles of remains of the iron industry that Meroe is famous for.

The delegation also visited the Qatari projects, which included Doha Meroe, a world-class tourist village which includes two buildings, namely, "Archaeologist Harbour" and "Information Center", both of which are built in Nubian style. Between the two facilities is a theater that hosts various events. As part of the project, the entrance to the pyramids was changed from the western side to the southern side, to allow the pyramids to be seen from their main facades. The entrance is connected to a dirt road that starts from the information center.

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The delegation then proceeded to visit pyramid No. 9, which was excavated at the beginning of the twentieth century by the archaeologist Reisner. The Qatari mission has re-excavated, studied, protected and restored the rooms of this pyramid to make them available to tourists. The pyramid belonged to King Tabrika, who ruled Meroe from 207 to 86 BC, and its rooms can be accessed at 10 meters below the surface. The Qatari mission also dismantled, restored, and reinstalled the inscribed funerary temple for pyramid No. 2 which belonged to King Amani Khabal.

The delegation also visited the royal bath located within the royal city, which includes the remains of temples and palaces of the Meroe kings. QSAP, under the framework of tourism management planning, is currently financing the construction of an external building that lies outside the bath and that will take the form of a small museum and includes archaeological pieces and information about the bath.