A Qatar Museums’ (QM) delegation, accompanied by Qatari ambassador to Sudan Abdul Rahman al-Kubaisi, visited the Al Barjawi (Old Meroe) region in Sudan and 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).
The project, along with its work in Nubian archeology sites, involves more than 40 missions. The delegation was led by QM CEO Ahmed al-Namla, which included Rapporteur of the Supreme Committee for the project Mohamed Juma al-Kuwari, and Rapporteur of the Scientific Committee of the project Abdullatif al-Jasmi. “We are very proud of this achievement, the result of a strong co-operation between QM and our brothers in Sudan,” al-Namla said, highlighting “the great achievements attained by the Qatari mission.”
He cited the support provided by Qatar to preserve what was described as “a valuable and important human heritage.”
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, accompanied by ambassador Abdul Rahman al-Kubaisi, was led by Ahmed al-Namla, along with Mohamed Juma al-Kuwari and Abdullatif al-Jasmi.
The delegation visited Qatari projects in Sudan.
Al-Namla also underlined QSAP’s achievements and discoveries which, over the past five years, have significantly contributed to developing tourism in Sudan. He thanked 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 noted that QSAP aims to highlight Sudan's civilisation and support cultural tourism, training programmes 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 civilisation, 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 centres.
The QM delegation heard a detailed explanation from Dr Mahmoud Suleiman Mohamed 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 Barjawi (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 Centre”, both of which are built in Nubian style.
Between the two facilities is a theatre 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 centre. The delegation then proceeded to visit pyramid No. 9, which was excavated at the beginning of the 20th 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 10m 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.