New Data on the origins of Kerma
Résumé Despite the numerous studies devoted to the civilisa-tion of Kerma, little is known about the process leading to the formation of this entity, which gradually became more complex, hierarchically structured and finally gave birth to a kingdom. In order to fill the gap between the Neolithic and the Kerma periods, our research has focused for several years on the identification and exca-vation of habitation sites. This has led us to a better understanding of why periods such as the Pre-Kerma – which have left no monumental remains – are so little known. Since then, our work has focused on the older parts of the necropolis of Kerma, revealing a few surprises for the period between 2550 and 2050 BC. The analysis of the spatial distribution of several hun-dred graves with associated funerary objects and the establishment of a precise chronology has helped to better understand the essential steps of the beginning of Kerma civilisation.

Starting in 2008, we initiated a research programme in the oldest sectors of the Kerma Eastern Cemetery, in parallel with our research into the prehistory of the region (Figure 1). The objectives of this programme are to obtain a precise understanding of the evolution and the functioning of the necropolis during the Early Kerma period, between 2550 2050 BCE. It has involved the reinvestigation of the sectors excavated by Charles Bonnet between 1980 and1997 (Bonnet 1982; 1984; 1986; 1997; 1999), undertaking the systematic excava-tions of the graves and the opening of new sectors covering periods for which information was lacking (Honegger 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2015; Honegger et Dubosson 2009). Many hundreds of graves have been studied but only a part can supply precise and syste-matic data (Figure 2). The tombs excavated by George Reisner and his collaborator W. G. Kemps in 1915-1916 are difficult to use because a large part of them are not located on the plan of the cemetery (Dunham 1982). The graves excavated by Charles Bonnet have supplied detailed information but did not allow for as systematic an analysis as those excavated more recently.
Citation Honegger, M. (2014). New Data on the origins of Kerma. In NUBIAN ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE XXIST CENTURY. (Vol. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference for Nubian Studies, pp. 19-34). LEUVEN – PARIS – BRISTOL, CT: Peeters.
Type Chapitre de livre (Anglais)
Année 2014
Editeur commercial Peeters (LEUVEN – PARIS – BRISTOL, CT)
Volume Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference for Nubian Studies
Pages 19-34