Sudan Archaeological Heritage Protection Project
The Sudan Archaeological Heritage Protection project has the ambition to protect the Sudanese archaeological
heritage in an enduring manner from a variety of menacing factors. With the invaluable experience of the
Antiquities Service inspectors, as well with the help of archaeological missions working in Sudan, these
threats have been classified into three distinct types:
– The destruction , plundering, traffic of antiquities, and gold-mining on archaeological sites.
-Agricultural and urban extension that directly threaten the archaeological sites.
-Ignorance of the Sudanese heritage and its value which leads to the vandalizing and robbery of monuments.
Considering the recent evolution of the Sudanese political situation and the urgent need to act in order to
prevent further damage to Sudanese antiquities, the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museum
(NCAM) will spearhead this project, in collaboration with its French unit, the Section Française de la
Direction des Antiquités du Soudan (SFDAS) in Khartoum. It aims to develop several actions in order to
provide the most appropriate and long-term solution to the identified threats.
Metallic signs signalling the area under protection will be installed at each archaeological site
visited by the project. They will caution the visitor that they are entering a protected area.
Cement boundary markers or brick walls of 1 m. height will be built either on a small portion of
the site, in order to redirect traffic, or all along the site perimeter, in order to prevent
agricultural or urban extension.
In the Field
The protection of Sudanese monuments themselves and the preservation of antiquities in general is a primary concern of the project. Identifying the boundaries of archaeological sites with the help of
topographical experts and registering them on cadastral plans will be the first step, before fence building,
especially in areas directly threatened by agricultural and urban expansion. In doing so, the project aims
to definitively and durably halt any attempts on infringement on the archaeological sites.
The global approach chosen in this project seeks to increase the perceived value of Sudanese heritage
among local communities. In protecting the antiquities, they will not only preserve their own cultural heritage, but also realize and profit from its economic potential. Indeed, one of the main goals of
the project, is the sustainable development of Sudanese cultural tourism.
The first step will be to train volunteers chosen among students in archaeology and inspectors of Antiquities.
Once trained, the ambition is for them to visit schools across the country extensively. They will deliver a
prepared speech on Sudanese heritage, the importance of its preservation and the work done by
archaeologists and the NCAM.
A small booklet designed as a comic strip will be distributed to each pupil individually. It will serve as a
visual aid to the message delivered by the representative speaker of the SAHPP. Additionally, and in order to
reach the widest possible audience, volunteers will also be called upon to speak on radio and TV as
promotors of the project.
A pre-existing theatrical group, performing in the Meroe region will develop a tour that will visit the most
vulnerable sites in order to draw attention to the issues surrounding the preservation of these monuments. It
is worth signaling that all of these activities have already been successfully implemented in the Meroe
region, and that is why this project proposes to extend them to the whole of Sudan.
This awareness campaign will be enhanced by an application for smartphone designed to provide visitors of
the National Museum for Antiquities with information about the pieces exhibited in the form of entertaining
audio content triggered by QR codes. This portion of the project is funded by the European Union (cluster
EUNIC) and has the same ambition to enhance interest in Sudanese cultural heritage, among both the
Sudanese and international public.
The construction of a new storeroom adjacent to the National Museum of Antiquities has
been in the planning stages for years. An architectural study has been completed, but the
work was halted due to lack of funding and other issues. The resumption of this work and
the completion of the building would significantly increase and improve the durable
storage capacity of the Antiquity services. This project proposes to take advantage of this
time awaiting transfer to a permanent storage place, by ensuring that all of the
archaeological pieces stored elsewhere are properly documented and stockpiled in ideal
conditions ensuring optimal preservation during this period.
ALIPH is the only global fund that is solely dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in conflict areas. To carry out this mission, the foundation finances preventive measures, emergency interventions and concrete post-conflict rehabilitation projects, all around the world.
Founded in 1967 at the initiative of Jean Vercoutter, the SFDAS was officially created in 1969. In charge of cooperating with the Sudanese Department of Antiquities in its field activities as excavations and prospection.
The NCAM is a department of the civil service depending on the Ministry for Antiquities, Tourism and Wildlife of Sudan. It is divided in three interdependent sections: the Fieldwork Section, the Museum Section assigned with managing the National museum for Antiquity and the third section is the conservation and Restoration Department.
SAHPP will benefit from the support of international archaeological missions. Their teams will help us in protecting all sites in proximity to their excavations. Knowledge and Network of those team are essential for our project.