Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilThématiques14TechnologieGlimpses into cooking practices—o...

Technologie

Glimpses into cooking practices—observations on past and present Sudanese griddle baking

Aperçus de pratiques culinaires passée et présente - observations sur la cuisson du pain soudanais
Ulrike Nowotnick

Résumés

Les plaques de cuisson plates, utilisées pour cuire les pains plats, sont courantes dans diverses régions d’Afrique du Nord. Des ustensiles de cuisine de forme semblable ont été retrouvés dans des établissements du premier âge du fer au Soudan et en Éthiopie. L’article examine les preuves archéologiques provenant du Soudan et qui attestent d’une large utilisation de plaques de cuisson en céramique depuis 2500 ans, soit environ mille ans plus tôt que ce que l’on pensait auparavant. La cuisson du pain occupant une place particulière dans les techniques africaines de préparation des aliments, l’utilisation précoce de ces plaques au Soudan a suscité un débat sur l’émergence de cette technique culinaire en Afrique, qu’il s’agisse d’une innovation locale ou d’une adoption étrangère.
Une étude de cas ethnoarchéologique sur la cuisson sur plaque actuellement pratiquée au Soudan examine la chaîne opératoire, les outils et le contexte social liés à la cuisson de pains plats, appelée localement doka. Révélant des parallèles étroits avec les découvertes du premier âge du fer, la cuisson traditionnelle sur plaque permet de mieux contextualiser l’utilisation d’ustensiles de cuisine similaires dans le passé.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

This study was supported by many colleages, friends and institutions. The research is part of the Connecting Foodways project, based at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin, under the umbrella of the “Entangled Africa” priority programme funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (project no: 404218798). I am particularly grateful to my colleague S. Matthews for helpful discussions and great teamwork, as well as J. Linstädter, J. Sigl, P. Wolf and S. Wolf for ready support. I gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Connecting Foodways cooperation partners (F. Jesse, T. Karberg, C. Kleinitz, A. Lohwasser) and extend particular thanks to the staff of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Sudan (Elgazafi Yousif, Ghalia Gar Elnabi, Ikhlass Abdelatif) for granting access to unpublished excavation materials and sampling. Important data results were provided by analyses conducted by L. Dietrich (DAI) as well as D. Fuller and L. Gonzàles Carretero (UCL). I am greatly indebted to all interview partners and particularly to the women of Hamadab (Hawatif Abdallah) and Musawwarat (Suard al Tahir and Bakhita Mohammed) as well as to cook Mahmoud El-Mahi El-Tayeb for welcoming us to their homes and kitchens and readily sharing their knowledge on Sudanese food traditions. All informants kindly consented to having their labours recorded and used for reproduction. I gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance of C. Kleinitz and S. Matthews during interviews, as well as of Habab Idris Ahmed, Hozeifa Abdelmagid Abdelbagi and Zaroog Bakri Mohamed Ahmed for translation and background information.

Introduction

1While the baking of bread is a preparation technique typically associated with Near Eastern foodways, the cuisines of Saharan and Sahelian Africa also reveal a long tradition of baking bread. These commonly take the form of thin flatbreads prepared on griddle plates. The following contribution offers new results of research into this particular food component in ancient Sub-Saharan Africa. It presents ceramic griddles and associated food remains from an early Iron Age context in Sudan, attesting to the baking of flatbreads on the Middle Nile already in the first millennium BC.

2The paper is organised into three sections. It begins by summarising the presently known evidence of crop use in the Nile Valley, revealing contrasts between African summer crops and adopted Near Eastern cereals. Their inherent properties had direct implications on processing techniques, leading to distinct food traditions along the river Nile. The second part reviews archaeological ceramic griddles from Sudan and discusses the emergence of this cooking technique in the region. New data points from the urban site of Hamadab (ca. 3rd century BC – 4th century AD) considerably expand the previously known corpus of Iron Age griddles, including micro-botanical results. This is complemented in the third part by ethno-archaeological observations on current griddle cooking in the Meroe region, describing present-day circumstances and procedures involved in the baking of flatbreads.

The food tradition of Sudan

  • 1 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; R. Haaland, 2007; R. Haaland, 2012.

3Sudanese cuisine has been shaped by the complex interplay of internal African traditions and the adoption of foreign food practices. An important pathway for bidirectional cultural contacts has always been the river Nile, along which goods, ideas and technologies have been exchanged for millennia. Also food preparation techniques and domesticates dispersed along this river and contributed to an intermingling of local and external culinary traditions, including foodstuffs and cooking methods. Two major food systems converge in Nubia, northern Sudan: the Near Eastern “bread-and-oven” tradition and the African “porridge-and-pot” tradition, both being characterised by distinct agricultural regimes and cereal crops, as well as food processing and consumption techniques.1

  • 2 E. Asouti, D. Fuller, 2013; A. Pasqualone, 2018.
  • 3 e.g. E. Garcea, 2020, p. 90: E. Hildebrand, T. Schilling, 2016; M. Madella et al., 2014; A. Manzo, (...)
  • 4 E. Garcea, 2020, p. 113; E. Hildebrand, 2007.
  • 5 E. Garcea, 2020, p. 113-115; S. Salvatori, D. Usai, 2019; D. Usai, 2021.

4The Near Eastern type of food tradition, originating in Neolithic Southwest Asia, involved the use of domesticated winter crops, wheat and barley, and the transition to agriculture around 8500 BC.2 This type of food production quickly diffused in various directions and reached northern Africa by the 6th/5th millennium BC.3 By the 3rd millennium BC, the domesticated Near Eastern cereals emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) were being cultivated and processed for consumption in northern Sudan.4 As a result, food habits in Nubia aligned with the culinary traditions of the Near East. Yet, the use of these winter crops existed side by side with indigenous lifestyles and subsistence strategies, including foraging, pastoralism, and exploitation of edible wild species, as well as cultivation of native savannah crops.5

  • 6 M. Madella et al., 2014; S. Shoemaker et al., 2017, p. 417; D. Usai, 2021.
  • 7 A. Beldados, 2019; A. Beldados et al., 2018; M. Brass et al., 2019; D. Fuller, C. Stevens, 2018; D. (...)
  • 8 C. D’Andrea et al., 2001; D. Fuller et al., 2019, fig. 5 ; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; K. Manning et (...)
  • 9 D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.

5The food traditions of the more southerly areas of central Sudan were largely based on African summer crops that had wild ancestors in the Sahel belt, such as sorghum and millet grains. These native C4-grasses are better adapted to the hot and dry climate of the savannah grasslands, where they had been widely used and processed for consumption already in their wild forms.6 Domestication processes of African summer crops evolved in Sub-Saharan Africa around the 4th/3rd millennia BC, including the independent cultivation and domestication of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum). In the 3rd millennium BC, sorghum had undergone the process of cultivation in eastern Sudan and on the Upper Nile and is attested in its fully domesticated form by the 2nd millennium BC.7 Domesticated sorghum varieties spread westwards from Sudan across the Sahel belt, whereas pearl millet went the opposite way, originating in the savannahs of West Africa and diffusing towards the east.8 By the 1st millennium BC, both cereals were the dominant staples in the cuisines of Sub-Saharan Africa and remain so to the modern day.9

African crops and food technologies

  • 10 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, 414.

6Different environmental conditions and crop availability have influenced the food technologies and cuisines of northern and central Sudan respectively. Indigenous African summer cereals are C4-plants that have different physicochemical characteristics from Near Eastern winter crops, which are C3-plants, contributing to fundamental differences in their processing techniques. The African cereals sorghum and various millet taxa lack the gluey protein commonly known as gluten, which has a direct impact on the performance of their doughs.10 As gluten-free staples, these native cereals do not produce elastic doughs that can easily be formed into bread loaves or baked in ovens. African crops therefore required other processing technologies, such as the preparation of liquid batters into porridges and grain beers.

  • 11 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Edwards, 2003; R. Haaland, 2007; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.

7The specific properties of native African crop types had direct impact on the involved cooking technologies and consumption practices. This resulted in regionally distinct kitchen utensils, food products and cuisines, and hence created a specific African culinary tradition that is fundamentally different from the Near Eastern one.11 While the Near Eastern cuisine is defined by wheat or barley breads baked in ovens and eaten from flat dishes and plates, the African food culture is dominated by globular pots and jars set on open fireplaces to cook porridges and grain beers.

Overlap of food traditions

8These two divergent food systems came into direct contact in what is today northern Sudan. During the early Iron Age, this was the territory of the Kushite kingdom, an independent African polity that extended along the Middle Nile from Lower Nubia to central Sudan between ca. 1000 BC and AD 350 (Figure 1).

  • 12 e.g. M. Badura, 2012; R. Cappers, 2015; M.J. Clapham, 2019; D. Fuller, 2004; D. Fuller, 2015; P. Ry (...)
  • 13 C. Bonnet, 2005, p. 233-234; J. Budka, 2016, p. 438 fig. 11; Salah El-Din 1992, p. 98; N. Spencer, (...)
  • 14 D. Fuller, 2004, tab. 1; D. Fuller, 2015, tab. 2.

9Different geographical and climatic conditions provided for a north–south dichotomy in the availability of food sources along the Middle Nile already in the past. The relatively cool climate and the narrow river oasis of Nubia sustained limited cereal cultivation on its inundated flood plain. Archaeobotanical and isotopic data attests to the dominance of irrigated farming of Near Eastern winter crops wheat and barley in the northern parts of Kush, in both urban and smaller agricultural communities.12 The presence of cylindrical tannur-style bread ovens, consisting of freestanding clay cylinders with a wide top opening and small vent hole near the base, is a further indicator for the adoption of Near Eastern foodways in Nubia during the Pharaonic New Kingdom and the Napatan period (ca. 1500–300 BC). These occur in larger numbers in the settlements of Sai, Amara West, Dukki Gel and Kawa, highlighting the importance of baked bread loaves in the daily subsistence of the population.13 Some of these towns also yielded African cereals, such as sorghum and millets, suggesting the dispersal of summer cereals towards the north and the blending of foodways already during the 1st millennium BC.14

Figure 1. Map of the Middle Nile Valley indicating Kushite settlements and surrounding sites of the early Iron Age

Figure 1. Map of the Middle Nile Valley indicating Kushite settlements and surrounding sites of the early Iron Age

Cartography: N. Spiske-Salamanek, 2021.

  • 15 D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.
  • 16 S. Matthews, U. Nowotnick, 2019, p. 475-477 (with further references).
  • 17 D. Fuller, L. Gonzales Carretero, 2018, p. 115-116; M. Madella et al., 2014 ; D. Usai et al., 2014, (...)
  • 18 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Edwards, 2003, p. 142-146; R. Haaland, 2007.

10Further upriver in central Sudan, climate and precipitation were more favourable, including annual summer rains that sustained cultivation of native African cereals by rain-fed agriculture (Figure 7b).15 Different forms of fire installations, such as open hearths and sunken fire pots, are prevalent in the kitchens of the southern settlements, pointing to different cooking and baking technologies.16 According to botanical and skeletal analyses, sorghum and millets were widely cultivated and consumed by the Iron Age population, constituting the dominant food crops in the region.17 The processing of these grains into typical African staple foods formed the “porridge-and-pot” tradition of Sudanic Africa.18

  • 19 S. Smith, 2003a, p. 45-64; S. Smith, 2003b, p. 113-124 fig. 5.19.

11The two food traditions, the African “porridge-and-pot” and the Near Eastern “bread-and-oven” cuisines, were argued to have been culturally distinctive already in antiquity. A case study of organic residues in ancient cooking vessels from the fortress of Askut in Nubia (ca. 1850–1050 BC) testifies to diverging culinary habits of Egyptians and Nubians. Wheelmade Egyptian-style pots contained different kinds of foodstuffs when compared with handmade Nubian-style pots.19 Both assemblages comprise different sets of service, cooking and storage vessels, pointing to distinct cuisines amongst the two groups.

  • 20 J. Pope, 2013.

12Cultural differences between Egyptian and Kushite food consumption were also expressed in Egyptian writings, marking a distinction between bread eaters and porridge eaters. Demotic texts of the 1st millennium BC and the early 1st century AD stigmatise Egypt’s southern neighbours as “eaters of 3wš” and “eaters of qmy”, which presumably means “eaters of porridge”,20 referring to culinary preferences of the Kushites for consuming cooked porridge rather than baked bread. Kushite foods and dietary practices had been so distinct from Egyptian food habits that they were used to express their ethnic identity.

  • 21 J. Anderson et al., 2007.

13Archaeobotanical and material records of the early Iron Age confirm a dichotomy in culinary practices between Egypt and Nubia as a “bread-and-oven” culture and central Sudan as a realm of “porridge-and-pot” cuisine. For example, the identification of sorghum phytoliths and starch grains in conical bread moulds from the temple bakery of Dangeil21 indicates that sorghum porridge was substituted for wheat in conical Egyptian breads as temple offering, perhaps to better suit the availability of crops in central Sudan and the preferences of the local population.

  • 22 D. Edwards, 2003, p. 143; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; R. Haaland, 2018.

14However, the division between Near Eastern and African foodways exhibits no hard boundary. Instead, the border zone between Egypt and Sudan is characterised by gradually shifting environmental conditions, including fauna and vegetation and thus foodstuffs. Continuous movements and cultural contact over several millennia turned Nubia into a contact space that added to a blending of Near Eastern and African food traditions and to the development of hybrid food processing techniques.22

  • 23 H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 522-524.
  • 24 M. Baldi, 2018, p. 19-26; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 15; D. Lyons, D’Andrea, 2008, p. 416; H. Dirar, 1992 (...)

