The archaeological areas in Napata and Meroe have been subjected to unprecedented threats due to the recent floods, which are areas registered within the world heritage, and Sudan called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to provide urgent assistance to protect the archaeological areas in Meroe (north of Khartoum) due to the recent floods.
This came during the meeting of Sudan’s permanent representative to UNESCO, Jubeir Ismail Jubeir, with Atoni Ramirez, UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Cultural Affairs in the French capital, Paris, according to the Sudanese News Agency.
The meeting discussed the threats to the archaeological areas of Napata and Meroe (which are areas registered within the world heritage).
Jubeir explained that the archaeological areas in Sudan are under an unprecedented threat, and called for urgent assistance from the emergency fund dedicated to protecting world heritage.
He added that the support that the organization will provide will contribute to the completion of official and popular efforts to protect the royal city in Al-Bajrawiya as well as the protection of workers at archaeological sites.
The Sudanese Antiquities and Museums Authority said, last September, that the Nile flood threatens archaeological sites in the country, and that the flood waters submerged parts of the royal bath in the ancient city of Meroe.
The royal bath is located in the ancient city of Meroe (the capital of the Kush family, which ruled in the early 6th century BC) on the eastern bank of the Nile, about 200 km north of Khartoum.
The number of victims of floods and torrents in the country has reached 138 since the beginning of the autumn rains last June.
On the fifth of last September, the Defense and Security Council declared a state of emergency throughout the country for a period of 3 months to confront torrents and floods, and considered it a “natural disaster area.”
The autumn rainy season in Sudan starts from June and continues until October, and witnesses strong rains that cause the country to face annually floods and torrential rains.
Effects of bajrawi
The director of the French archaeological unit in Sudan, Marc May, told the French press in early September that the ancient Al-Bajrawiya area – which was in the past the capital of the Meroitic Kingdom – was threatened by flooding due to the high level of the Nile River to a record level.
The French archaeologist said that Sudanese antiquities inspectors built dams on the site with sand-filled bags, and used pumps to draw water and prevent it from destroying this antique.
According to the antiquities expert, “Never before had floods reached the royal city of Al-Bajrawiya, which is 500 meters from the course of the Nile River,” located 200 kilometers north of Khartoum.
The archaeological area of al-Bagrawiya includes the cemetery, where the famous pyramids of Meroe are, and the royal city of this central empire, which ruled from 350 BC to 350 AD, and its lands stretched in the Nile Valley for a distance of 1500 kilometers from south of Khartoum to the Egyptian border.
Minister of Culture and Information Faisal Saleh visited the royal city in Al-Bajrawiya to discuss ways to protect this site, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2003.
According to the latest statement of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the level of the Nile reached 17.62 meters, a level not recorded since the river level registration processes began more than 100 years ago.