Cornelia Kleinitz – From ringing rocks to trumpets and bells: approaches to the study of sound making and consumption in (rock art) landscapes and built environments in ancient Sudan

3 December 2019
Universitat de Barcelona (Spain)

WHO: Cornelia Kleinitz, Northeastern African Archaeology and Cultural Studies Centre (ANKOA), Institute of Archaeology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

In this seminar Cornelia Kleinitz presented her research on the ringing rocks of ancient Sudan, a project undertaken in the framework of the Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project. Time-intensive work in the field resulted in more than four hundred sites recorded in the area. For each site a recording form was filled in and this was associated to a series of digital photographs and direct tracings of diagnostic panels. In the survey more than 350 rock gongs and rock gong complexes were recorded and this resulted in a few preliminary papers being published. The chronological sequence of rock art in the area was presented at the seminar and this was followed by an explanation about the ringing stones found. Ringing stones had been found in groups or isolated and, interestingly, about 50% of stones with rock art were used as ringing stones. The ethnographic information of ringing stones found in other parts of the world served as the basis for a reflection on the possible function of the ringing stones found in the area of the fourth cataract. Some specific areas were then discussed more in detail.