15One example of this hybridity is the baking of flatbreads from African cereals, which appears to present a deviation from the “porridge-and-pot” food tradition in northeast Africa. While most African cuisines are largely based on porridge and beer, baked bread is a rare food component in ancient Sub-Saharan Africa.23 Sudanese bread baking has thus been regarded as a cultural adoption from Egypt and as a result of close culinary entanglements.24

African griddle technology

  • 25 R. Haaland, 2007, p. 177; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 521-523; A. Pasqualone, 2018; A. Zukerman (...)

16Whereas bread baking is considered a food preparation technique typical of the Near Eastern tradition,25 the baking of flatbreads is central to several contemporary African cuisines. As noted above, the lack of gluten requires different processing methods for native African cereals. Doughs from sorghum and millets do not rise to form voluminous bread loaves, as wheat or barley breads commonly do. Instead, sorghum and millet flours are mixed with water into liquid batters and processed into cooked porridges or fermented grain beers, which constitute typical Sub-Saharan staple foods.

  • 26 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 518.

17To prepare bread from African cereals thus requires a specific cooking implement: flat baking plates or “griddles”. The liquid batter can be poured onto preheated griddle plates and baked into a bread-like food. Due to their specific properties, baked sorghum and millet batters result in rather thin pancake-like sheets of bread.26 Hence, for the preparation of flatbreads from African cereals, the griddle is the principal utensil.

  • 27 e.g. J. Arthur, 2014, p. 152 fig. 13; H. Dirar, 1993; D. Groenenborn, C. Magnavita, 2000, fig. 7; D (...)
  • 28 J. Arthur, 2014, fig. 13; D. Lyons, 2007, p. 356; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003; J. De Torres Rodrígu (...)

18The baking of flatbreads on griddle plates is a widespread food preparation technique performed in several African cuisines to the present day. Flatbreads made on griddles are found, for example, in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.27 Griddles are thus used across different cultural areas and ecological zones. While griddles are typically associated with flatbreads, they can also be employed for a wide range of cereal crops and for other food preparation techniques, resulting in regional variations in implements and final food products. Well-known African flatbreads are the Ethiopian injera and the Sudanese kisra. While injera is made from the local Ethiopian cereal tef (Eragrostis tef) and baked on ceramic griddles known as mogogo (Tigrinya) or mitad (Amharic),28 the Sudanese kisra bread is made from sorghum and baked on metal griddles locally known as doka.

  • 29 H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168.
  • 30 F. Ibnouf, 2012.

19Sudanese food culture incorporates a remarkably broad range of bread types baked on griddles. H. Dirar lists eleven kinds of sorghum bread or bread-like foods, which makes Sudanese cuisine one of the richest bread traditions in Africa.29 The various breads differ in the kinds of cereals used for the dough, in fermentation time, method of baking, thickness of the finished bread and mode of consumption. Typically, women perform the baking of flatbreads on a daily basis at the household level. They incorporate inherent knowledge and techniques in their domestic routines for preserving and processing the food to supply their families.30 These practices are handed down from one generation to the next and are well adapted to local foodstuffs and conditions.

Origin of griddle baking in Africa

  • 31 M. Baldi, 2018, p. 22, 26; H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 15.
  • 32 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 525; A. Manzo, 2017, p. 37.
  • 33 S. Matthews, 2022, fig. 11.12.
  • 34 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, fig. 1.

20There are diverging views of how griddle cooking emerged in Sudan. The baking of breads, as a typical Near Eastern food preparation technique, may have been introduced from the north via Egypt.31 Or, it may have developed as an indigenous innovation associated with the processing of gluten-free African weeds and crops, as recent discoveries of early griddles in eastern Sudan suggest.32 Multiple and more complex pathways to the diffusion of griddles in Africa are also conceivable, such as a blending of Near Eastern and African food preparation techniques initiated by repeated cultural interaction.33 The distribution of bread baking on griddles in the northern parts of Africa, particularly in coastal zones and along major river systems,34 indicates that griddle baking in Africa arose from cultural encounters between Near Eastern and African food traditions. Rather than directly transferring the foreign technology of baking from abroad, people have locally adapted this cooking implement to process native cereals and thus developed local forms of griddle cooking.

21The discussion on the origin of griddle technology calls for a reassessment of the archaeological evidence for bread baking in Sudan. Whereas food and botanical remains, like breads, crusts, or grains, are still relatively scarce finds—they are difficult to trace archaeologically and require systematic sampling as well as laboratory analyses—the remains of ovens or griddles in domestic sites provide suitable markers for past baking technologies.

Griddles in ancient Sudan

  • 35 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26, 114, 169.

22The technique of griddle cooking has great antiquity in Sudan. Its wider utilisation can be traced back at least to the early Iron Age, where flat ceramic plates from domestic sites seem to represent the antecedents of modern griddles. Close analogies in shape, size and contextual setting of past and present griddles may be regarded as indirect evidence for a long tradition of griddle baking, spanning more than two millennia in the region.35

  • 36 A. Manzo, 2017, p. 38-48 fig. 32.
  • 37 A. Beldados, 2019, p. 506; A. Beldados et al., 2018; D. Fuller et al., 2019, tab. 1; A. Manzo, 2017 (...)
  • 38 A. Manzo, 2017, p. 33-40.

23The earliest finds of ceramic griddles have been recovered in eastern Sudan. Several flat circular plates or “trays” were discovered from the multi-period site Mahal Teglinos (K1) near Kassala, in a late 3rd millennium BC food preparation area.36 Its strategically important location in the eastern Sudanese lowlands and the early date of these locally produced griddles have considerably altered our understanding of the development of this food preparation technique in Africa. As eastern Sudan is an area where wild and domesticated sorghum was exploited for food as early as the 4th/3rd millennium BC,37 it has been suggested that griddle baking of sorghum breads may have emerged locally as a food processing technique for African cereal crops. However, it may not be a mere coincidence that the site was a major gathering place of the region and a node in interregional trade networks between Egypt, Nubia, eastern Sudan and Yemen.38 Repeated encounters with Near Eastern food traditions may have played a part in the integration of foreign technologies into local food preparation practices.

  • 39 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, p. 414-416; S. Matthews, 2022.
  • 40 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, 525; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, p. 414-416.

24However, the presence of griddles alone is no conclusive evidence for a specific crop or food product, as these cooking utensils can be widely employed—for example, for roasting, frying, and the processing of wild African crops as well as of Near Eastern cereals. Despite the close connection between griddle use, African cereals and the baking of flatbreads, this remains a non-exclusive relationship.39 In Ethiopia, for instance, griddles are used to cook barley breads, and in Yemen sorghum and millet breads are baked in tannur ovens.40 These examples show that the choice for a specific baking technique is not entirely predicated by environmental constraints or food availability but that the use of griddles is also a culturally determined one. Which kinds of foodstuffs were actually prepared on these early griddle plates can only be ascertained by analysing food remains.

25The archaeological data set for early griddle cooking in central Sudan remains patchy, partly due to a research bias towards the study of wheelmade and fine ware pottery. Griddles, being handmade coarse wares of various shape and rather unappealing appearance, have often escaped the attention of many ceramic studies and site publications. Their low visibility in the archaeological record has shaped current opinions on the date and the emergence of griddle cooking in Sudan.

  • 41 e.g. W. Adams, 1962, p. 250, fig. 4; K. Weeks, 1967, fig. 31; P. Shinnie, M. Shinnie, 1978, p. 107; (...)
  • 42 e.g. W. Adams, 1986, p. 104; M. Bashir, 2019, p. 78; D. Edwards, 1996, p. 72; D. Edwards, 2004, p.  (...)

26As griddle plates are well-known finds in Christian Nubian settlements,41 griddle cooking has been considered a rather late introduction, arriving about AD 600 in Sudan. The paucity of griddle finds in earlier contexts and their increased presence during the medieval period has led to the assumption that a significant transformation in the local food culture was underway by the mid-1st millennium AD.42 This transformation was associated with the introduction of water-wheel (saqia) irrigation to Nubia, which facilitated a more intensified agriculture of winter crops on the banks of the Middle Nile. As a consequence, wheat and barley would have become more widely available in medieval Nubia, and the ubiquity of griddles was seen as evidence for an increased processing of these crops into flatbreads as “new” staple foods. However, a growing body of evidence for an earlier use of griddles in the Middle Nile Valley challenges these opinions.

Evidence for early Iron Age griddles

  • 43 Griddle use in Ethiopia, too, has had a longer history—at least since the 1st millennium BC—than pr (...)
  • 44 U. Nowotnick, 2018, p. 217-218 fig. 17.

27Flat ceramic plates were already present in the food culture of the Middle Nile Valley by the mid-1st millennium BC.43 Huge ceramic platters appear in Napatan levels of the 6th–4th centuries BC at Meroe. Some of these Napatan platters are heavy ceramic disks of ca. 3 cm thickness with a slightly raised rim, reaching diameters of 46–80 cm.44 They have a smooth upper face and a coarse lower side but yielded no clear traces of soot or burning.

  • 45 Napatan griddle plates are known, for example, from the tomb of a royal female consort of king Nast (...)
  • 46 e.g. D. Aston, 1999, pls. 83, 86, 91, 120; S. Herbert, A. Berlin, 2003, fig. 30; A. Masson, 2011, f (...)
  • 47 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 568.
  • 48 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 565-568.

28While few parallels are known from other Napatan sites in Sudan,45 similar platters had also been employed in contemporary Egypt, particularly those with increased size from New Kingdom down to Late Period times (ca. 11th–2nd century BC).46 The use of platters in ancient Egypt is far from being fully understood,47 and it remains an open question as to the cooking activities and foods they were employed for. Ancient Egyptian bread production encompassed various forms of baking tools, such as tannur ovens, box ovens and legged braziers, and different types of bread moulds, as well as small and large bread plates, resulting in a great variety of breads and cakes.48 During the New Kingdom conquest of Nubia and the following centuries (ca. 1500–300 BC), Egyptian-style vessel shapes and food processing techniques had diffused into Kush and became well established amongst the wider population, which may have reinforced the technology of baking bread. The Napatan platters, at least, seem to be closely related to Egyptian models.

  • 49 K. Grzymski, 2003, p. 61 fig. 34 P.90; P. Shinnie, R. Bradley, 1980, p. 38, 313; R. Thomas, 2008, p (...)
  • 50 The project “Connecting Foodways: Cultural Entanglement and Technological Transmission between the (...)
  • 51 The Meroe griddles come from the Meroe Royal Baths excavations 2012–2014 led by S. Wolf and H.-U. O (...)

29By the 4th/3rd century BC, on the other hand, ceramic griddles already exemplify the typical features of Sudanese ceramic griddles, which remained in use until the 20th century. Specimens of Meroitic griddles have been previously published from a number of settlements, such as Arminna West, Umm Muri and Meroe,49 attesting to the application of griddle technology throughout the kingdom of Kush. A review of further cooking assemblages from central Sudan has revealed that similar griddle plates had been more widely employed than previously acknowledged. Archived ceramic collections, examined by the Connecting Foodways project,50 encompassed several unnoticed or yet unpublished ceramic griddles—for example, from the Meroitic sites of Meroe and Musawwarat and from settlements of Abu Geili and el-Tuweina on the fringes of the Kushite state, as well as from Zankor in Kordofan (Figure 2).51 Griddle plates thus seem to be part of the wider Sudanese food culture at least from the mid-1st millennium BC, stretching from the urban towns on the Middle Nile to the savannahs of western Sudan.

Figure 2. Ceramic griddle plates from Iron Age cooking assemblages in Sudan

Figure 2. Ceramic griddle plates from Iron Age cooking assemblages in Sudan

MRB-VU = Meroe Royal Baths vessel unit; CFW-VU = Connecting Foodways vessel unit.
a.
MRB-VU-14-0511: from Meroe, kitchen floor MRB 0860 (ca. 4/3rd century BC), disk-shaped griddle of ca. 60 cm diam., regular and well made, smooth rim and top, coarse base, organic tempered Nile clay with few grog and mica inclusions.
b.
MRB-VU-12-0153: from Meroe, fireplace MRB 0825 (ca. 4/3rd century BC), bowl-like griddle of ca. 60 cm diam., thick heavy walls, irregular top, coarse base, finely tempered Nile clay with dung, calcrete and sand.
c.
CFW-VU-20-028: from Zankor, trench C 103-2015 (ca. 1st-14th century AD), large thick plate or flat bowl of ca. 44 cm diam., organic-temper with coarsely chopped harvest waste including seeds, some sand and grog; flat very smooth top, coarse base, decoration of deep circular impressions on rim.
d.
CFW-VU-19-020: from Musawwarat, Small Enclosure, rooms X-XI? (ca. 3rd century BC-1st century AD), bowl-like griddle of ca. 50 cm diam., coarsely modelled with irregular rim, smoothed top, coarse base, sooted, coarsely tempered fabric with large organic and grog inclusions.
e.
CFW-VU-20-033: from Abu Geili (ca. 2nd-4th century AD), well made griddle of ca. 48 cm diam., with indented rim, smooth burnished top, wiped base, low fired brittle texture, heavily tempered ware with brown clay aggregates, dung, mica; upper face blackened and slightly abraded from use.
f.
CFW-VU-20-024: from Tuweina, Site 1000; Building 1, Trench 16, Position 4, FN # 1 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), flat griddle of ca. 50 cm diam., slightly raised rim, flat smooth top, coarsely tempered alluvial clay with copious amounts of sand, heavy fabric.
g.
CFW-VU-20-023: from Tuweina, Site 1000; Building 1, Trench 22, Position 34, FN # 1 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), flat griddle of ca. 50 cm diam.(?), plain top, very crumbly brittle paste with much sand temper, also grog and larger dung.

