January 27, 2016  

Purdue archaeologist excavating in the Sudan, Nile River Valley area

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Michele Buzon, a Purdue University associate professor of anthropology, is excavating pyramid tombs in Tombos, Sudan to study Egyptian and Nubian cultures from thousands of years ago in the Nile River Valley. (Purdue University photo/Charles Jischke)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University archaeologist is returning to Tombos, Sudan to excavate tombs in the Nile River Valley and research the Egyptian and Nubian cultures from thousands of years ago.

Michele Buzon, an associate professor of anthropology, is excavating Nubian burial sites dated 1500-1050 BCE to better understand the relationship between the Nubians and Egyptians during the New Kingdom Empire. Egyptians colonized the area in 1500 BCE to gain access to trade routes on the Nile River.

"This season at Tombos we are working on continuing in a tomb we started last season," said Buzon, a bioarchaeologist. "This site dates to the Ramesside period of the New Kingdom and appears to have three large chambers off the shaft. In addition, we are exploring the foundations of other pyramid tombs to figure out the construction sequence and how the structures related to each other in terms of chronology."

Buzon tombs

Michele Buzon, a Purdue University associate professor of anthropology, is excavating Nubian burial sites in Tombos, Sudan. She is standing near a doorway to a pyramid tomb's chamber. (Photo provided) 
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Buzon and her team, which includes graduate students Katie Whitmore and Kaitlyn Sanders, who are already on site, also are excavating at Abu Fatima, a nearby Kerma cemetery, where many of the graves have been destroyed. Also working at the site are Purdue alumna Sarah Schrader and Buzon's collaborator, Stuart Tyson Smith, anthropology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

This is Buzon's sixth excavation in the Nubian Desert, which is in the far north of Sudan. She will be on site through March 3.

The National Science Foundation funds the research. A member of the Sudan Department of Antiquities also will be on the research site during the dig. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Michele Buzon can be reached via email, mbuzon@purdue.edu, during the excavation.  

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