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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 121–143 | Cite as

Architecture, Power, and Communication: Case Studies from Ancient Nubia

  • Andrea ManzoEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Monumental architectural remains are among the most impressive relics of the ancient civilizations. Of course, this is also true for ancient northeast Africa. In this contribution, monumental architecture is considered not just as a static marker and manifestation of power, often embedding the state itself in the landscape, but as a location, a setting for performing public activities which are producing and replicating social relations. Some case studies of the Kerma and Meroitic cultures of ancient Nubia are discussed. Hypotheses on the ceremonies taking place are proposed.

Keywords

Nubia Kerma Meroe Architecture Feasting 

Résumé

Les monuments architecturaux sont parmi les vestiges les plus impressionnants des civilisations anciennes. Bien sûr, cela est. également vrai pour l’Afrique nordorientale antique. Dans cette contribution, l’architecture monumentale est. considéré non seulement comme un marqueur et une manifestation de puissance statique, intégrant souvent l’Etat lui-même dans le paysage, mais comme un lieu, un cadre pour effectuer les activités publiques qui produisent et répliquent les relations sociales. Les cas de la culture Kerma et de celle méroïtique de l’ancienne Nubie sont discutés . Des hypothèses sur les cérémonies qui avaient lieu sont proposées.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The results presented in this article were obtained in the framework of the research project funded by the Ministero per l’Istruzione Università e Ricerca “Futuro in Ricerca 2012” RBFR12N6WD “Aree di transizione linguistiche e culturali in Africa” (Cultural and linguistic transitions in Africa). A first draft of the present paper was presented in the international workshop “Architectures of Power in the Horn of Africa and the Upper Nile Basin: From Ancient Times to the Present,” Asien-Afrika Institut, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, July 6–7, 2012. I would like to thank the organizers of the workshop for inviting me to contribute, and Paul Lane, who chaired the archaeological session of the workshop, for his stimulating comments and suggestions. Finally, I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers of African Archaeological Review for their very helpful comments on the first version of this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

This study was funded by the Ministero per l’Istruzione Università e Ricerca Research Grant “Futuro in Ricerca 2012” RBFR12N6WD “Aree di transizione linguistiche e culturali in Africa” (Cultural and linguistic transitions in Africa).

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”NaplesItaly

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