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Pictorial Graffiti from the Ghazali Northern Church, Sudan: An Overview

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • | 2 Independent scholar, Warsaw, Poland
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present pictorial graffiti executed on the walls of the Northern Church of the Ghazali Monastery located in what is today the Northern Province of Sudan. The graffiti were recorded during research by the Polish-Sudanese mission at the monastic complex. This paper explores the symbolic meanings of the graffiti as well as possible rationales behind their locations. Some of the depictions have overt religious meanings and may be interpreted as “graphic” prayers. This category of graffiti includes representations of Christ, angels, saints, female figures and horse riders. Other depictions seem to refer to daily life in Nubia – the graffiti abound in motifs such as camels, horses, boats and human beings.

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