Exploring availability for contemporary Nubian people to access their cultural history and removed heritage. A case study based on Egyptian Nubians, discussing the access they have to their heritage which is curated outside of Egypt, learning about their history, and preservation of memories about a past life.
Nicholas, Claire Margaret
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis is available for Library use on the understanding that it is copyright material and that no quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.
This project examines the access Egyptian Nubian people have to published and curated knowledge about their history and culture, culminating in discussing whether such access is sufficient. Seventy-two museums around the world were found to have Nubian artefacts in their collections. Museum staff were asked approximately how many Nubian pieces they had, together with the period represented and percentage on display. Their websites were then checked to identify the amount of information available online, and how much of this was in Arabic. In order to discuss the hypothesis that people in Europe and the United States had access to more information about Nubia than the Nubian people did themselves, a study into selected UK universities was conducted. Fifty-eight universities were identified as offering relevant courses. Their library catalogues were searched to determine how many titles relating to Nubia they held, resulting in 340 books being identified, which reduced to 188 once the duplicates were removed. Initial research into the number of books about Nubia printed in Arabic and available in Egypt found fewer than 20 titles, thereby proving the hypothesis to be justified. Field research consisted of interviewing five elderly Egyptian Nubian people, to record and archive their memories of life in Old Nubia before the land was permanently lost as a result of building the Aswan High Dam. The recordings and transcripts, along with details of publications and museums with Nubian artefacts, are available on a website created with the Nubian people in mind (www.whithernubia.co.uk). Ultimately the research material will be stored at Open Research Exeter (ORE) to benefit researchers. The impact of these research findings are discussed in the final chapter, after Chapter 6 discusses how many other populations might be similarly affected by a potential language difficulty when accessing information about their removed heritage.
MPhil in Archaeology