Friday, July 13, 2007

Discoveries in Sudan reveal economic organization of an ancient African state—the kingdom of Kush
Archaeologists from the Oriental Institute have discovered a gold-processing center along the middle Nile in the Sudan, an installation that produced the precious metal sometime between 2000 and 1500 B.C. The center, along with a cemetery they discovered, documents extensive control by the first sub-Saharan kingdom, the kingdom of Kush.

The team found more than 55 grinding stones made of granite-like gneiss along the Nile at the site of Hosh el-Guruf, about 225 miles north of Khartoum. The region also was known as Nubia in ancient times. Groups of similar grinding stones have been found on desert sites, mostly in Egypt, where they were used to grind ore to recover the precious metal. The ground ore was likely washed with water nearby to separate the gold flakes.