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    European Research Council – Professor Artur Obłuski from Warsaw University received a special Public's Choice award!

    Professor Artur Obłuski from Warsaw University received a special mention following an online vote for the public’s favourite project in the European Research Council competition for the NAFEER – Engaging local community in Sudan to promote archaeological heritage project!

    The Award was established to recognise those ERC grantees who successfully engage audiences outside their domain. The laureates selected by the jury and the winner of the public vote were revealed at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) on 14 July 2022 during the live ceremony and livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

    The winners in each of the three categories were announced at the Euroscience Open Forum 2022 on Thursday. The final winners are: Alpa Shah from tLondon School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – United Kingdom, Jonathan Tennyson from University College London – United Kingdom, and Mariska Kret from Leiden University – The Netherlands. Artur Obłuski from University of Warsaw was awarded with Public’s Choice award for his project NAFEER – Engaging local community in Sudan to promote archaeological heritage.

    Last year, ERC grantee Artur Obłuski discovered the remains of a church in Old Dongola, one of the most important archaeological sites in Sudan. Probably, it might have been a cathedral of the kingdom of Makuria and the largest church known from medieval Nubia.

    Together with local communities, local and regional self-governments, and central authorities Obłuski and his team initiated activities aimed at a strategic approach to the heritage preservation at this site.

    Dr hab. Artur Obłuski won the audience award, which was decided by voting in social media. With his € 1.5 million ERC grant, Obłuski shed light on the history of the city and its community. He looks into the metamorphosis of the capital city into a city-state after the collapse of the Christian kingdom at the dawn of the Arab tribes’ migration into the region.

    Apart from its scientific value, the archaeological site of Old Dongola is an important cultural heritage for the local population, the Sudanese and all Africans. Employing a collaborative archaeological approach, Obłuski’s team worked together with local communities and the Sudanese heritage agency to raise awareness, promote, study and explore ways to use this heritage for sustainable development, and to place it on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This collaborative work has had a strong social, cultural and economic impact on the members of the communities involved.

     

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