Drawings: S. Büchner-Matthews, U. Nowotnick; graphical implementation U. Nowotnick.

  • 52 S. Matthews, U. Nowotnick, 2019, fig. 5d.
  • 53 Sample MRB-2013-SP-014 (Poz-128412) from fire place MRB 0854, pl. 5b gave a 14C age of 2225±30 BP a (...)

30The earliest of these griddles were found at Meroe City (Figure 2 a–b), in an intensely used open-air kitchen with several oven pots installed along the western city wall, in the confines of the later “Meroe Royal Baths”.52 Two charcoal samples, from one of the hearths and from the ashy floor level, date these cooking activities to the 4th/3rd century BC.53 The pottery assemblages from this food processing area encompassed several cooking vessels, including two griddle plates that already show the typical fabric composition, manufacturing and surface traits that are common for later Meroitic griddles as well.

Griddle plates from ancient Hamadab

  • 54 The site of Hamadab was excavated from 2001 to 2019 under the direction of Pawel Wolf, Deutsches Ar (...)
  • 55 S. Matthews, 2022, fig. 11.7 no. 11; U. Nowotnick, 2022, pl. 37.

31Further details on the character of griddles during the Meroitic period were obtained from the urban settlement of Hamadab near Meroe. More than one hundred griddle plates of Meroitic date have been excavated in food preparation areas and domestic houses of the town.54 These cooking utensils are widely distributed across all quarters and occupation levels, from the earliest building phases of ca. the 3rd/2nd BC to the latest Meroitic phase of the 4th century AD. Most griddles were recovered in the town’s living quarters, partly in situ on kitchen floors near ash spots and fireplaces (Figure 3). Additional specimens were found in the residential tower house as well as in an excavated pottery kiln.55

Figure 3.
a. Hamadab: view into domestic kitchen 1634 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD),
b. Top view, frontal view and base of ceramic griddle HVU-08-0706

Figure 3. a. Hamadab: view into domestic kitchen 1634 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), b. Top view, frontal view and base of ceramic griddle HVU-08-0706

3a. With stationary oven pots, grinders and ceramic griddle HVU-08-0706 on the floor near a fire place. HVU = Hamadab vessel unit.

Photos: 3a. P. Wolf, 2008; 3b. S. Matthews, 2020.

  • 56 Anne Benoist, Romain David, pers. comm.

32Ceramic griddles were thus locally produced and used by various members of Meroitic society, including high-status occupants of the elite residence who were adopting to the same food practices as the wider population in the living quarters around it. Baking on griddles must have been part of the community’s daily routine, judging by the ubiquity of these cooking items at Hamadab. Recent finds of similar griddles were furthermore reported from the Meroitic towns of el Hassa and Muweis,56 suggesting that griddle cooking was a common food preparation activity in the Meroitic south.

33It can be concluded that the technique of baking bread on griddles in ancient Sudan did not emerged from a single transfer process in the early medieval period but perhaps spread in multiple waves and via various routes, and considerably earlier than previously thought. Through informal day-to-day connections, griddle baking was adapted and incorporated into the domestic routines of the wider population.

34It is nonetheless important to make a clear distinction between the occurrence of griddles, the baking of flatbreads and the processing of specific cereal crops. The presence of griddles in itself is no proof for a specific food crop or cooking technique. As modern griddles are interchangeably employed for various kitchen tasks, including frying, cooking and baking, a similar versatility may be expected from ancient cooking items as well. How griddles were employed in past food preparation activities requires confirmation by laboratory analyses.

  • 57 D. Fuller, L. Gonzales Carretero, 2018, p. 115-116 fig. 4c.

35Such analyses are currently employed by the Hamadab and the “Connecting Foodways” projects for the study of domestic cooking wares from Sudan. Botanical macro-remains and food crusts recovered from the kitchens at Hamadab have demonstrated that the Meroites had indeed been baking bread in their homes. Remains of bread-like foods, both from sorghum and from a sorghum-wheat mixture, were identified among the charred floatation samples collected from domestic kitchens and hearths of the town.57 These provide the first direct evidence of baked cereal foods in the Meroitic south, confirming baked breads as part of the Meroitic urban diet from the 2nd/1st century BC onwards. To relate these food remains to the use of griddles, three domestic griddle plates from the kitchens of Hamadab were submitted for starch analysis, which successfully detected sorghum starch on the surface of all three tested griddles as well as wheat starch on one specimen (Figure 4). These analytical results offer convincing evidence for the preparation of flatbreads and the use of griddles in processing of cereal meals in the same kitchens, using both African and Near Eastern crops. As a consequence—yet keeping in mind that griddles can serve a broad range of cooking applications—griddle plates can act as a marker for the baking of flatbreads in ancient Sudan.

Figure 4.
a. Griddle plate
HVU-18-0355 from fire place 18052 in domestic house H 3300 of Hamadab, (ca. 2nd-4th century AD)
b. Starch microfossils identified on the cooking surface of griddle HVU-18-0355

Figure 4.a. Griddle plate HVU-18-0355 from fire place 18052 in domestic house H 3300 of Hamadab, (ca. 2nd-4th century AD)b. Starch microfossils identified on the cooking surface of griddle HVU-18-0355

a. Thin-walled griddle plate of 40 cm diam., interior black burnished, exterior matte brown, rough base with additional clay layer, well prepared Nile clay (fabric A1), tempered with grog and organics, low fired.
b. Arrow indicating sorghum starch.

Drawing: S. Büchner-Matthews, graphic implementation: U. Nowotnick.
Analysis and microphoto: L. Dietrich, 2020.

Characteristics of Iron Age griddles

36Griddles from Iron Age kitchens in Sudan display very similar features across the wider region. Ancient Sudanese griddles are large flat ceramic disks averaging ca. 50 cm in diameter, ranging from 20 cm to 75 cm in diameter. Their base plate is ca. 0.6–2.5 cm thick and is typically framed by a slightly raised rim.

  • 58 C. Pierce, 2005; M. Schiffer, 1990; M. Schiffer et al., 1994; J. Skibo, 2013, p. 49.

37Despite encompassing some variation in shape and size, the most characteristic features of ceramic griddles are the smooth upper face and the coarse underside (Figure 3b). The smoothed—and­ sometimes burnished—top acts as the cooking surface, preventing the bread from sticking to the plate. The rough underside is coarsely textured—for example, with imprints of matting, tools or fingertips, to improve the thermal shock resistance and to avoid cracking when used over the fire.58

38Ceramic griddles are heavy household items of coarse handmade ware. Apart from their well-smoothed top, which had functional relevance, griddles were rather crudely finished with little regard for representation or display. As such, these were typical kitchen tools, rather large and unsightly, probably unintended for serving purposes. Scorch marks on the lower side testify to their use over the kitchen fire.

  • 59 U. Nowotnick, 2022.
  • 60 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 522; N. Müller et al. 2009; J. Skibo, 2013, p. 33, 43; M. Tite et a (...)

39Most of the examined griddles from Hamadab were made of local alluvial clays with large amounts of coarse temper. Added components were angular pieces of grog, sand and organics. Grog particles (i.e. pieces of crushed pottery) were typically added to griddles and other coarse kitchen wares (Figure 5) to render them more resistant to temperature changes.59 Crushed pottery has a similar expansion coefficient and similar material properties to the surrounding ceramic paste and thereby ensures high resistance to thermal damage as well as good heating effectiveness.60

Figure 5. Macro-photos of griddle fabrics from Hamadab

Figure 5. Macro-photos of griddle fabrics from Hamadab

Showing different clay mixtures with coarse tempering agents, including crushed pottery (grog) or clay particles, sand and organic matter.

Photos: U. Nowotnick, 2020.

40Some of the typical Hamadab griddles contained about 25–35% sub-angular grog particles and 10–20% organic temper, as well as rounded quartz (Figure 5). Yet, various paste compositions were noted among the studied griddles, suggesting different mixing recipes. Some specimens contained more sand, others more organic temper. A third of the reviewed griddles from central Sudan were tempered mainly with inorganic materials, about a quarter contained mainly organics, and nearly half had a mixed temper composition.

41A traditional mixing recipe for ceramic griddle plates made by potters on the southern Blue Nile was recorded by H. Dirar:

  • 61 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.

The doka is made from a mixture of ant-hill mud, crushed shards of old burnt ceramic pots, and finely chopped straw, in the ratio of 4:1:1, respectively. The mixture is fermented for a few days before it is used to build the doka which is then dried in the sun for a day or two.61

  • 62 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 517.

42A mixture for making contemporary mogogo in Ethiopia consisted of clay and sand in an approximate ratio of 1:2 or 1:3.62

  • 63 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 517.
  • 64 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.
  • 65 J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, fig. 5 lower left.

43All studied griddles from Sudan had been shaped by hand. The prepared mixture was presumably formed on the ground into a flat disk-like shape. In present-day Ethiopia, the prepared mixture can also be pressed into circular moulds,63 while ancient Sudanese griddles have irregular rims and coarse bases that suggest a free-hand shaping without the use of moulds (Figure 3b). The griddle’s upper surface was carefully smoothed to achieve a shiny and impervious cooking surface—for example, by rubbing it with a river pebble.64 The plate is then left to dry for one or two days, which requires special precautions to prevent the edges from warping upwards. This can be done by drying griddles in stacks or by placing heavy stones around the rim.65

  • 66 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 518; N. Müller, 2016; M. Tite et al., 2001, p. 316-317.
  • 67 J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, p. 229-230.
  • 68 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.
  • 69 U. Nowotnick, 2022, p. 107, pl. 37.
  • 70 Lower firing temperatures inside these pottery kilns can be achieved, for example, by placing the v (...)

44The soft brittle fabric of most ancient griddles indicates a firing at relatively low temperatures. Firing coarse wares at low temperatures ensures ideal performance qualities for cookwares, as it enhances the vessels’ thermal shock resistance and prevents the development of cracks during cooking.66 In present-day Ethiopia, the firing of griddles is performed in open-air bonfires.67 For the Blue Nile region of Sudan, a short one-hour firing using cow-dung fuel has been reported.68 However, the only Iron Age griddles ever found in a production context are nine Meroitic griddle plates from the vertical updraught kilns at Hamadab.69 The presence of over-fired griddles among the waster sherds of the Hamadab kiln testifies to their firing in sophisticated kiln structures.70 This finding cautions us against directly transferring observed modern practices from rural areas to urban societies of the past.

45While the general characteristics are shared by most of the studied griddle plates from central Sudan—such as a large flat shape, smooth top, rough base, coarse temper, low firing—there is a considerable range of sizes and formal types simultaneously in use. Three subtypes of ancient Sudanese griddles can be distinguished, even within a single site assemblage, ranging from entirely flat ceramic disks to concave bowl-like variants (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Variability of ceramic griddles from Late Meroitic Hamadab

Figure 6. Variability of ceramic griddles from Late Meroitic Hamadab

Ca. 3rd/4th cent. AD if not stated otherwise.
a.
HVU-12-0132: from domestic kitchen floor 12051 in room 1638 (ca. 3rd cent. AD); large griddle, very irregular rim (ca. 60 cm diam.?), crude underside, smooth inner face, copious grog inclusions of angular shape and various colour (see Fig. 5).
b.
HVU-08-0706: from floor 08094 of domestic kitchen 1634, large fragment of very flat griddle, diam. ca. 75 cm?, smooth upper face, very coarse base, coarsely tempered Nile clay with large inorganic inclusions: predominantly rounded sand and some clay aggregates (grog), calcite, fine dung (see Fig. 5); starch analysis attested sorghum bicolor on the top surface.
c.
HVU-10-0937: from floor 10144 of domestic kitchen 1604, large flat griddle plate of ca. 48 cm diam., coarse base, smooth slipped inner face, slightly raised rim decorated with shallow finger prints, coarsely tempered Nile clay, mixed inclusions: grog, sand, larger vegetal temper (see Fig. 5).
d.
HVU-10-0985: from floor 10119 of domestic kitchen 1614, rim of large bowl or griddle of ca. 54 cm diam., very smooth inner face, very rough exterior, soot marks; coarse Nile clay with much inorganic temper: predominantly coarse grog, some dung, soft brown matrix.
e.
HVU-10-0929: from fill 10143 of domestic kitchen 1604, large bowl or griddle with modelled rim, 56 cm diam., very coarse, exterior heavily eroded, soot stains, overfired to red-purple colour, coarse Nile clay with large inclusions.
f.
HVU-08-0578: from fill 08217 of domestic kitchen 1604, black shallow handmade bowl or griddle, ca. 50 cm diam., very rough base, smooth interior and rim, presumably cooking vessel, decoration of regular incised lines on flat rim top with white colour fill, coarse Nile clay, heavily tempered with clay aggregates (grog), sand, chaff.
g.
HVU-12-0253: from fill 12003 of room 1616, brown handmade bowl or griddle, deeper shape with distinct wall and flat base, 25.4 cm diam., cooking vessel, soot marks on exterior, smooth inner face, Nile clay with large grog inclusions.
h.
HVU-08-0671: from pit 08247 in room 1624 (post-Meroitic or later), small flat plate with flaring wall, 34 cm rim diam., heavily eroded, rim and interior black slipped and polished, base plain, coarsely tempered Nile clay.
i.
HVU-08-0583: from pit 08157 in room 1619 (post-Meroitic or later), large flat bowl or griddle, flat open shape with distinct wall and flat base, 36 cm diam., interior covered with thick smooth brown slip, well-polished, lower side rough, presumably cooking vessel but no traces of fire, Nile clay with mixed inclusions.

