Art History

Remarks on Ordinary Dwelling Architectures

Most archeological excavations in Sudan have focused on sites where large monuments, like the pyramids and temples, were built. Very little excavations for ordinary housing have been made.

Within the walls of the town center of the Kerma kingdom, which covered a land area of 15-25 acres according to a study, towered by the city's central temple and the audience hall, were tightly packed houses.1 Nonetheless, it is thought that most of the city's residents would have lived in the dwellings outside the city center where the land was cultivated and the cattle grazed. Single and two-story buildings with multiple rooms and huts are identified as common dwellings.2

Backed-mud brick and stones were used to build houses in the eastern side of the royal city of Meroe. As the case with the Kerma houses, most of the dwellings at Meroe were located outside the Royal City wall. Dwellings dating to the Meoritic period were also densely packed together. Many of the houses were roofed with timber wood.

One of the most interesting cases of Kushite architecture is the structures of Abu Geili, identified by archeologists as dwellings. These consisted of clustered rooms connected by doors; many rooms are thought to have been incorporated with a second story room. The rooms are thought to have been divided in units and occupied respectively as independent houses.3 The architecture of the Abu Geili constructions is found similar to building formations from Garnierite and Meili Island.4

Dwellings found in the area encompass a wide-range of factors involving the wealth of knowledge yet to be researched; these include the wealth of the occupants, the diverse demographic and settlement patterns, and the dynamics of the local environment with the various techniques of adaptation.


  • 1. D. O'Connor, Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994) 50..
  • 2. N. D. Harkless, Nubian Pharaohs and Meroitic Kings: The Kingdom of Kush (AuthorHouse, 2006) 87.
  • 3. O.G.S Crawford, and F. Addison, Abu Geili, The Wellcome Excavations in the Sudan, vol.3 (London , New York, and Toronto, 1951).
  • 4. Harkless, note 10 above at 178.
  • Authored: 2007.
    Edited: Jul. 2009.
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The primary material of the website is authored by Ibrahim Omer © 2008.