Grant TypeEngaged Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationPurdue U.
Grant numberGr. ERG-14
Approve DateFebruary 3, 2022
Project TitleMarshall, Jenail (Purdue U.) "Towards community-engaged archaeology: putting the people at the center of archaeology at Tombos, Sudan"
Archaeology is inherently a community-facing project. The decisions that are made during archaeological excavations have an impact on the local communities where we work. In the Nile Valley region, less than 5% of current archaeological projects incorporate communities in the archaeological process. Despite the over 100-year history of archaeology in Sudan it is only in the last decade that there has been a shift towards more inclusive archaeology. In science, technology and innovation studies, Africa is often regarded as a recipient rather than its maker. This project looks to center the Sudanese Nubian people of Tombos, Sudan through collective action of working with the community to develop a public archaeology program. Our approach focuses on accessible and sustainable resources that allow local scholars and the non-academic public to produce knowledge about their town and past. We seek to answer questions regarding how those conducting research affect interpretations of the past and how archaeological outputs can by explored with the local people in significant ways that are empowering and relevant. By centering the local people, we will incorporate known communication styles, such as Nubian music, to create and transmit pertinent knowledge in the development of a sustainable public archaeology.