Drawings: I. Auer, J. Braungart, S. Büchner, J. Cernecka, U. Nowotnick; graphic implementation: U. Nowotnick.

    • 71 J. Arthur, 2014, p. 147; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008.

    A diagnostic form is the nearly flat plate of ca. 50–60 cm diameter, occasionally surrounded by a low rim coil (Figure 6a–c). Some are entirely flat ceramic disks with nearly straight bases; others are framed by a moulded rim. This type closely resembles historical doka plates of Sudan and flat ceramic mogogo of Ethiopia, used for baking flatbreads and for roasting.71

    • 72 M. El-Tayeb, 2013, p. 100; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114.

    Concave griddles of similar size, ca. 40–70 cm in diameter, are about 20 cm deep and thus appear less suitable for making flatbreads (Figure 6d–f). Analogous bowl-like shapes from metal, known to the Sudanese as tajin, are used to cook porridge or to fry meat (Figure 8).72 It is quite conceivable that the concave ceramic griddles of the past served similar food-related tasks, such parching or frying or porridge cooking.

    • 73 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 565-568; A. Zukerman, 2014.

    In addition, there are smaller flat-based plates with straight side walls (Figure 6g–i). These are ca. 25–50 cm in diameter and resemble the flat bread moulds of earlier Egyptian descent.73 The latter are commonly associated with New Kingdom and Napatan temple sites, where they probably served for the provision of standardised bread loaves. The smaller Meroitic griddle plates may still be following the style of the earlier Egyptian bread moulds. This type is rarely found in domestic contexts.

46These variants revealed no obvious correlations concerning fabric, surface treatment or spatial distribution. All forms occur side by side in the town of Hamadab. Whether each morphological variant was purpose-bound for a specific food preparation method or for certain kinds of cereal foods remains to be confirmed. To integrate more detailed studies on griddle types and their application, publications should explicitly state which variant is being referred to.

Ethno-archaeological observations on traditional Sudanese griddle use

  • 74 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 516.

47The persistence of griddle baking in rural areas of central Sudan today provides valuable insights into the application of this cooking implement in food preparation. Ethno-archaeological observations of traditional bread baking allow us not only to explore the use of griddles as cooking tools and surrounding kitchen space; they also inform us about the work steps and skills involved in their utilisation as well as the social context of the cooked food preparation and consumption.74

  • 75 H. Dirar, 1992; H. Dirar, 1993.
  • 76 R. Bradley, 1992; N. Tobert, 1988.
  • 77 e.g. N. Abdel Hafiz, 2019; A. Al Safi, 2006; J. Anderson et al. 2007; F. Ibnouf 2012; P. Ryan, 2017

48Because griddle baking is still performed on a daily basis in present-day Sudan, it serves as a valid analogy for domestic food practices that people perform in their day-to-day life. However, systematic anthropological data on traditional Sudanese food practices are relatively scarce. The most informative source on traditional Sudanese cuisines is the seminal work of H. Dirar on the fermented foods of Sudan.75 This is complemented by recordings on dietary ranges and culinary practices of the nomadic Zaghawa of Kordofan76 and additional studies from Nubia and central Sudan.77

49To gain a better understanding of how griddles are incorporated in everyday livelihood activities, interviews were conducted in the greater Meroe region, providing first-hand information on the choice of cereals, on griddle cooking and on other food-related practices (Table 1). By visiting farmers in their fields, food sellers at markets and cooks in homes and kitchens, the author and colleagues recorded traditional Sudanese cooking techniques still practised on a daily basis, using interview sessions, direct observations and a number of informal consultations (Figure 7). These revealed similar food practices along the Middle Nile, constituting a common culinary tradition with some variability in situational and regional preferences.

Figure 7. Recording culinary practices in Central Sudan

Figure 7. Recording culinary practices in Central Sudan

a. Dried vegetables for sale in Shendi market (photo: S. Matthews, 2020),
b. Sorghum plant on the fields near the river Nile (photo: U. Nowotnick, 2020),
c. Baking
kisra bread on a rectangular griddle (saj) at Hamadab, pot with sorghum batter of white durra in foreground (photo: S. Matthews, 2020),
d. Fermented sorghum batter (
ajin khemir) from red durra (photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020),
e. Baking
kisra bread on a rectangular griddle (saj) at Musawwarat (photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020);
f. Serving a variety of dishes for a workmen’s festival at Begrawiya (photo: P. Wolf, 2020),
g. Sorghum bicolor (red
durra) presented by food seller on Shendi market (photo: S. Matthews, 2020).

Table 1 List of main interview partners consulted on contemporary Sudanese foodways

Theme

Informants

Documentation

Place

Date

Food preparation, cooking practices

Hawatif Abdallah (woman at Hamadab)

interview, observation

Hamadab

16.02.2018 17.02.2020

Sorghum cultivation and processing

Madina Abdallah (woman from Butana region)

interview

Hamadab

17.02.2020

Food preparation, cooking practices

Mahmoud El-Mahi El-Tayeb (professional cook at Khartoum, from Kordofan)

interview, observation

Hamadab

07.02.2020 14.02.2020

Food preparation, vessel use

Hassan Obeidallah (local guard at Musawwarat)

informal discussion

Musawwarat

18.02.2020

Food preparation, cooking practices

Suard al Tahir (Hassania woman at Musawwarat)

interview, observation

Musawwarat

19.02.2020

Food preparation, cooking practices

Bakhita Mohammed (Ababda woman at Musawwarat)

interview, observation

Musawwarat

19.02.2020

Food preparation in Nubia

Ayman Hassan Salih Osman Ali (professional cook, from Wadi Halfa)

informal discussion

Musawwarat

18.02.2020

Pottery making

Amani Abdelkarim, Fatma Mohamed Hamid (traditional potters from Kordofan)

interview, observation

Shendi

11.02.2020

Cereals, foodstuffs, customer preferences

Anonymous (food sellers and customers at Shendi market)

interview, informal discussion

Shendi

06.02.2020

The griddle plates of Sudan

  • 78 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 34 tab. 2.2.

50While baked bread is not a common staple food in wider Africa, the traditional cuisines of Sudan reveal an exceptional array of different bread-like foods.78 In contrast to Egyptian and Near Eastern cuisines, traditional bread baking in the Sudan is confined to the use of griddles as the principal cooking tool. These griddle plates, locally called doka, are primarily employed to prepare gluten-free African cereals, such as sorghum and pearl millet, as flatbreads. The suitability of griddles for processing native African cereals, which have specific baking properties, has made griddle baking a successful cooking technique across northeast Africa and contributed to its wide dissemination.

  • 79 R. Bradley, 1992, p. 51; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114, 175.
  • 80 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114.

51To ensure successful performance in baking, griddle plates have a large flat shape and a smooth upper face. They are made of heat-resistant materials, such as ceramic, metal, or a flat stone slab.79 All three technologies are employed interchangeably for the same purpose. Today, most griddles are made of metal, consisting of a thin sheet of steel or aluminium, about 40–60 cm in diameter. A variety of different shapes and sizes is available, ranging from circular bowl-shaped aluminium griddles to heavy rectangular flat steel sheets (Figure 8; Figure 7c, e). The entirely flat rectangular griddle is also called saj (Arabic for steel plate). The deeper bowl-like griddle, locally known as tajin, typically serves for the cooking of porridge80 or for frying meat, fish and falafel (tamiya). Apart from these specific terms, all local griddle varieties are simply referred to as doka.

Figure 8. Household implements for sale on Shendi market, including a variety of flat and bowl-shaped metal griddles of different size

Figure 8. Household implements for sale on Shendi market, including a variety of flat and bowl-shaped metal griddles of different size

Photo: S. Matthews, 2020.

  • 81 R. Bradley, 1992, p. 101; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114; J. Phillips, 2003, p. 432; P. Shinnie, R. Bradley(...)
  • 82 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 184; D. Lyons, D’Andrea, 2008, p. 520.

52Prior to the introduction of steel to Sudan at the end of the 19th century, most doka had been made of ceramic. These were locally made and widely employed in domestic kitchens until about the 1960s.81 Nowadays, ceramic griddles have largely disappeared from Sudanese kitchens, as have nearly all pottery vessels. The author has not encountered any ceramic doka still in use. Informants described them as having had the same size and shape as their circular metal counterparts but having a greater wall thickness of ca. 1–2 cm. They thus required longer preheating time but were better at absorbing and storing the heat, resulting in less abrupt temperature changes during the baking process.82

  • 83 A. Al Safi, 2006, p. 258-259; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 184; D. Lyons, 2007, p. 356.

53The griddle’s base material and its firing characteristics also affected the sensory properties of final food products, such as the taste, smell and texture of the bread. Informants reported a contrast in the taste between breads baked on metal griddles and those baked on ceramic griddles. The ceramic body of the griddle lends specific qualities to the flatbread that are partly lost when baked on a metal plate.83

54In Ethiopia, where ceramic wares are still widely produced and used, griddle cooking is affected by recent transformations as well. Ethiopian ceramic griddles are increasingly replaced by new electric hot plates, particularly in urban centres. Industrialisation and globalisation thus seriously affect long-standing food practices in many parts of Africa, replacing domestic cooking items by products of better affordable materials or newly available techniques. Despite fundamental transformations in the material culture of rural Africa, griddle baking is still being pursued across northeast Africa and thus offers the chance to study the circumstances and procedures involved in the use of this kitchen utensil.

A case study from the Meroe region

55The following account of traditional griddle baking is based on information collected during an interview conducted in 2018 with Hawatif Abdallah, a Sudanese woman living in the modern village of Hamadab, close by the archaeological site (Figure 9). At the time of the interview, Hawatif was ca. forty years old and a mother of ten children, who cooked the meals for her family and occasional guests all year round. Information from this interview was complemented by additional visits in 2020 and observations in other villages (Table 1), such that the report provides baseline information on a standard procedure that is shared by the wider population. Selected details are added from published reports.

Figure 9. Traditional use of griddle plate in Sudan

Figure 9. Traditional use of griddle plate in Sudan

Hawatif Abdallah preparing the thin sorghum flatbread kisra in the village of Hamadab.

Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.

56In her home in the modern village of Hamadab, Hawatif uses different griddle plates for baking bread. Although all her griddles are made of metal, she can choose between a circular doka of about 40 cm diameter and a larger rectangular saj of ca. 40 x 60 cm size (Figure 7c; 16a). The larger griddle is employed for feeding a larger crowd—for example, when entertaining guests or supplying a work group. The size—not the shape—is of relevance here. Asked about pottery griddles, Hawatif recalled seeing ceramic doka plates used by nomadic women of the eastern hinterland (i.e. the Butana region), whence parts of her family originate. She herself has only ever used metal griddles. Besides the common circular doka of ca. 40 cm diameter, Hawatif also mentions smaller variants of baking plates as well as bowl-shaped doka or tajin, which are particularly common in eastern Sudan.

57To start the baking process, Hawatif lights a small fire between three stones or bricks. Although gas stoves are common cooking items in Sudanese homes today, flatbreads are generally baked over an open wood fire. Reasons to prefer the open fireplace for baking flatbreads is that the gas flame is too small for the doka plate and its heat is too intense. The heat of an open fire can be better controlled by individually recharging the firewood. The branches used as fuel are collected from nearby Acacia trees or bought in packs from the market. To preheat, the doka plate is set above the three-stone fireplace, configured to be of about the same size as the griddle itself (Figure 10). Hawatif remarks that when using a pottery doka, the ceramic plate needs to become red hot before the dough can be spread on it. The roughened lower face of the ceramic griddle sat directly on the hot embers, which ensured better heating of the plate.

Figure 10. Metal doka placed over an open wood fire, supported by three bricks

Figure 10. Metal doka placed over an open wood fire, supported by three bricks

In front: container with liquid batter and scooping bowl.

Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.

Cereal use for bread baking

  • 84 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168, 187-210.

58The most common type of flatbread baked on griddles in present-day central Sudan is kisra (Figure 9), very thin sheets of sorghum bread, as well as gurassa, a thicker pancake-like wheat bread in the northerly regions of Sudan (Figure 11). Other Sudanese food products prepared on griddle plates are white abreh and hulu-mur, for which variously prepared sorghum batters will be baked into paper-thin sheets of bread, then dried and crumbled into flakes. For consumption, these dried bread flakes will be soaked in water, making a refreshing drink for special occasions.84 While the Near Eastern cereals wheat and barley are also suited for griddle baking, sorghum bicolor remains the most commonly used dietary staple in central Sudan.

Figure 11. The pancake-like flatbread gurassa is made from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast

Figure 11. The pancake-like flatbread gurassa is made from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast

It is typically prepared in Northern Sudan and baked both by Sudanese women and men, in this instance by cook Mahmoud El-Mahi.

Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2020.

59Different kinds of sorghum, locally called durra, as well as millets are employed for daily use in the kitchens of Sudan (Figure 12). The cereal types are differentiated by colour, size and area of origin, as well as by taste and nutritional value, leading to various regional and personal preferences for one type of crop over another. Interviews with food sellers and customers in the market of Shendi revealed preferences for different kinds of cultivars in the region, which are complemented by published information.

