Ancient Sudanese goldsmith’s tomb found

This video says about itself:

Ancient tomb of gold worker found along Nile river

3 July 2017

The ancient tomb found on Sai Island seems to have been built for a man named Khnummose. His remains along with those of possibly his wife were buried there.

A 3,400-year-old tomb holding the remains of more than a dozen possibly mummified people has been discovered on Sai Island, along the Nile River in northern Sudan.

Archaeologists discovered the tomb in 2015, though it wasn’t until 2017 that a team with the AcrossBorders archaeological research project fully excavated the site.

The island is part of an ancient land known as Nubia that Egypt controlled 3,400 years ago. The Egyptians built settlements and fortifications throughout Nubia, including on Sai Island, which had a settlement and a gold mine. The tomb, which contains multiple chambers, appears to hold the remains of Egyptians who lived in or near that settlement and worked in gold production.

The artifacts found in the tomb include scarabs (a type of amulet widely used in Egypt), ceramic vessels, a gold ring, the remains of gold funerary masks worn by the deceased and a small stone sculpture known as a shabti. The ancient Egyptians believed that shabtis could do the work of the deceased for them in the afterlife. Some of the artifacts bore Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions that revealed the tomb was originally created for a man named Khnummose, who was a “master gold worker.”

The remains of Khnummose (which may have been mummified) were found next to those of a woman who may have been his wife. Some of the other people found in tomb may have been relatives of Khnummose, the researchers said, adding that they planned to conduct DNA analyses of the remains.

“We will try to extract ancient DNA from the [bones] of the bodies in question,” said Julia Budka, professor for Egyptian Archaeology and Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. “If the [ancient] DNA is preserved, this will help us a lot. Otherwise, it all remains tentative,” said Budka, who noted that the samples are already at the Department for Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.

The archaeologists said they aren’t sure how many of the bodies were mummified.

“The state of preservation is very difficult here,” Budka said. “I am waiting for the report of my physical anthropologists. For now, the position and also traces of bitumen speak for some kind of mummification for all persons in Tomb 26 who were placed in wooden coffins.” Bitumen is a type of petroleum that the ancient Egyptians sometimes used in mummification.

Many of the coffins are also poorly preserved, and it’s uncertain exactly how many of the people were buried in coffins, Budka said.

From the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen in Germany:

New Kingdom Egypt: The goldsmith’s tomb

July 21, 2017

Summary: Archeologists are studying the impact of intercultural contacts in Ancient Egypt. New excavations in Sudan have uncovered a tomb dating to around 1450 BC on the island of Sai in the Nile.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich Egyptologist Julia Budka is studying the impact of intercultural contacts in Ancient Egypt. Her excavations in Sudan have uncovered a tomb dating to around 1450 BC on the island of Sai in the Nile.

A previously unknown tomb, some 3400 years old, has recently been uncovered on the island of Sai in the River Nile. It was in use for some time and contains the remains of up to 25 persons. Further analysis of the finds could elucidate the multicultural nature of the island’s population during this period.

The island was then located in Nubia, which was the primary source of gold for the New Kingdom of the Egyptian Pharaohs at that time. The tomb was most probably built for a master goldsmith by the name of Khnummose, and was discovered during excavations conducted by Julia Budka, Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Art. Investigation of the tomb’s contents and inscriptions has so far revealed that, following the conquest by the Pharaoh Thutmose III of the local African kingdom of Kerma, the local elites were rapidly integrated by the new regime. The earliest Egyptian-style burials on Sai date to the reign of this king.

Over the past 5 years, Budka has carried out parallel studies on three different Egyptian settlements that were established during the period of the so-called New Kingdom between 1500 und 1200 BC. The excavations on the island of Sai, which lies in what is now the Sudanese section of the Nile, not only provide insights into the relationship between the official representatives of the occupying power and the local Nubian population, they also demonstrate that the island was inhabited for longer than hitherto assumed.

