Unveiling Ancient Threads: Textile Discoveries Shed Light on Life in Old Dongola

    Dr. Magdalena M. Woźniak from CAŚ UW, in collaboration with researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry UW, delved into the study of fabrics from the late period of Old Dongola’s history, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Recycling Wisdom in Old Dongola

    Residents of Old Dongola, Sudan, practiced clothing recycling due to the high cost and time-intensive nature of textile production. The fabrics, predominantly dyed in shades of blue, were discovered in urban areas, living spaces, and landfills, offering insights into the thrifty yet vibrant culture of Old Dongola.

    Insights into Nubian History

    Old Dongola, once the capital of the Kingdom of Makuria from the 5th to the 14th century, is situated in the historical region of Nubia, spanning present-day Egypt and Sudan. The ongoing archaeological research at this site, initiated by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski in 1964, now involves scientists from the Center for Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw.

    The Fabric’s Tale

    Dr. Woźniak emphasizes that while previous focus centered on wall paintings depicting rulers and religious dignitaries, textiles offer a unique glimpse into the lives of ordinary citizens. The recent textile analyses, covering 17 samples, were published in the journal Archaeometry and were funded by the Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

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