    • 85 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58.
    • 86 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

    The most valued and most expensive kind of sorghum is the large round grain, known as “white durra” (durra abjad). The Sudanese know this by different local varieties and names, such as mayo, himeissi, aklamoy.85 The pale colour of white durra plays an important role in culinary choices. It is most highly valued on markets because it provides an aesthetic pale look to the food.86 Market customers interviewed in 2020 preferred white durra for making porridge and referred to this variety as especially suitable for people suffering from diabetes.

    • 87 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

    The small white sorghum seeds, locally called feterit or feterita (sorghum caudatum), are the cheapest variety on the market. This represents the most common and most nutritious kind of sorghum. It is easiest to bake into flatbreads and easiest to digest. Although the bread made from feterita has a more brownish colour than that from white durra, people usually “prefer the more nutritious feterita for home consumption”.87 Besides bread and porridge, feterita is also used to prepare the refreshing drink abreh, which is based on baked sorghum flakes.

    • 88 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 55-61.

    Other varieties of sorghum are the multi-coloured variety called akr or wad akar, which is related to feterita, as well as red durra (Figure 7g), which is commonly grown in eastern Sudan and makes a slightly thicker bread.88

  • Besides sorghum, also pearl millet is sold in the markets along the Middle Nile. Pearl millet, locally known as dukhun, is typically grown in western Sudan. Its small yellow-coloured grains are renowned for making a very filling and nutritious porridge. Informants mentioned the common use of pearl millet for feeding larger work groups who are to perform hard labour, such as agricultural or construction work.

  • Also wheat is currently grown on irrigated fields along the Nile, which adds to the wide array of crops locally available.

Figure 12. Variety of cereal crops for culinary use available in Sudan

Figure 12. Variety of cereal crops for culinary use available in Sudan

Local names in italics.

Photo: S. Matthews, compilation: U. Nowotnick, 2020.

60A similar suite of cereal crops was used for food preparation in the kitchens of the region about 2000 years ago, as evidenced by the archaeobotanical record from the Meroitic town of Hamadab.

Sorghum

  • 89 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 4-7; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.
  • 90 D. Fuller, D. Edwards, 2001, p. 99-100.

61Notwithstanding the broad array of available crops in Sudan today and the introduction of wheat bread to urban centres, sorghum remains the most commonly used grain for home consumption. Sorghum-based foods meet the basic nutritional requirements, providing an essential portion of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for daily sustenance.89 Hence, sorghum constitutes a major dietary component and is the most important food source in central Sudan.90

62The Sudanese use different kinds of sorghum depending on the geographical region and availability of crops, as well as on the capacities and preferences of the family. Hawatif usually prepares kisra flatbread from the sorghum variety white durra, which develops into a smooth flatbread. Kisra can also be made from red durra, which makes a slightly thicker bread that is more common among the nomadic groups of the Butana.

  • 91 A. Gasimelseed, 2015.

63For culinary use, the cereal is either home-grown or purchased from a seller. Recent agricultural developments in Sudan have considerably altered the traditional livelihoods of large parts of the rural population. Even in agrarian areas, Sudanese people nowadays purchase most of their sorghum rations from the market, which has resulted in unfavourable health effects.91

  • 92 N. Abdel Hafiz, 2019.
  • 93 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

64Hawatif also buys her cereals at the market, where an electric mill grinds them into flour. In earlier times, her family grew sorghum on their own piece of land, as the pastoral groups of the eastern hinterland still do today.92 She recalls that this was particularly hard work and that the harvest yield depended heavily on the amount and the timing of the summer rains. When ripe, the cereal was harvested, processed and best consumed when still fresh. Hawatif also claims that the sorghum of the past had been of a better quality; it was freshly processed and the bread had a nice white colour. She complains that the grain from large-scale cultivation schemes is stored for a longer time in stocks and shops, where it grows old. After an extended time in storage, sorghum loses some of its desired characteristics and acquires a staler taste. To enhance the bread, Hawatif therefore adds some wheat flour to the sorghum flour bought at the market, which gives the batter a more gluey texture and the bread a paler colour.93

Chaîne opératoire of kisra preparation

65The traditional production of kisra flatbreads is a multi-step process that is commonly started during the evening of one day and completed the morning of the next. Despite regional and individual variations in the steps involved, the basic procedure is broadly shared across the Sudan. The sequence of main activities for baking kisra bread is summarised in Figure 13 and will be described in more detail below.

Figure 13. Principle processes involved in the traditional baking of kisra and other flatbreads on griddles in Sudan

Figure 13. Principle processes involved in the traditional baking of kisra and other flatbreads on griddles in Sudan

U. Nowotnick.

Traditional grinding of sorghum

  • 94 Rotary querns are attested in northern Sudan particularly at gold mining sites of the Roman period (...)

66Prior to the introduction of mechanically driven mills, which grind most of today’s grain into flour, the dominant tools for millennia were saddle querns (murhaka) and hand stones.94 Although Hawatif buys ready-made flour in the market, the grindstone of her grandmother is still kept in the family home.

67Pastoral groups, living in rural areas and having limited access to market places and electricity, still make use of grindstones to process their cereals. A visit to the semi-sedentary household of a pastoral Hassania village at Musawwarat about 25 km east of the Nile provided the opportunity to record the traditional milling of sorghum using grindstones (Figure 14). Though these tools are used on a daily basis, a saddle quern can last over two to three generations, being handed down from mother to daughter. When a stone is worn down, it will be replaced by a new one rather than reshaping it. The men of the village choose suitable stones from nearby sandstone mountains and take them to the village to shape them. The same kind of stone is used for upper and lower grinders. Informants assured us that these stones have a prolonged use life because they are less heavily used than in former times. Nowadays they are merely employed for grinding grain, and some people of the village occasionally buy machine-ground flour from the market town at Shendi, where they travel once a week.

Figure 14. Traditional grinding of sorghum on a saddle quern by Suard al Tahir in a Hassania village at Musawwarat

Figure 14. Traditional grinding of sorghum on a saddle quern by Suard al Tahir in a Hassania village at Musawwarat

Photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020.

  • 95 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 75-77.

68The traditional grinding of sorghum is carried out as wet milling on a stone quern. It is a laborious task but is claimed to produce finer flour than obtained from modern mills.95 A daily amount of sorghum grain (type feterita) is placed in water for about one hour to soak. In a wet state, it will be ground on a grindstone two or three times. The lower grindstone or saddle quern is stored leaning upright against the kitchen wall and has no fixed emplacement. For milling, it is placed into a small depression in the kitchen floor, in a way that the far end of the stone inclines downwards. A mat underneath the quern provides a clean surface for collecting the flour. In earlier times, this clean surface was provided by a smooth piece of sack, a densely woven mat or a white clay floor; today, reused rubber from a car tyre is placed underneath.

69On our visit, Suard al Tahir knelt behind the raised end of the quern and placed a handful of wet grain on the stone. She took the smaller hand stone, placed it on the grains and rubbed it back and forth along the saddle quern, thereby crushing the grains between the two stones. Each batch is ground two or three times until the right degree of fineness is achieved. When a sufficient amount of sorghum grain is ground into flour, this will be dried in the sun for some hours until it is ready to process into food. The following batter preparation and baking process observed at Musawwarat involved the same steps as recorded at Hawatif’s home at Hamadab.

Preparing the batter

  • 96 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 102 tab. 2.3.
  • 97 H. Dirar, 1993; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.

70To prepare the batter for flatbreads, sorghum flour will be mixed with water at a ratio of ca. 1:1 until it becomes a liquid mass.96 Some salt is added. A small amount of batter is prepared in the evening, often mixed with a batch of previous dough to act as starter.97 The mix is then left to ferment overnight, producing a sourdough called ajin khemir (Figure 7c–d).

  • 98 F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242.
  • 99 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 8-11 fig. 2; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26; Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242-245.
  • 100 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 1-11; Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242-245.

71Fermentation has a long tradition in African culinary culture, serving as an easily practicable technique to enhance the quality, digestibility and preservation of food in hot and arid climates.98 The microbiology of sorghum fermentation is a complex process in which the grains are modified into new food products by a group of microorganisms, predominantly lactic acid bacteria. By enhancing the palatability and by raising the bio-availability of proteins, vitamins and minerals, this transformation has health-promoting features, as it improves the nutritional qualities of the final product.99 Activating a number of enzymes and organic acids, the fermentation process additionally inhibits food poisoning by degrading contaminants and by suppressing the growth of spoilage bacteria.100 As these changes provide a number of beneficial effects, fermentation is an important strategy for food improvement and food security widely applied in many cuisines of Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 101 H. Dirar, 1993.
  • 102 F. Ibnouf, 2012.

72In the Sudanese cuisine, fermentation is involved in the preparation of many foods and drinks, constituting a large part of the daily diet.101 Even if not entirely aware of the detailed metabolic activities of microbes in sorghum fermentation, women widely practise this indigenous technique to contribute to the food security of household supplies, improving both the dietary quality of the foods and the health of the community.102

73Once fermented, the batter will be enlarged in the early morning by adding more of the three main ingredients (i.e. flour, water, salt) until it meets the requirements of the family size. Feeding a family of twelve people for two main meals, Hawatif prepares about four litres of batter (ajin). Then it is ready to be baked on a griddle plate.

Baking kisra flatbread

74Baking kisra is a typical early morning task, wherein the staple food of the family is prepared for the entire day. Utensils involved in the baking process are arranged around the fireplace (Figures 9 and 17). Besides the griddle plate itself, a number of items used for preparing kisra bread are required:

  • a vessel to mix and hold the batter

  • a small bowl to scoop the liquid batter onto the griddle

  • a lubricant (butter, fat, or oil) and a piece of fabric to spread over the griddle

  • a scraper (called gergeriba) to distribute the batter on the griddle

  • and a cup of water to clean the scraper.

  • 103 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26; N. Tobert, 1988, p. 49 fig. 6.ii.i.

75As mixing vessel Hawatif uses a plastic bucket of about 5 l capacity, which has replaced the so-called khummara jar of the past, a large pottery jar with globular body and everted rim.103 For scooping, Hawatif now uses a small metal bowl of ca. 15 cm diameter, with a ledge rim for easy handling. In the past, this was a hemispherical cup made from a gourd, called kass.

  • 104 D. Fuller, D. Edwards, 2001, p. 101; P. Shinnie, M. Shinnie, 1978, p. 107.

76The griddle plate is preheated and lubricated with a small amount of oil or butter, which is quickly spread with a piece of cloth over the hot griddle top. This will allow for easy removal of the bread from the plate. Hawatif uses sesame oil as a lubricant, which she buys from a local shop. In earlier times, she used a small amount of butter or animal fat. In Nubia, oil from locally grown castor oil beans is employed for this purpose.104

  • 105 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 170.

77A small amount of liquid batter will be poured onto the hot plate. Hawatif scoops about 200 ml of batter with the small bowl from the container and pours it onto the far side of the griddle plate (Figure 15). She uses the scraper made from palm leaf to spread the dough with quick sideway movements towards herself until the griddle plate is evenly covered with a thin layer of batter (Figure 9). This palm leaf scraper, called gergeriba, has straight edges and a size of ca. 10 x 5 cm.105 Hawatif keeps it in a cup of water to rinse after each spreading.

Figure 15. Pouring liquid batter on a heated griddle with a range of utensils ready at hand

Figure 15. Pouring liquid batter on a heated griddle with a range of utensils ready at hand

The lubricant, a small tin, the scraper gergeriba, and a vessel for rinsing the scraper.

Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.

  • 106 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 169-170.

78The scraper gergeriba is the source of naming this type of bread kisrat-gergeriba, which allows for making nearly paper-thin sheets of bread. Nowadays, this widely used technique has largely replaced the older means of baking kisrat-kass flatbreads. For kisrat-kass, the batter was poured in the centre of the griddle and spread with the base of a bowl or bottle gourd (kass) in expanding circles towards the griddle edge.106 Analogous techniques of spreading batter in circles are still used in Ethiopia and Somalia.

79After about 30 seconds on the griddle, the batter is fully baked to form thin bread sheets of ca. 30–40 cm diameter and 1–2 mm thickness. Hawatif then separates an edge of the bread from the griddle with a sharp tool, commonly a small tin can. With bare fingers, she lifts the loosened edge, peels the entire flatbread off the griddle and carefully transfers it with both hands onto a shallow basketry tray (Figure 16a–b). Before baking a new bread sheet, the griddle is cleaned with the oil-drenched cloth to remove any morsels and to lubricate it for the next bread.

Figure 16 a and b. Removal of the finished kisra bread sheets with bare hands

Figure 16 a and b. Removal of the finished kisra bread sheets with bare hands

Photos: a. C. Kleinitz, 2020; b. U. Nowotnick, 2018.

80The baking process—from pouring the batter on the griddle to removing the finished bread—is repeated again and again until all batter is baked into bread. During the interview, Hawatif prepared about forty thin sheets of kisra bread and the entire procedure from lighting the fire to the finished breads took about 45 minutes.

  • 107 Similar woven kitchen utensils were discovered at a number of domestic and funerary sites of Kushit (...)
  • 108 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 176.

