3 September – 30 November
Exhibition curator: dr Dobiesława Bagińska
It is a poorly recognised fact that Christianity was thriving in the territory of the modern Sudan from the 6th until the 14th c. Our exhibition “The great kingdoms of Christian Nubia” is meant to make the viewers better acquainted with these little known African cultures.
The exhibition offers the visitors information about the history, religion and culture of mediaeval Africa and the influences arriving from Europe and Byzantium. In a new exposition layout and interior arrangement of seasonal exhibition rooms we present the artefacts discovered during over 40 years of excavations in theSudan, in which some of our staff took part. The Poznań Archaeologica lMuseum has been studying the history of Nubia in cooperation with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw, since 1964.
“The idea of the exhibition developed from the increasing interest in Africa, both in its unknown and often mysterious cultures and in its fascinating, exotic wildlife. The exhibition will bring closer home the “newly discovered”, forgotten world of Nubian culture and its people, will show how they lived, what their beliefs were, what they did, what objects they used, and how they buried their dead”, says Dobiesława Bagińska PhD, curator and originator of the exhibition.
We display the finds from excavations in Old Dongola, Banganarti and Faras which represent the cultures of Nobadia, Makuria and Alodia – Nubia’s great Christian kingdoms of the title – and artefacts discovered during spectacular salvage excavations at the 4th cataract on the Nile. The exposition covers a wide range of material artefacts, from ornaments and weapons to impressive, richly decorated pottery, architectonic details, wall paintings and rock engravings.
There is also a scale model of the Lower and Upper Church of Archangel Raphael in Banganarti and of a pilgrimage centre from the 6th-14th c. with a set of stunning wall paintings presenting, among others, the kings ofNubia and inscriptions left by pilgrims.
One of the elements of the arrangement is a reconstructed fragment of an archaeological site with the reconstruction of a grave. Here the artefacts found during excavations, together with present-day objects characteristic of African culture added, are an integral part of the exhibition. Importantly, besides historical artefacts the exhibition also shows the handicraft of modern inhabitants of Nubia – the collection has an ethnographic aspect.
Some of the objects on display are on loan from the Gdańsk Archaeological Museumand theNationa lMuseumin Warsaw. There are also unique ethnographic exhibits from private collections.
We are planning interesting events to accompany the exhibition, such as presentations and an educational workshop for younger and older children: “On the trail of African archaeology” and “Animals in African cultures”. More information about these events and their schedule will be given on the Museum website.
Ryszard Grobelny – the Mayor of Poznań