“It had been thought that the settlement on the island was abandoned after the foundation of a new town at Amara West. Our finds, on the other hand, prove that Hornakht, one of Egypt’s highest ranking bureaucrats during the reign of Ramses II, not only had his official residence on the island, but was also buried there,” says Budka. This clearly shows that the town on Sai survived until about 1200 BC.

Bird-killing powerlines in Sudan

This 2015 video from the USA is called Birds of prey need power line protection.

From BirdLife:

How many more killer powerlines are there in Sudan?

By Prof Ibrahim Hashim, President of Sudanese Wildlife Society, 9 Jan 2017

Africa is powering up rapidly. Governments’ urge to develop economically and attract investments is immense. This push also involves countries along the Red Sea/Rift Valley Flyway Region including Sudan, where millions of migratory birds could be dying due to electrocution and collisions with electricity cables in an expanding power sector.

A preliminary report from recent surveys in Sudan has revealed that eight bird species have been mostly affected by the powerlines. These include Black Kite, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Yellow-billed Kite, Abdim’s Stork, Grayish Owl, White-backed Vulture and Pied Crow. The surveys were conducted in Al Gazeira, Al Gadarif and Kassala States in June/July and December 2015, as well as January 2016. The powerlines surveyed in Kassala State proportionately recorded the highest number of birds killed. These surveys were commissioned through the Migratory Soaring Birds project of BirdLife International funded by GEF/UNDP.

In Al Gazeira, Al Gadarif and Kassala States, 988, 2120 and 383 poles were covered respectively in the survey. Individual numbers of birds killed along powerlines were 47 in Al Gazeira, 209 in Al Gadarif and 96 in Kassala. While keeping in mind that some of the dead birds could have already been scavenged upon, this translates to at least one bird being killed between every 10 electric poles within a short duration of time. Among the dead birds, 57 were killed through collision with powerlines and 295 killed by electrocution. A total of 278 deaths of migratory soaring bird individuals were recorded, hence, the most affected group.

Earlier in 2013, BirdLife International in collaboration with the national project Partner, Sudanese Wildlife Society (SWS), organized a stakeholders meeting which involved the Sudanese Electricity Transmission Company (SETC) to create awareness on the Port Sudan “killer line” that had killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus since its construction in 1950. The Port Sudan powerline has since been insulated. Further awareness has been done through World Migratory Bird Day events in the country supported by BirdLife.

The issue of bird deaths through energy infrastructure interactions in Sudan however remained a topic of interest from both the power utilities and the conservation community in Sudan. SETC has complained of interrupted power supply due to birds, whereas BirdLife and SWS aims at a sector reconciled with biodiversity conservation. The scale of the bird deaths remained unknown and it was difficult to arrive at any recommendations in addressing the problem. It was therefore, for this reason that a joint survey mission between SWS and SECT was deemed necessary.

The powerlines surveyed were of 33 kV and 11 kV types. They traverse habitat comprising 91% agricultural land, 7% residential area and 2% forests. With no tress for roosting available, birds perch on powerlines and get electrocuted, especially at higher elevation power structures. From the results of the survey, the effect of powerlines on raptors deserves attention: 57 Lesser Kestrels Falco naumanni, 29 Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus, eight Red-necked Buzzards Buteo auguralis, five White-backed Vultures Gyps africanus and two Levant Sparrowhawks Accipiter brevipes were killed.

The results of this survey have been shared in a national workshop held on 17th May 2016. The workshop came up with the following recommendations, among others: a strengthened joint approach between SWS and SETC for greater results; more in-depth Environmental Impact Assessment studies and wider stakeholder involvement to ensure power sector development that guarantees safety for birds; more environmental awareness among the electrical engineers; immediate remedial measures to avoid more bird kills from existing powerlines; mainstreaming conservation considerations particularly of migratory soaring birds and the flyway in energy projects and programmes.

Such recommendations when implemented, would certainly deliver a win-win situation in Sudan and help the country in fulfilling her national and global mandates as enshrined in the international conventions such as Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Convention on Biological Diversity.