81Fresh bread sheets are typically stored in flat baskets until consumed (Figure 17). Woven baskets (reika) and their shallow covers (tabag) are made of palm leaves and have a long tradition in the food culture of the region.107 Nowadays, flatbreads are additionally wrapped in plastic sheets inside the basket, which prevents them from drying out. However, the humidity trapped by the plastic also causes the development of moulds and thus accelerates spoilage of the bread.108

Figure 17. Shallow basketry tray of woven palm leaves (reika) used for short-term storing of kisra breads

Figure 17. Shallow basketry tray of woven palm leaves (reika) used for short-term storing of kisra breads

Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.

Consumption and social context of kisra baking

  • 109 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 106-108, 186; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 286.

82Kisra flatbreads are baked every morning and consumed throughout the country for breakfast and lunch. Leftovers can be kept until the next day, commonly for breakfast. The bread is very nutritious and has a slightly sour taste from fermentation. Hawatif herself enjoys the typical texture and taste of kisra, but she laments that her children prefer to eat wheat bread sold by bakeries and small roadside shops. Despite a latent social bias against sorghum and the official promotion of imported wheat breads,109 traditional sorghum flatbreads such as kisra still remain important staple foods in the region.

  • 110 A. Al Safi, 2006, p. 211, 333; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.
  • 111 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 5.

83Kisra bread is a regular accompaniment to many meals in Sudanese cuisine. It is served with different kinds of savoury stews and sauces, such as mulakh or tabikh, or eaten with dairy products such as yoghurt or curdled milk (rob).110 One of the most common main dishes is kisra bi mulakh, which is flatbread served with a cooked sauce of vegetables and/or meat. This traditional meal ensures a good nutritional balance as part of the diet. Although sorghum foods are a source of many health-promoting constituents, it is vital to complement these cereal staples with legumes and animal products to provide essential vitamins and proteins.111 For consumption, flatbreads are torn into pieces and arranged in a large bowl, over which the sauce is poured. The meal is communally eaten by all diners gathered around one dish. Pieces of bread, torn off by hand, equally serve as a tool to take up parts of the sauce and the meat.

  • 112 F. Ibnouf, 2012.
  • 113 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 186.
  • 114 For similar gendered tasks and taboos on food, kitchen access and pottery in Ethiopia, J. Arthur, 2 (...)

84The making of kisra bread is a strongly gendered household task that is only carried out by women. Domestic food preparation in Sudan is typically a woman’s domain: collecting firewood for cooking, storing and processing food, grinding grain and cooking meals.112 Yet, gender division in the food preparation of Sudan is not absolute. Sudanese men are involved in food processing as well—for example, butchering animals, helping to prepare food for festivals and working as professional cooks and bakers. As such, almost all cooking activities can be carried out by men, including the use of griddles. Significantly, the only task no Sudanese man would do is the baking of kisra flatbread.113 Even male-run restaurants will be supplied by a stock of kisra bread baked by women who are especially hired for this task. Women also sell freshly baked kisra bread at markets. While other kinds of flatbreads such as the thicker wheat bread gurassa are occasionally prepared by men (Figure 11), the baking of kisra is a labour with such a strong gender taboo that no Sudanese man would ever agree to perform it.114

Extracting past vessel use from present food preparation techniques?

85The observed steps involved in the use of griddles for preparing staple foods in the region of Meroe provided useful insights into intangible household practices and culinary knowledge of Sudanese culture. Recording contemporary foodways also serves as an important means of documenting craft practices and household behaviours, especially in areas where traditional food practices are increasingly being abandoned.

86What can be extracted from present-day Sudanese food practices for understanding past griddle cooking? The way flatbreads are traditionally prepared in the kitchens of the Meroe region shows considerable commonalities with the archaeological data sets found in Iron Age settlements. Furthermore, ancient bread remains attest to baked bread as part of the everyday culture of central Sudan already in the 1st millennium BC. They suggest that ancient ceramic plates had been used in a similar way: to bake processed cereal foods. Griddles can thus be regarded as specific markers for the domestic routine of baking bread in early Iron Age Sudan.

87The preparation of flatbreads today is widely practised in many households across various areas of Sudan, attesting to a widely shared culinary practice. Common patterns in past cereal use and ceramic forms further demonstrate that these food practices were well established in the food culture of the kingdom of Kush and of surrounding areas. The wide geographical spread of griddles makes this cooking implement a meaningful example of a wider African culinary tradition.

88The long history of the same form of cooking tool for baking cereal foods is demonstrated by the reviewed data set. While ceramic vessels and related tools in Sudan have recently been replaced by metal and plastic items, the foodstuffs as well as the core of the preparation technique have been retained over several thousands of years. It cannot be deduced, however, that Iron Age griddles had been employed in exactly the same way as modern doka plates in Sudan. A natural variation in kitchen practices is to be expected, both across geographical regions and over the millennia. Geopolitical changes and population dynamics, as well as technological innovations, would have left their marks on Sudanese food practices.

89Although there is not a necessary relationship between present-day behaviour and archaeological remains of the same region, archaeology provides an understanding of aggregated practices that had once formed the everyday culture of the past. Sudan, having a varied and exciting food tradition in addition to an incredibly rich archaeology, holds much potential for further comparative investigations.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Abdel Hafiz, N., 2019, “New perspectives on Meroitic subsistence and settlement patterns. An ethnoarchaeological study of contemporary Naqa society”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 23, p. 182-187.

Adams, W.Y., 1962, “An introductory classification of Christian Nubian pottery”, Kush, n° 10, p. 245-288.

Adams, W.Y., 1986, Ceramic industries of medieval Nubia, Lexington, University of Kentucky Press.

Adebo, O.A., 2020, “African sorghum-based fermented foods. Past, current and future prospects”, Nutrients, n° 12/4, 1111.

Al Safi A., 2006, Traditional Sudanese medicine. A primer for health care providers, researchers, and students, Khartoum, Independently published (coll. “Sudan Medical Heritage Series”).

Anderson, J.R., D’Andrea, A. C., Logan, A., Salah el-Din, M.A., 2007, “Bread moulds from the Amun temple at Dangeil, Nile State. An addendum”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 11, p. 89-93.

Arthur, J.W., 2014, “Culinary crafts and foods in southwestern Ethiopia. An ethnoarchaeological study of Gamo groundstones and pottery”, African Archaeological Review, n° 31/2, p. 131-168.

Asouti, E., Fuller, D.Q., 2013, “A contextual approach to the emergence of agriculture in southwest Asia”, Current Anthropology, n° 54/3, p. 299-345.

Aston, D.A., 1999, Pottery from the Late New Kingdom to the early Ptolemaic period. Elephantine 19, Mainz, von Zabern (coll. “Archäologische Veröffentlichungen”).

Badura, M., 2012, “Plant remains from the Napatan settlement in Wadi Umm-Rahau. An interim report”, in H.-P. Wotzka (ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Archaeology of the Fourth Nile Cataract. University of Cologne, 13-14 July 2006, Köln, Heinrich-Barth-Institut e.V. (coll. “Africa Praehistorica”), p. 77-82.

Baldi, M., 2018, “Livelihood activities and food tradition in Kushite Nubia”, in I. Incordino, Mainieri, S., D’Itra, E., Pubblico, M.D., Rega, F.M., Salsano, A. (eds.), Current research in Egyptology 2017. Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Symposium: University of Naples, "L’Orientale" 3-6 May 2017, Oxford, Achaeopress (coll. “Access archaeology”), p. 19-32.

Bashir, M. S., 2019, “The role of Sorghum beer and porridge in Meroitic society. New evidence from the Meroitic cemetery at Berber, northern Sudan”, South African Archaeological Bulletin, n° 74/210, p. 76-81.

Beldados, A., 2019, “Millets in eastern Sudan. An archaeobotanical study”, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, n° 54/4, p. 501-515.

Beldados, A., Bashir, M. S. 2019, “Sorghum paintings from the Meroitic cemetery of Berber and possible implications for the dispersal of the plant across the Red Sea”, in Manzo, A., Zazzaro, C., de Falco, D.J. (eds.), Stories of globalization. The Red Sea and the Gulf from late prehistory to early modernity, Leiden, Brill, p. 65-73.

Beldados, A., Manzo, A., Murphy, C., Stevens, C.J., Fuller, D.Q., 2018, “Evidence of sorghum cultivation and possible pearl millet in the second millennium BC at Kassala, eastern Sudan”, in A.M. Mercuri, D’Andrea, A. C., Fornaciari, R., Höhn, A. (eds.), Plants and people in the African past. Progress in African archaeobotany, Cham, Springer International Publishing, p. 503-528.

Bonnet, C., 2005, “Le site de Doukki Gel. L’enceinte de la ville Égyptien et les travaux de restauration”, Genava, n° 53/n.s., p. 226-238.

Bradley, R.J., 1992, Nomads in the archaeological record, Berlin (coll. “Meroitica”).

Brass, M.J., Fuller, D.Q., MacDonald, K., Stevens, C.J., Adam Ahmed, H.A., Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, I., Abdallah Rayan, Alawad Osman, Abdalla Ammar, Gregory, I.V., Wellings, J., Hassan Fakri, Abdelrahman Ali, 2019, “New findings on the significance of Jebel Moya in the eastern Sahel”, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, n° 54/4, p. 425-444.

Budka, J., 2017, “Life in the New Kingdom town of Sai Island. Some new perspectives”, in N. Spencer, A. Stevens, M. Binder (eds.), Nubia in the New Kingdom. Lived experience, pharaonic control and indigenous traditions, Leuven, Peeters (coll. “British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan”), p. 429-447.

Cappers, R.T.J., 2015, “The processing of hulled barley in Kerma (Sudan)”, in A. Florenzan, R. Fornaciari (eds.), Proceedings of the IWAA8. 8th International Workshop of African Archaeobotany. Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (coll. “Atti della Società dei Naturalisti e Matematici di Modena”), p. 141-142.

Clapham, A.J., “The archaeobotany of Nubia”, in D. Raue (ed.), Handbook of ancient Nubia, Berlin, De Gruyter (coll. “De Gruyter reference”), 2019, p. 83-101.

Crawford, O.G.S., Addison, F., 1951, Abu Geili and Saqadi & Dar El Mek, London, Oxford University Press (coll. “The Wellcome excavations in the Sudan”).

D’Andrea, A.C., Klee, M., Casey, J., 2001, “Archaeobotanical evidence for pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) in Sub-Saharan West Africa”, Antiquity, n° 75/288, p. 341-348.

Dirar, H.A., 1992, “Sudan’s fermented food heritage”, in Panel on the Applications of Biotechnology to Traditional Fermented Foods, National Research Council (ed.), Applications of Biotechnology in Traditional Fermented Foods, National Academies Press, p. 27-34.

Dirar, H.A., 1993, The indigenous fermented foods of the Sudan. A study in African food and nutrition, Cambridge, CAB International.

Dunham, D., 1955, Nuri. The royal cemeteries of Kush II, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Edwards, D.N., 1996, “Sorghum, beer and Kushite society”, Norwegian Archaeological Review, n° 29/2, p. 65-77.

Edwards, D.N., 2003, “Ancient Egypt in the Sudanese Middle Nile: A case of mistaken identity?”, in D.B. O’Connor, A. Reid (eds.), Ancient Egypt in Africa, London, New York, Routledge (coll. “Encounters with ancient Egypt”), p. 137-150.

Edwards, D.N., 2004, The Nubian past. An archaeology of the Sudan, London, Routledge.

Eigner, D., Karberg, T., 2013, “W.A.D.I. 2013 – Die Bauaufnahme der Ruinen von El Tuweina”, Der Antike Sudan, n° 24, p. 51-58.

El-Tayeb, M., 2013, Funerary traditions in Nubian early Makuria, Gdansk, Gdansk Archaeological Museum, Heritage Protection Fund (coll. “African reports Monograph series”).

Elgazafi Yousif Ishag, 2016, La céramique de Zankor. Étude typologique de la production du Kordofan–Soudan, Post-Doctoral Thesis, Université Neuchâtel (https://www.unine.ch/files/live/sites/ia/files/2017-2018/Ouvrage%20Gazafi%20Yousef_complet.pdf).

Fitzenreiter, M., Seiler, A., Gerullat, I., 1999, Musawwarat es-Sufra II: Die kleine Anlage, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz (coll. “Meroitica”).

Fuller, D.Q., 2004, “Early Kushite agriculture. Archaeobotanical evidence from Kawa”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 8, p. 70-74.

Fuller D.Q., 2014, “Agricultural innovation and state collapse in Meroitic Nubia. The impact of the Savannah package”, in C.J. Stevens, S. Nixon, M.-A. Murray, D.Q. Fuller (eds.), Archaeology of African plant use, Walnut Creek, CA, Left Coast Press (coll. “Publications of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London”), p. 165-177.

Fuller, D.Q., 2015, “The economic basis of the Qustul splinter state. Cash crops, subsistence shifts, and labour demands in the Post-Meroitic transition”, in M. Zach (ed.), The Kushite world. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference for Meroitic Studies, Vienna, 1-4 September 2008, Vienna, Verein der Förderer der Sudanforschung (coll. “Beiträge zur Sudanforschung”), p. 33-60.

Fuller, D.Q., Champion, L., Stevens, C.J., 2019, “Comparing the tempo of cereal dispersal and the agricultural transition. Two African and one West Asian trajectory”, in B. Eichhorn, A. Höhn (eds.), Trees, grasses and crops. People and plants in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, Bonn, R. Habelt (coll. “Frankfurter Archäologische Schriften”), p. 119-140.

Fuller, D.Q., Edwards, D.N., 2001, “Medieval plant economy in Middle Nubia. Preliminary archaeobotanical evidence from Nauri”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 5, p. 97-103.

