The Egyptian Sudan, Its History and Monuments


The Egyptian Sudan, Its History and Monuments is an illustrated, two-volume guide to the history and archaeology of Sudan. It was published at the height of early 20th century imperial interest in overseas antiquities. The author, archaeologist Wallis Budge (1857–1934), was commissioned by the British Museum to conduct excavations and investigations at a series of sites in the Sudan, beginning in the late 1890s. The first volume is an account of these activities, which took the form of four visits, between 1897 and 1905. Sites considered include temples, pyramids, forts, and cemeteries. Budge explains how these sites are positioned, their location, number, and the types of archaeological relics and treasures that they contain. His explanations and discussion are contextualized by the ideas of other travelers, archaeologists, and Egyptologists, such as George Alexander Hoskins and Richard Lepsius. Lepsius had been commissioned in 1842 to investigate ancient civilizations of the Nile Valley. The book provides a number of illustrations showing how the sites appeared from the early 19th century. The history of the area is told alongside a travelogue of Budge's explorations, which includes observations of modes of transport, the lay of the land, and the manners and customs of the native inhabitants. The volume concludes with a chapter about the robberies of royal Egyptian tombs. The second volume of this book provides a history of Sudan. It begins with an account of the raid of Seneferu, the first king of fourth dynasty Egypt, and it concludes with events that took place in the early 20th century. Chapters are dedicated to the kingdom of Piankhi, the Ptolemaic period, the rise of Christianity, the rule of Muhammad, the role of gold in determining Sudan's course in history, and the British in contemporary Sudan. The history in this volume is comprehensive and gives key dates of events in Sudan over many centuries. The volume gives a valuable overview of the activities of Christian missionaries in Sudan and the role of the Nile River in transport and development over time.

Last updated: November 6, 2017