Sudan’s dictator getting away with gassing his own people

This video says about itself:

Sudan accused of using chemical weapons in Darfur

29 September 2016

Between 200 to 250 people, many of them children, have been killed in at least 30 suspected chemical attacks in the Sudanese region of Darfur, according to a new report by global rights group Amnesty International.

With the introduction of a deadly new weapon, the long-running 13-year conflict could be entering a dangerous new phase, the rights group warns.

However, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has strongly denied the use of chemical weapons by the Sudanese government forces.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports from the UN Headquarters in New York.

WARNING: Viewers may find some of the images in this report disturbing.

When George W Bush was president of the USA, the dictator of Sudan, Bashir, already waged war in the western province Darfur.

It was a cruel war with many atrocities. Though, according to the United Nations, less atrocities than another war in another African country at the same time: the war in Somalia, waged by George W Bush and his allies, like the Ethiopian dictatorship.

Some people then made propaganda for a ‘humanitarian’ war on Sudan by the USA and other NATO countries. It would have been a ‘humanitarian’ war with bloody anti-humanitarian consequences; as such ‘humanitarian’ wars usually have.

However, in 2011, the propaganda for invading Sudan to impose ‘regime change’ stopped. Not because Bashir had become any less of a bloody dictator. But because his relationship to NATO governments improved.

Bashir had become an ally of the ‘free West’ in another ‘regime change’ war: the NATO war on Libya. Just like Bashir’s fellow dictator in Chad.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

“President of Sudan gets away with his use of chemical weapons”

Today, 10:07

The probability that the Sudanese President Bashir will be tried for the use of chemical weapons in the Darfur region, is low, according to NOS correspondent Koert Lindijer. “At least not in the short term,” he says. A study by Amnesty International shows that the army conducted in January possibly thirty attacks with chemical weapons in Darfur province.

Lindijer thinks Bashir will get away with that. “He had been indicted in 2009 by the Criminal Court in The Hague for alleged war crimes in Darfur, but he is still president. He is diplomatically very strong at the moment. In the Middle East, he fights along with Saudi Arabia in Yemen.”

In addition, Europe needs him. “Bashir gets money from the EU to stop migrants on Sudanese territory from going to Libya to make the crossing to Europe.”


In January, the army began an offensive against rebels in Jebel Marra, a mountain range in Darfur. “Since then Amnesty International has evidence of 32 attacks on villages in that area. The last one took place on September 9th. So, quite recently. And there are no indications that the offensive has now stopped.”

The Amnesty report says that about 200 to 250 civilians were killed as a result of the chemical bombs, including many children. While journalists and researchers for years have been unable to enter Sudan legally, Amnesty International has still managed to come up with evidence of chemical attacks. …

“There were several bombs around the village and in the hills. My children are sick from the bombs’ smoke, they were vomiting and had diarrhea and were coughing very much. Their skin was discolored and became dark as if it had been burned.”

Quote from a survivor in the report …

Amnesty, eg, made use of satellite images, collected lots of pictures of injuries and spoke through modern means of communication with survivors of the bombing. “They especially complained of stomach disorders, blindness, miscarriages, and skin diseases,” said Lindijer.

At least for now, as far as NATO governments are concerned, it looks like Bashir is getting away with poisoning his own people.

Like another dictator, Saddam Hussein, at least for some decades got away with poisoning his own people. As he did the poisoning with United States made gas, granted to him by US government envoy Donald Rumsfeld, the future architect of Bush’s Iraq war, with its over a million dead people, millions of injured people and over four million refugees.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rumsfeld shakes hands with Saddam (full video, no sound)

5 August 2006

15 months after the massacre in Du’jail for which Saddam was eventually hanged in 2006, Reagan’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld is in Iraq, shaking Saddam Hussein’s hand and pledging our support in his war against Iran.

Date: Dec 20, 1983.

It is up to the people of Sudan to depose their dictator. Like the people of Greece overthrew their colonels’ dictatorship, without any help from NATO. Like the people of Portugal and of its oppressed colonial countries overthrew their dictatorship, without any help from NATO. Like the people of South Africa overthrew the apartheid regime, without any help from NATO.

