An Archaeological Expedition in Africa with the Participation of a Master’s Student from Sevastopol State University

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Mikhail Kopeikin, a master's student at the Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations, became the first student at Sevastopol State University to take part in archaeological excavations abroad. He became a member of a unique expedition that studied the monuments of the mysterious Meroe civilization in Sudan, adjacent to Ancient Egypt, in the 6th  - 4th centuries BC.

“I work at Royal City. It is an archaeological site of world importance with the Asiris temple, with Roman-type baths and the remains of two temples. But the city has still hardly been excavated. It's all in Meroe. We are excavating the temple, it has apparently been rebuilt several times. So far, a specific deity belonging to the temple has not been established but the monument is very interesting. The upper layers of the site belong to the 1st century but we've only gotten to the first layers so far. There are imposing walls of adobe bricks and an adobe floor too under which are three further layers of adobe foundation. The layer is more than a meter thick but hasn’t been dated yet although we have found ceramics in it - the dating may appear later”, said Mikhail.

The 2020 season of archaeological research of the expedition of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences was headed by Doctor of Historical Sciences, Eleonora Kormysheva. The purpose of the expedition was to study the temple complex and residential buildings, possibly a palace belonging to the ancient civilization of Meroe.

“Ahead of the researchers is still the cameral processing of the materials excavated, a thorough study of the finds and the preparation of a scientific report on the results of the research, but even now, according to the photographs sent to us by the expedition members, it is clear that the field season was a success and that the findings are very, very interesting,” said the Head of the Department of Oriental Studies at Sevastopol State University, Victor Lebedinsky. He added that the participation of students from Sevastopol State University in leading international archaeological projects in the countries of the East will develop and continue in the future.

Meroe is considered the first civilization in Africa, in which a written language arose that has not yet been deciphered.