Archaeologists in northern Sudan have discovered the ruins of a cathedral believed to be the seat of Christian power in the Kingdom of Nubia Makurias 1000 years ago.

Likes Newspaper about artAmy Eliud reports on the remains unearthed in an underground fortress in the capital of Makuria, Stara DongolaIt may be the largest church ever found Nuba. Scientists say the structure was 25 feet wide and roughly three stories tall. The walls of the cathedral’s apse – the most sacred part of the building – were painted with images likely depicting the Twelve Apostles in the 10th or early 11th century, Jesse Holth reports. ARTnews.

“Its size matters, but so does the building’s location – in the heart of a 200-hectare city, the UK’s capital nobadia The Makuria – Archaeologist says Arch Artur Obuski, Director Polish Center for Mediterranean Archeology (PCMA) at the University of Warsaw, which conducted excavations, including Message.

The team found the site in February using remote sensing technology. But as Obluski says art newspaper He and his colleagues “expected not a church, but rather a town square that could be used for common prayer.” Scholars previously believed that the church outside the city walls served as the cathedral of the ancient city of Dongola.

Aerial view of the test trench in the cathedral apse

(Center for Mediterranean Archeology, University of Warsaw / A. Schlebowski)

To the east of the church apse, archaeologists found a large tomb dome. The design reflects the layout Persian cathedral, another Nubian city north of ancient Dongola near the modern Sudanese-Egyptian border. But the dome in the newly discovered complex is much larger – its diameter is about 7 meters, compared to the tomb of Faras, which is only about 1.5 meters in diameter. Based on the Faras tomb belonging to Archbishop Faras Joans, Oblosky says that the ancient Dongola tomb may have been the archbishop’s tomb.

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Salim Faraji, a scholar of medieval Nubia at California State University in Dominguez Hills, who was not involved in the excavation, reports Atlas ObscuraMatthew Top said this discovery “was not surprising when you consider that ancient Dongola was the seat of a powerful medieval Christian kingdom in Nubia that had foreign diplomacy with Muslim Egypt, Byzantium, and the Holy Roman Empire.”

to Encyclopedia of world historyThe Kingdom of Makuria was the main power in the region between the 6th and 14th centuries AD, and ancient Dongola, located on the Nile River, grew into an important city from the 6th century. Its inhabitants used water wheels to irrigate land for farming. After the armistice of 652 it was known as breadedThe Christian kingdom had peaceful relations with Egypt for six centuries. Muslims were protected as they crossed the kingdom and were allowed to pray in a mosque in ancient Dongola. Together with Egypt, Makuria was traded with Byzantium and Ethiopia.

The domed building to the east of the apse was probably the archbishop’s tomb.

(Center for Mediterranean Archeology, University of Warsaw / A. Wujec)

Obłuski tells the story Atlas Obscura That Makuria was a “fairy kingdom” is largely forgotten today. At its peak, it was as large as Spain and France combined; Ancient Dongola was the size of modern Paris. The kingdom “stopped the development of Islam in Africa for several hundred years”, while “the Muslims occupied half of the Byzantine Empire.” Obłuski adds.

One of the most famous places dating back to the Makur period in ancient Dongola Sala tronowaA royal building that was later converted into a mosque. Archaeologists have also found large palaces owned by government and church officials. The city was home to several dozen churches Its interior walls were painted with frescoes, some of which are now National Museum In Khartoum. Old Dongola is also famous for its polar shape Islamic cemeteries built yet Mamluks From Egypt he took this area in the early fourteenth century.

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Researchers are now working with the Art Conservation and Restoration Team to help keep the church safeThe paintings are finally ready for exhibition.

“In order to continue the excavation, weak and peeling wall plaster, covered with decorative paint, must be strengthened, and then thoroughly cleaned from layers of dirt, dirt and salt, which are especially harmful to frescoes” – says Krzysztof Chmielewski, which is doing restoration work for the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, said. “When a suitable ceiling is built over this valuable find, the final aesthetic restoration of the paintings can begin.”