Fuller, D.Q., González Carretero, L., 2018, “The archaeology of Neolithic cooking traditions. Archaeobotanical approaches to baking, boiling and fermenting”, Archaeology International, n° 21, p. 109-121.

Fuller, D.Q., Lucas, L., 2021, “Savanna on the Nile”, in G. Emberling, B.B. Williams (eds.), The Oxford handbook of Ancient Nubia, New York, Oxford University Press, p. 926-953.

Garcea, E.A.A., 2020, The prehistory of the Sudan, Springer International Publishing.

Gasimelseed, A.M., 2015, “Rethinking livelihoods in the Gezira Scheme. A study of the Al-Takala village”, in M.A.M. Assal, M.A. Abdul-Jalil (eds.), Past, present and future. Fifty years of anthropology in Sudan, Bergen, Chr. Michelsen Institute, p. 291-308.

Gratien, B., 2013, Abou Sofyan and Zankor. Prospections dans le Kordofan occidental (Soudan), Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Presses Univ. du Septentrion (coll. “Archaiologia”).

Gronenborn, D., Magnavita, C., 2000 “Imperial expansion, ethnic change, and ceramic traditions in the southern Chad Basin. A terminal nineteenth-century pottery assemblage from Dikwa, Borno State, Nigeria”, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, n° 4/1, p. 35-70.

Grzymski, K., 2003, Meroe Reports 1, Mississauga, Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (coll. “Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Publication”).

Haaland, R., 2007, “Porridge and pot, bread and oven. Food ways and symbolism in Africa and the Near East from the Neolithic to the present”, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, n° 17/02, p. 165-182.

Haaland, R., 2012, “Changing food ways as indicators of emerging complexity in Sudanese Nubia. From Neolithic agropastoralists to the Meroitic civilisation”, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, n° 47/3, p. 327-342.

Haaland R., 2018, “Cuisine and cultures. Middle Asian and African culture defined”, in A. Ekblom, C. Isendahl, K.-J. Lindholm (eds.), The resilience of heritage: Cultivating a future of the past. Essays in honour of Professor Paul J.J. Sinclair, Uppsala, Uppsala University. (coll. “Studies in Global Archaeology”), p. 323-342.

Herbert, S.C., Berlin, A., 2003, Excavations at Coptos (Qift) in Upper Egypt, 1987 - 1992, Portsmouth, RI, Journal of Roman Archaeology (coll. “Journal of Roman archaeology Supplementary series”).

Hildebrand, E.A., 2007, “The significance of Sai Island for early plant food production in Sudan”, Cahiers de Recherche de l’Institute de Papyrologie et d’Égyptologie de Lille, n° 26, p. 173-181.

Hildebrand, E.A., Schilling, T.M., 2016, “Storage amidst early agriculture along the Nile. Perspectives from Sai Island, Sudan”, Quaternary International, n° 412, p. 81-95.

Iacumin, P., Di Matteo, A., Usai, D., Salvatori, S., Venturelli, G., 2016, “Stable isotope study on ancient populations of central sudan. Insights on their diet and environment”, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, n° 160/3, p. 498-518.

Ibnouf, F.O., 2012, “The value of women’s indigenous knowledge in food processing and preservation for achieving household food security in rural Sudan”, Journal of Food Research, n° 1/1, 238-253.

Lyons, D., 2007, “Integrating African cuisines: Rural cuisine and identity in Tigray, highland Ethiopia”, Journal of Social Archaeology, n° 7/3, p. 346-371.

Lyons, D., D’Andrea, A. C., 2003, “Griddles, ovens, and agricultural origins: An ethnoarchaeological study of bread baking in highland Ethiopia”, American Anthropologist, n° 105/3, p. 515-530.

Lyons, D., D’Andrea, A. C., 2008, “Bread in Africa”, in H. Selin (ed.), Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-western cultures, Berlin, Springer (coll. “Springer reference”), p. 413-418.

MaDella, M., García-Granero, J.J., Out, W.A., Ryan, P., Usai, D., 2014, “Microbotanical evidence of domestic cereals in Africa 7000 years ago”, PloS one, n° 9/10, e110177.

Manning, K., Pelling, R., Higham, T., Schwenniger, J.-L., Fuller, D.Q., 2011, “4500-Year old domesticated pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) from the Tilemsi Valley, Mali. New insights into an alternative cereal domestication pathway”, Journal of Archaeological Science, n° 38/2, p. 312-322.

Manzo, A., 2017, Eastern Sudan in its setting. The archaeology of a region far from the Nile Valley, Oxford, Access Archaeology (coll. “Cambridge monographs in African archaeology”).

Masson, A., 2011, “Persian and Ptolemaic ceramics from Karnak. Change and continuity”, Cahiers de la Céramique Égyptienne, n° 9, p. 269-310.

Matthews, S., 2022, “Cooking up connections, dishing out diffusion. The culinary connections of ceramic griddle plates in north-east Africa”, in J.A.W. Nicolay, M. Schepers (eds), Embracing the salt marsh: The cultivation and preparation of food in the Dutch-German coastal area. Studies in honour of Annet Nieuwhof, Groningen, Barkhuis, Groningen Institute of Archaeology.

Matthews, S., Nowotnick, U., 2019, “Culinary interactions. Connecting foodways in Early Iron Age Africa”, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, n° 54, p. 468-486.

Müller, N.S., 2016, “Mechanical and thermal properties”, in A. Hunt, H. Barnard, J.W. Eerkens (eds.), The Oxford handbook of archaeological ceramic analysis, Oxford University Press, p. 603-624.

Müller, N.S., Kilikoglou, V., Day, P.M., Hein, A., Vekinis, G., 2009, “The influence of temper on performance characteristics of cooking ware ceramics”, in K.T. Biró, V. Szilágyi, A. Kreiter (eds.), Vessels: inside and outside. Proceedings of the conference EMAC ‘07: 9th European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics: 24-27 October 2007, Hungarian National Museum, Budapest, Budapest, Hungarian National Museum, p. 145-150.

Nowotnick, U., 2018, “Napatan ceramics from the excavations at the Royal Baths in Meroe”, Cahiers de la Céramique Égyptienne, n° 11, 209-230.

Nowotnick, U., 2022, Ceramic technology, production and use in an urban settlement on the Middle Nile. The pottery assemblage from Late Meroitic Hamadab, Sudan (ca. 2nd to 4th century AD), (coll. “Archäologische Forschungen in Afrika”).

Nowotnick, U., Matthews, S., 2022, “Small enclosure, big meals: Meroitic cooking in regional perspective”, Der Antike Sudan, Mitteilungen der Sudanarchäologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin e.V., n° 23, p. 19-32.

Out, W.A., Ryan, P., García-Granero, J. J., Barastegui, J., Maritan, L., Madella, M., Usai, D., 2016, “Plant exploitation in Neolithic Sudan. A review in the light of new data from the cemeteries R12 and Ghaba”, Quaternary International, n° 412/1, p. 36-53.

Pasqualone, A., 2018, “Traditional flat breads spread from the Fertile Crescent. Production process and history of baking systems”, Journal of Ethnic Foods, n° 5/1, p. 10-19.

Phillips, J., 2003, “An overview of the ceramics”, in Żurawski, B.T. (ed.), Survey and excavations between Old Dongola and Ez-Zuma. Southern Dongola Reach of the Nile from prehistory to 1820 AD based on the fieldwork conducted in 1997-2003 by the Polish Archaeological Joint Expedition to the Middle Nile, Warsaw, Ed. Neriton (coll. “Southern Dongola Reach Survey”), p. 387-437.

Pierce, C., 2005, “Reverse engineering the ceramic cooking pot. Cost and performance properties of plain and textured vessels”, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, n° 12/2, p. 117-157.

Pope, J.W., 2013, “Epigraphic evidence for a ‘porridge-and-pot’ tradition on the ancient Middle Nile”, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, n° 48/4, p. 473-497.

Ryan, P., 2017, “From raw resources to food processing: Archaeobotanical and ethnographic insights from New Kingdom Amara West and present-day Ernetta Island in Northern Sudan”, in L. Steel, K. Zinn (eds.), Exploring the materiality of food ‘stuffs’. Transformations, symbolic consumption and embodiments, New York, NY, Routledge (coll. “Routledge studies in archaeology”), p. 15-38.

Ryan, P., Cartwright, C.R., Spencer, N., 2012, “Archaeobotanical research in a pharaonic town in ancient Nubia”, The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, n° 6, p. 97-106.

Salah el-Din, M.A., 1992, L’agglomération napatéenne de Kerma. Enquête archéologique et ethnographique en milieu urbain, Paris, Recherche sur les civilisations.

Salvatori, S., Usai, D., 2019, “The Neolithic and ‘pastoralism’ along the Nile. A dissenting view”, Journal of World Prehistory, n° 32/3, p. 251-285.

Samuel, D., 2000, “Brewing and baking”, in P.T. Nicholson, I. Shaw (eds.), Ancient Egyptian materials and technology, Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 537-576.

Schiffer, M.B., 1990, “The influence of surface treatment on heating effectiveness of ceramic vessels”, Journal of Archaeological Science, n° 17/4, p. 373-381.

Schiffer, M.B., Skibo, J.M., Boelke, T.C., Neupert, M.A., Aronson, M., 1994, “New perspectives on experimental archaeology. Surface treatments and thermal response of the clay cooking pot”, American Antiquity, n° 59/2, p. 197-217.

Shinnie, P.L., Bradley, R.J., 1980, The capital of Kush 1. Meroe excavations 1965-1972, Berlin, Akademie Verlag (coll. “Meroitica”).

Shinnie P.L., Shinnie M.B., 1978, Debeira West. A mediaeval Nubian Town, Warminster, Aris & Phillips.

Shoemaker, A.C., Davies, M.I.J., Moore, H.L., 2017, “Back to the grindstone? The archaeological potential of grinding-stone studies in Africa with reference to contemporary grinding practices in Marakwet, northwest Kenya”, African Archaeological Review, n° 34/3, p. 415-435.

Skibo, J.M., 2013, Understanding pottery function. Manuals in archaeological method, Theory and technique, New York, NY, Springer.

Smith, S.T., 2003a, “Pharaohs, feasts, and foreigners. Cooking, foodways, and agency on ancient Egypt’s southern frontier”, in T.L. Bray (ed.), The archaeology and politics of food and feasting in early states and empires, New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, p. 39-64.

Smith, S.T., 2003b, Wretched Kush. Ethnic identities and boundries in Egypt’s Nubian Empire, Florence, Taylor and Francis.

Spencer, N., 2014, “Amara West. Considerations on urban life in colonial Kush”, in J.R. Anderson, D.A. Welsby (eds.), The Fourth Cataract and beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies, Leuven, Paris, Walpole, MA, Peeters (coll. “British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan”), p. 457-485.

Tite, M.S., Kilikoglou, V., Vekinis, G., 2001, “Strength, toughness and thermal shock resistance of ancient ceramics, and their influence on technological choice”, Archaeometry, n° 43/3, p. 301-324.

Thomas, R.I., 2008, “The origin and use of ceramics on the islands of Mis and Umm Muri, in the Late Meroitic to Christian periods”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 12, p. 64-73.

Tobert, N., 1988, The ethnoarchaeology of the Zaghawa of Darfur (Sudan). Settlement and transience, Oxford (coll. “BAR International series”).

De Torres Rodríguez, J., 2017, “Sherds of a kingdom. Historical pottery of the Lake Tana Region (northern Ethiopia)”, African Archaeological Review, n° 34/2, p. 225-248.

Trigger, B.G., 1967, The Late Nubian settlement at Arminna West, New Haven, Aris & Phillips (coll. “Yale Egyptological Studies”).

Usai, D., 2021, “From foraging to food producing. The Mesolithic and Neolithic of the Middle Nile Valley”, in G. Emberling, B.B. Williams (eds.), The Oxford handbook of Ancient Nubia, New York, Oxford University Press, p. 100-123.

Usai, D., Salvatori, S., Jakob, T., David, R., 2014, “The Al Khiday cemetery in Central Sudan and its “Classic/Late Meroitic” period graves”, Journal of African Archaeology, n° 12/2, p. 183-204.

Weeks, K.R., 1967, The classic Christian townsite at Arminna West, New Haven, Aris & Phillips (coll. “The Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Egypt”).

Welsby, D.A., 2008, “The Northern Dongola Reach Survey. Excavations at Kawa, 2007-8”, Sudan & Nubia, n° 12, p. 34-39.

Welsby D.A., Daniels, C., 1998, Soba II. Renewed excavations within the metropolis of the Kingdom of Alwa in Central Sudan, London, British Museum Press (coll. “Memoirs of the British Institute in Eastern Africa”).

Winchell, F., Stevens, C.J., Murphy, C., Champion, L., Fuller, D.Q., 2017, “Evidence for Sorghum domestication in fourth millennium BC eastern Sudan. spikelet morphology from ceramic impressions of the Butana Group”, Current Anthropology, n° 58/5, p. 673-683.

Wodzińska, A., 2010, Manual of Egyptian pottery. Vol. 3 Second Intermediate Period - Late Period, Boston, MA, Ancient Egypt Research Associates (coll. “AERA field manual series”).

Wolf, P., Nowotnick, U., Hof, C., 2014, “The Meroitic urban town of Hamadab in 2010”, in J.R. Anderson, D.A. Welsby (eds.), The Fourth Cataract and beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies, Leuven, Peeters (coll. “British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan”), p. 719-738.

