View Full Version : Documentaries about the Sudan
October 2nd, 2009, 08:30 PM
SUDAN: The Land Of Pyramids
Doc fragmented in 6 parts
October 2nd, 2009, 08:49 PM
Nubia: The Kingdom Of Kush (Napata period)
Dr Vivian Davies claims that a recently discovered set of hieroglyphs proves that, in 800 BC, Egypt was under the rule of black Pharaohs from neighbouring Nubia. This film examines the impact of these sensational discoveries.
Historians have long known about Kush, but relegated its importance to a vassal state of Egypt, significant only for its gold reserves. Early excavations in the Kush capital at Kerma suffered from the innate racism of the archaeologists. Fabulous grave goods, discovered in the 20th century, were thought to have belonged to Kush's Egyptian overlords. They didn't consider that a black African culture could have challenged Egypt's supremacy.
The inscription exposed the truth. Although it won battles, Kush eventually lost the war, and for the next 1000 years, Egypt had the upper hand. But the inscription served as a warning prophecy to Egypt that it might pay a high price. The enslaved Kushites would have their revenge. Allowed, and even encouraged, to rebuild their own kingdom along the lines of Egypt, in 747 BC, Kush attacked the Pharaoh's power in a daring land grab.
The Kushite king, Piye, overthrew the yoke, conquered mighty Egypt and established a 100-year rule of black Pharaohs. Even after being ousted from the Egyptian throne, Kushite kings continued to rule an empire as mighty as any, until the arrival of Alexander the Great. For a number of years, British Museum archaeologists have been making find after find in the Upper Nile Valley to substantiate this story - huge lost pyramids, burial chambers of 200 workers, and stores of gold.
Doc fragmented in 5 parts
October 2nd, 2009, 11:12 PM
In Search for the Lost Cities of Nubia, Dangeil (Meroitic period)
Dangeil, Sudan — Its desolate appearance is uninspiring, says Canadian
archaeologist Julie Anderson, describing the remote site in northern
Africa where she and Salah Mohamed Ahmed, a Sudanese colleague, have
worked for the past several years: "A flat gravelly desert stretches as
far as the eye can see."
Appearances are deceiving, however. Anderson has her sights set on a
place and time about 2,000 years ago when a civilization known as Nubia
flourished here. A huge temple was surrounded by a thriving city at the
juncture of trade routes; it was inhabited by strong warriors known by
the Romans as "the pupil smiters."
"They could put an arrow through your eyes," Anderson says. "We have
found arrowheads, even in the temple."
This never has been a place for the faint of heart, and certainly is not
now. The midday temperature often tops 110 degrees F. The sand, though
studded with treasures such as ancient bread molds, is booby-trapped by
scorpions. Plagued by war, famine and poverty, Sudan skulks in the
shadow of its famous northern neighbor, even though it contains more
pyramids than Egypt.
"The kingdom of Nubia has been overlooked largely due to the
difficulties of access," Anderson says, citing the desert terrain and
lack of roads that characterize the largest country in Africa. Still and
all, the 5-foot-1-inch-tall Anderson eagerly anticipates spending four
months a year here for the next couple of decades, at least.
Having earned her doctorate in 1996 from the University of Toronto at
age 32, she's the youngest head of a mission working in Sudan. Her goal:
to dig out the city of Dangeil, which was occupied and then abandoned in
the latter half of the Meroitic age of the Nubian civilization. Slim
though the chances are, there is the possibility that Anderson will
unearth a Meroitic version of the Rosetta stone: a bilingual record that
would help scholars to decode the mysterious language of the Meroites.
"The Meroitic language eludes us," Anderson says. 'It is one of the only
undeciphered languages in the world. We certainly have information about
these people from Greek and Latin texts, but we can't read their own
language. We have a lot of their writing — on potsherds, stone documents
and columns on temple walls. What we need is a Rosetta stone."
Dangeil was all but ignored by archaeologists until three years ago,
when Anderson came upon the site with Salah M. Ahmed of the National
Corporation for Antiquities and Museums of Khartoum. The site was in
danger of encroachment by a village. The archaeologists' timely
discovery could help rewrite the historical significance of the Meroitic
period of Nubian culture, which lasted from the third century B.C. to
the third century A.D.
Dangeil, which means "redbrick rubble" in Nubian, is large: the size of
about 24 football fields, according to Anderson. "It has a fortified
enclosure in the center. Ruins of a large tower are visible on the
southeast corner of the ancient wall, and a monumental entry gate guards
the west side. Several enigmatic mounds of earth, the highest rising
more than 12 feet above the surrounding plain, dot the site. Potsherds,
sandstone pieces and many redbrick fragments lie scattered across the
Anderson and Ahmed started excavating a mound in the center of the site.
As they dug, they unearthed Meroitic pottery, redbrick architectural
fragments and a number of ceramic bread molds, handmade and fired by the
Nubians. (They were used only once, as the mold was then broken to get
the bread out after baking.) "Bread molds are a dead giveaway for a
temple," Anderson says, adding that bread was a common offering to the
gods and a basic food of priests.
Eventually, their efforts revealed the northern half of a redbrick
temple gate still standing 11 1/2 feet high in some places, and
measuring 111 feet long and 18 feet wide.
"Further excavation brought us into a columned forecourt where six
white-plastered columns studded the interior and a stairwell led up one
end of the pylon," Anderson says. "Eastward, toward the likely location
of the god's sanctuary, we unearthed a second gate and court."
During the Meroitic period, the Nubians worshipped several gods.
Comparisons of the building plan of this temple at Dangeil with those of
other temples in Sudan indicate that Anderson and Ahmed have discovered
an exceptionally large and well-preserved 2,000-year-old temple
dedicated to the god Amun. A ram-headed figure, Amun was the State God,
who conferred the kingship on the Meroitic ruler.
"For some reason, the Meroites abandoned this temple," Anderson says.
"There seems to have been a big fire. You excavate down through the
rubble, and there's a huge layer of fire-blackened roofing. My workmen
and I end up covered head to foot in charcoal dust."
The end of the Meroitic kingdom remains a mystery. Anderson cites a text
from an Axumite king that says he looted the capital city of Meroe,
which is about 90 miles south of Dangeil, and could have bearing on
"It looks like the place is decayed," Anderson says of Dangeil, "but a
huge fire on my site might indicate some hostilities and pressures that
are causing it to collapse."
Anderson often lapses into the present tense when referring to the
2,000-year-old city of Dangeil.
"For me," she says, "it is very much alive."
Julie Anderson is a research associate with the Royal Ontario Museum.
When she's not on site in Dangeil, she works as a landscaper in Ontario,
Doc fragmented in 5 parts
October 4th, 2009, 02:26 AM
Awesome thread, thanks StormShadow! :applause:
October 4th, 2009, 07:18 PM
Thanks for viewing, feel free to add, anyone. :cheers: