Archaeology and the Rwandan Genocide

Skulls and other remains of victims at the Karongi Genocide Memorial, Photo: George Wood

The Rwandan genocide was built on a lie about ethnicity. But how true is the story invented to encourage reconciliation? And can the hunt for the Rwanda’s real prehistory disturb that effort? Here’s an opinion article I wrote on the issue for my African Archaeology course:

Archaeology and the Rwandan Genocide

Egypt’s Colonial Empire in Nubia

Artist’s reconstruction of Buhen in the Middle Kingdom, Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Nubians, I was hoping to avoid them” (from “The Jewel of the Nile”)

Egypt’s ventures south, into Lower Nubia (Wawat) and Upper Nubia (Kush), were colonial, to secure access to resources, both those available through direct mining and quarrying as well as those procured through trade. In mineral wealth, Nubia offered primarily, gold, but there was also amethyst, turquoise, copper, and gneiss. It was also the channel for exotic items from the African hinterland from ivory, giraffes, and incense to a famous dwarf.

Watering Deir el-Medina

Deir el-Medina, Photo: Steve Cameron, Creative Commons

This is the paper I wrote for Archaeology B, describing how the Egyptian New Kingdom workers’ village of Deir el-Medina, the desert home of the men who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, was provided with water. Basically, it was all carried in on donkey back (although an attempt was made to dig a well):

Watering Deir el-Medina