SUDAN USED CHEMICAL ATTACKS “Sudan’s government has carried out at least 30 likely chemical weapons attacks in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January using what two experts concluded was a probable blister agent, Amnesty International said on Thursday.” [Reuters]

Migratory bird conservation in Sudan

This 2012 video is called Birds of Prey, Khartoum, Sudan. From Corinthia Hotel.

By Ibrahim M. Hashim/Sudanese Wildlife Society, 16 June 2016:

All for safe skies for Migratory Birds in Sudan

The Sudanese Wildlife Society (SWS) held a one-day workshop to mark World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) on 23rd May 2016 under the Migratory Soaring Birds project executed by BirdLife International through United Nations Development Programme UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Fund GEF. That was hosted by the Wildlife Conservation General Authority (WCGA). This year’s theme on ‘ …. and when the skies fall silent? Stop the illegal killing, taking and trade‘ guided the discussions. Sixty-one participants drawn from Universities, Sudanese Electricity Transmission Company, Wildlife Research Center, the Sudan Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR), the media, wildlife conservation officers and members of SWS attended the workshop. …

The main issues discussed during the workshop included: unsustainable bird hunting, conservation and exploitation of migratory birds in Sudan, the impact of climate change on migratory birds and the role of media in conservation of migratory birds and wildlife.

During the workshop, the Representative from the Ministry of Tourism Antiques and Wildlife, His Excellency Hafiz Aljack praised the work between SWS and Sudanese Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (SETD) to mainstream migratory soaring birds in the national development plans. He further highlighted on the historical background of bird migration and its direct and indirect economic benefits, the related international conventions and agreements that Sudan is party to such as the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and finally the efforts being made to declare Umjar Wetland as a protected area.

In her remarks, the representative of the HCENR, Dr. Khatmia Al Awad congratulated SWS for organizing the event and WCGA for hosting it. Dr. Al Wad emphasized on the ecological role played by birds as well as the economic benefits. She also pointed out on the declining number of birds due to illegal hunting and habitat loss, and enquired about the effectiveness of wildlife laws in protecting birds. She also highlighted on the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and specifically 11 and 12 that focus on maintaining well connected systems of protected areas and preventing extinction of threatened species.

Mrs. Hadia Sabah Elkhair, a journalist from the Al Ray Alaam daily stressed on the role of the media to increase awareness on importance of birds and dangers of unregulated hunting in Sudan. She further stressed on the need to have media, government agencies such as WCGA, local communities, and other stakeholders to work together to promote conservation of migratory birds beyond the WMBD celebrations as well as adequately address illegal hunting. Mrs Hadia also called for a workshop bringing together media professionals to enlighten them more on the problems facing migratory birds so as to assist them follow up on progress in regard to implementation of laws regarding protection and conservation of birds in Sudan.

On his part, the President of SWS, Professor Ibrahim Hashim said the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project aims to integrate conservation of visiting birds in five development sectors: Electricity, Renewable Energy, Tourism and Agriculture. This is being achieved through partnerships and strategic alliances with private businesses, NGOs, governments, international organizations. The event served as an appropriate platform to also educate staff from the security agency on their role in regard to protection of birds. He urged them to stop shooting birds especially those that have rings attached on their legs as they are only meant for scientific studies and in no way pose a security threat. Local communities have also been reported to shoot birds once they spot the ones with ‘strange’ (rings or tags) objects on them. The shot birds are then taken to the security agency hoping to receive an incentive not knowing they are contributing to the decline of the birds.

Other than the workshop, a birdwatching contest was held that attracted photographers, university students and ornithologists. The birdwatching contest took place at El Sunt Forest Reserve where birds were recorded and photos taken. Presentations from the contest were made at the end of the workshop and a photo exhibition followed thereafter. Professional photographers had their photos showcased from which issues such as illegal hunting, shooting of ringed birds by local communities and the aesthetic value of migratory birds were brought to the attention of the all those who attended.

Lake Nasser [Egypt] Also Joins the Global Celebration of World Migratory Birds Day: here.