Eastern Sudan, like other regions far away from the Nile valley, has often been overlooked historically on account of a kind of prejudice towards areas lacking in monumental or urban remains or evidence of any literary production. Despite the relevance of the deserts and marginal areas becoming increasingly evident in the last year or so, in Sudan only few research projects have been conducted in these regions. The ongoing research project in Eastern Sudan by the University ‘L’Orientale’ has provided a preliminary reconstruction of the history of the region from c. 6000 BC to AD 1500. This publication outlines this reconstruction and also considers the more general setting known for the other regions of northeastern Africa. Several issues remain to be clarified and understanding of some phases is still limited, nevertheless it can be safely stated that Eastern Sudan, was in ancient times, as it is now, a crossroads between the Nile basin, Eastern Desert, the Ethio-Eritrean highlands and the Red Sea, represented a crucial region in several respects: the spread of domestic crops and animals towards the Ethio-Eritrean highlands, the spread of the Sahelian crops towards India via the Red Sea and Arabia, as well as the long-distance trade network characterizing northeastern Africa in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC.
Table of Contents
PrefaceChapter 1. IntroductionChapter 2. The emerging of a regional tradition (c. 6000-3000 BC)Chapter 3. In a fledging network (c. 3000-1000 BC)Chapter 4. The transition to nomadism (c. 1000 BC-AD 1500)Chapter 5. Final remarks and perspective of researchReferences