Cornelia Kleinitz, "Between Valorisation and Devaluation: Making and Unmaking (World) Heritage in Sudan", in: Global Heritage – Worlds Apart? . The Cultural Production, Appropriation and Consumption of Archaeological Heritage Spaces in Northern Africa and the Middle East, Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress, 9/3 (Dec 2013), 427–469


Historical narratives based on the material traces of Sudan’s past have been written and rewritten, primarily by foreign scholars, since the first half of the 19th century. Accounts range from early research which implied cultural inferiority compared to ancient Egypt, to more recent celebrations of ancient Sudan’s “African-ness”. While its deeper past has been “rehabilitated’ and even declared to be of “outstanding universal value’ through the inscription of two sets of archaeological sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List, most foreign archaeologists—and international tourists alike—show little interest in Sudan’s Islamic past and present, which nevertheless play important roles in affirming the nation’s identity as an Arab state. On the basis of several case studies, this paper investigates how archaeological heritage spaces and the narratives hinged on these have been transformed over time by various “players” and foster(ed) cultural pride and/or prejudice at local, regional, national and global levels.

Published In