Grzymski, K.A. 2003. Meroe Reports I. – Mississauga, Benben publications (SSEA Publications XVII)
This volume, best understood as a series of separate papers dealing with various aspects of the archaeology of Meroe rather than a single, narrowly-focussed, volume, presents the results of the joint Khartoum-Toronto mission to Meroe for the 2000-2001 season, jointly directed by Ali Osman Salih and the author of the present volume. It is good to see such rapid and detailed publication of fieldwork, and a new addition to the literature concerning Meroe is always worthwhile, whilst highlighting the difficulties resulting from the activities of a series of different archaeological missions to the site.
The main aim of this phase of the project was to carry out a preliminary reconnaissance prior to future work (encompassing excavation, conservation, and public presentation and access), a praiseworthy and restrained approach. One of the main components of the work was, simply, the examination of the remains on the ground, with small-scale clearance, and their comparison with published works. It is striking, and disturbing, to realise that this does not seem to have been carried out in a particularly rigorous manner previously, and it has clearly paid off in its results, leading to a number of significant discoveries, especially in the Amun temple (M 260). It is less clear why excavation, albeit on a very small scale, was undertaken at this stage when surface assessment with minimal archaeological intervention was proving so fruitful. Read more...