U of M Uncovering the Past: El Kurru

In 1918 an unsuspecting archaeologist happened across a previously forgotten about burial site of the twenty fifth dynasty pharaohs of Egypt. This site is El Kurru and is located in what is modern day Sudan south of the Aswan dam. The archaeologist’s name was George Resiner who completed his survey in 1920. Since then, no major work has been completed at El Kurru.

This all changed in 2013,when University of Michigan researcher and archaeologist, Geoff Enberling took up a renewed interest in El Kurru and received a sponsored expedition to reopen the site. Now currently in his second season of work at El Kurru he and his team are excavating one of the largest pyramids on the site. This pyramid was never surveyed or excavated by George Resiner in 1918, so any discoveries that are made by Geoff Enberling and his team will be completely new for the Egyptian Archaeological community.

For those of you who do not know anything about the importance of the pharaohs that came from El Kurru, here is a little background. El Kurru in ancient times was part of Nubia – Egypt’s powerful neighboring kingdom to the south. At some points in Egyptian History, Nbia was ruled by egypt, but during the 25th dynasty, Egypt was so weak that there was a reverse power shift where Nubia ruled Egypt. The six pharaohs who came to the Egyptian Throne during this time are called ‘the black pharaohs’ due to pictures and statues of these rulers depicting them to be much darker skinned than any pictures of Northern Egyptian Pharaohs.
Little is known about this group of rulers who dominated Egypt for a time, and I hope the Geoff Enberling can possibly uncover more information about their lives with his excavation. For more information check out this article on National Geographic. According to National Geographic, they plan on filming parts of this excavation to show sometime in the near future.