Wolf, S., Wolf, P., Onasch, H.-U., Hof, C., Nowotnick, U., 2011, “Meroë und Hamadab – Stadtstrukturen und Lebensformen im afrikanischen Reich von Kusch. Die Arbeiten der Kampagne 2010”, Archäologischer Anzeiger, 2011/2, p. 213-245.

Zukerman, A., 2014, “Baking trays in the second millennium bce Levant and Egypt. Form, function and cultural significance”, Syria, 91, p. 99-125.

Haut de page

Notes

1 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; R. Haaland, 2007; R. Haaland, 2012.

2 E. Asouti, D. Fuller, 2013; A. Pasqualone, 2018.

3 e.g. E. Garcea, 2020, p. 90: E. Hildebrand, T. Schilling, 2016; M. Madella et al., 2014; A. Manzo, 2017, p. 19 tab. 1, 25; W. Out et al., 2016; D. Usai, 2021.

4 E. Garcea, 2020, p. 113; E. Hildebrand, 2007.

5 E. Garcea, 2020, p. 113-115; S. Salvatori, D. Usai, 2019; D. Usai, 2021.

6 M. Madella et al., 2014; S. Shoemaker et al., 2017, p. 417; D. Usai, 2021.

7 A. Beldados, 2019; A. Beldados et al., 2018; M. Brass et al., 2019; D. Fuller, C. Stevens, 2018; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; A. Manzo, 2017, p. 37; F. Winchell et al., 2017.

8 C. D’Andrea et al., 2001; D. Fuller et al., 2019, fig. 5 ; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; K. Manning et al. 2011.

9 D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.

10 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, 414.

11 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Edwards, 2003; R. Haaland, 2007; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.

12 e.g. M. Badura, 2012; R. Cappers, 2015; M.J. Clapham, 2019; D. Fuller, 2004; D. Fuller, 2015; P. Ryan et al., 2012, p. 103-106; P. Ryan, 2017; W. Out et al., 2016.

13 C. Bonnet, 2005, p. 233-234; J. Budka, 2016, p. 438 fig. 11; Salah El-Din 1992, p. 98; N. Spencer, 2014, p. 462-475; D. Welsby, 2008.

14 D. Fuller, 2004, tab. 1; D. Fuller, 2015, tab. 2.

15 D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021.

16 S. Matthews, U. Nowotnick, 2019, p. 475-477 (with further references).

17 D. Fuller, L. Gonzales Carretero, 2018, p. 115-116; M. Madella et al., 2014 ; D. Usai et al., 2014, p. 197.

18 D. Edwards, 1996; D. Edwards, 2003, p. 142-146; R. Haaland, 2007.

19 S. Smith, 2003a, p. 45-64; S. Smith, 2003b, p. 113-124 fig. 5.19.

20 J. Pope, 2013.

21 J. Anderson et al., 2007.

22 D. Edwards, 2003, p. 143; D. Fuller, L. Lucas, 2021; R. Haaland, 2018.

23 H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 522-524.

24 M. Baldi, 2018, p. 19-26; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 15; D. Lyons, D’Andrea, 2008, p. 416; H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28

25 R. Haaland, 2007, p. 177; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 521-523; A. Pasqualone, 2018; A. Zukerman, 2014.

26 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 518.

27 e.g. J. Arthur, 2014, p. 152 fig. 13; H. Dirar, 1993; D. Groenenborn, C. Magnavita, 2000, fig. 7; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, fig. 1; A. Pasqualone, 2018, fig. 2; J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, figs. 5, 12.

28 J. Arthur, 2014, fig. 13; D. Lyons, 2007, p. 356; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003; J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, fig. 5.

29 H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168.

30 F. Ibnouf, 2012.

31 M. Baldi, 2018, p. 22, 26; H. Dirar, 1992, p. 28; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 15.

32 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 525; A. Manzo, 2017, p. 37.

33 S. Matthews, 2022, fig. 11.12.

34 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, fig. 1.

35 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26, 114, 169.

36 A. Manzo, 2017, p. 38-48 fig. 32.

37 A. Beldados, 2019, p. 506; A. Beldados et al., 2018; D. Fuller et al., 2019, tab. 1; A. Manzo, 2017, p. 37; F. Winchell et al., 2017.

38 A. Manzo, 2017, p. 33-40.

39 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, p. 414-416; S. Matthews, 2022.

40 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, 525; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, p. 414-416.

41 e.g. W. Adams, 1962, p. 250, fig. 4; K. Weeks, 1967, fig. 31; P. Shinnie, M. Shinnie, 1978, p. 107; B. Trigger, 1967, p. 64; D. Welsby, C. Daniels, 1998, p. 90, 112 fig. 42-43.

42 e.g. W. Adams, 1986, p. 104; M. Bashir, 2019, p. 78; D. Edwards, 1996, p. 72; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 286; D. Fuller, 2014; D. Fuller, D. Edwards, 2001, p. 97; J. Phillips, 2003, pl. 100b-c; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008, p. 416; P. Shinnie, M. Shinnie, 1978, p. 107.

43 Griddle use in Ethiopia, too, has had a longer history—at least since the 1st millennium BC—than previously thought (D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 522; S. Matthews, 2022).

44 U. Nowotnick, 2018, p. 217-218 fig. 17.

45 Napatan griddle plates are known, for example, from the tomb of a royal female consort of king Nastasen (2nd half of 4th century BC) at Nuri (D. Dunham, 1955, p. 250-252 fig. 195); from Meroe City, dating to ca. 500 BC (A. Dirar, 1993, p. 26, citing Hakem, 1989); and from the town of Kawa (S. Matthews, 2022; citing I. Welsby-Sjöström).

46 e.g. D. Aston, 1999, pls. 83, 86, 91, 120; S. Herbert, A. Berlin, 2003, fig. 30; A. Masson, 2011, figs. 6, 10; D. Samuel, 2000, p. 568; A. Wodzińska, 2010, p. 101, 171, 222.

47 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 568.

48 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 565-568.

49 K. Grzymski, 2003, p. 61 fig. 34 P.90; P. Shinnie, R. Bradley, 1980, p. 38, 313; R. Thomas, 2008, p. 67 fig. 3; B. Trigger, 1967, p. 64.

50 The project “Connecting Foodways: Cultural Entanglement and Technological Transmission between the Middle Nile valley and central and eastern Africa during the Early Iron Age” (based at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin) examines domestic cooking wares from the eastern Sahel to elucidate inter-regional African entanglements (S. Matthews, U. Nowotnick, 2019). Archived kitchen assemblages from several Iron Ages sites in central Sudan were reviewed in 2019 and 2020.

51 The Meroe griddles come from the Meroe Royal Baths excavations 2012–2014 led by S. Wolf and H.-U. Onasch of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (S. Wolf et al., 2011). The Musawwarat plates were excavated in 1961 at the Small Enclosure by a team of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin led by F. Hintze (M. Fitzenreiter et al., 1999, p. 14-15; U. Nowotnick, S. Matthews, 2022). The Abu Geili material was unearthed by O.G.S. Crawford in 1914 on behalf of Sir Henry Wellcome (O.G.S. Crawford, F. Addison, 1951); the el-Tuweina ceramics come from the 2017–2019 excavations of the Universität Münster led by A. Lohwasser (D. Eigner, T. Karberg, 2013), and the Zankor material was collected between 2002 and 2006 by the Mission Archéologique Française de Gism el-Arba directed by B. Gratien (B. Gratien, 2013; Elgazafi Yousif Ishag, 2016).

52 S. Matthews, U. Nowotnick, 2019, fig. 5d.

53 Sample MRB-2013-SP-014 (Poz-128412) from fire place MRB 0854, pl. 5b gave a 14C age of 2225±30 BP and was calibrated to 386BC–198BC (95.4%); sample MRB-2013-SP-018 (Poz-128414) from ash layer MRB 0860, pl. 5b gave a 14C age of 2245±30 BP and was calibrated to 391BC–203BC (95.4%); using OxCal v4.4.2 Bronk Ramsey (2020); r:5.

54 The site of Hamadab was excavated from 2001 to 2019 under the direction of Pawel Wolf, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (e.g. P. Wolf et al. 2014). Investigations in the living quarters yielded well-preserved mud brick architecture, including storage bins, oven installations and various objects of daily life. Its domestic pottery assemblage, particularly of house H 1600, underwent detailed evaluation by the author as part of her PhD dissertation (U. Nowotnick, 2022).

55 S. Matthews, 2022, fig. 11.7 no. 11; U. Nowotnick, 2022, pl. 37.

56 Anne Benoist, Romain David, pers. comm.

57 D. Fuller, L. Gonzales Carretero, 2018, p. 115-116 fig. 4c.

58 C. Pierce, 2005; M. Schiffer, 1990; M. Schiffer et al., 1994; J. Skibo, 2013, p. 49.

59 U. Nowotnick, 2022.

60 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 522; N. Müller et al. 2009; J. Skibo, 2013, p. 33, 43; M. Tite et al., 2001, p. 321-322.

61 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.

62 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 517.

63 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 517.

64 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.

65 J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, fig. 5 lower left.

66 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 518; N. Müller, 2016; M. Tite et al., 2001, p. 316-317.

67 J. De Torres Rodríguez, 2017, p. 229-230.

68 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 171.

69 U. Nowotnick, 2022, p. 107, pl. 37.

70 Lower firing temperatures inside these pottery kilns can be achieved, for example, by placing the vessels at the top of the kiln load, far from the fire in the underground chamber (U. Nowotnick, 2022, fig. 55).

71 J. Arthur, 2014, p. 147; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2008.

72 M. El-Tayeb, 2013, p. 100; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114.

73 D. Samuel, 2000, p. 565-568; A. Zukerman, 2014.

74 D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 516.

75 H. Dirar, 1992; H. Dirar, 1993.

76 R. Bradley, 1992; N. Tobert, 1988.

77 e.g. N. Abdel Hafiz, 2019; A. Al Safi, 2006; J. Anderson et al. 2007; F. Ibnouf 2012; P. Ryan, 2017.

78 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 34 tab. 2.2.

79 R. Bradley, 1992, p. 51; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114, 175.

80 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114.

81 R. Bradley, 1992, p. 101; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 114; J. Phillips, 2003, p. 432; P. Shinnie, R. Bradley, 1980, p. 38.

82 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 184; D. Lyons, D’Andrea, 2008, p. 520.

83 A. Al Safi, 2006, p. 258-259; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 184; D. Lyons, 2007, p. 356.

84 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 168, 187-210.

85 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58.

86 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

87 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

88 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 55-61.

89 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 4-7; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.

90 D. Fuller, D. Edwards, 2001, p. 99-100.

91 A. Gasimelseed, 2015.

92 N. Abdel Hafiz, 2019.

93 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 58-60.

94 Rotary querns are attested in northern Sudan particularly at gold mining sites of the Roman period but have not been adopted for daily food production in the regions further south.

95 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 75-77.

96 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 102 tab. 2.3.

97 H. Dirar, 1993; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.

98 F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242.

99 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 8-11 fig. 2; H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26; Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242-245.

100 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 1-11; Ibnouf, 2012, p. 242-245.

101 H. Dirar, 1993.

102 F. Ibnouf, 2012.

103 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 26; N. Tobert, 1988, p. 49 fig. 6.ii.i.

104 D. Fuller, D. Edwards, 2001, p. 101; P. Shinnie, M. Shinnie, 1978, p. 107.

105 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 170.

106 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 169-170.

107 Similar woven kitchen utensils were discovered at a number of domestic and funerary sites of Kushite date.

108 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 176.

109 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 106-108, 186; D. Edwards, 2004, p. 286.

110 A. Al Safi, 2006, p. 211, 333; F. Ibnouf, 2012, p. 244.

111 O. Adebo, 2020, p. 5.

112 F. Ibnouf, 2012.

113 H. Dirar, 1993, p. 186.

114 For similar gendered tasks and taboos on food, kitchen access and pottery in Ethiopia, J. Arthur, 2014, p. 139, 148-152; D. Lyons, 2007, p. 355; D. Lyons, C. D’Andrea, 2003, p. 525.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Map of the Middle Nile Valley indicating Kushite settlements and surrounding sites of the early Iron Age
Crédits Cartography: N. Spiske-Salamanek, 2021.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 927k
Titre Figure 2. Ceramic griddle plates from Iron Age cooking assemblages in Sudan
Légende MRB-VU = Meroe Royal Baths vessel unit; CFW-VU = Connecting Foodways vessel unit. a. MRB-VU-14-0511: from Meroe, kitchen floor MRB 0860 (ca. 4/3rd century BC), disk-shaped griddle of ca. 60 cm diam., regular and well made, smooth rim and top, coarse base, organic tempered Nile clay with few grog and mica inclusions.b. MRB-VU-12-0153: from Meroe, fireplace MRB 0825 (ca. 4/3rd century BC), bowl-like griddle of ca. 60 cm diam., thick heavy walls, irregular top, coarse base, finely tempered Nile clay with dung, calcrete and sand.c. CFW-VU-20-028: from Zankor, trench C 103-2015 (ca. 1st-14th century AD), large thick plate or flat bowl of ca. 44 cm diam., organic-temper with coarsely chopped harvest waste including seeds, some sand and grog; flat very smooth top, coarse base, decoration of deep circular impressions on rim.d. CFW-VU-19-020: from Musawwarat, Small Enclosure, rooms X-XI? (ca. 3rd century BC-1st century AD), bowl-like griddle of ca. 50 cm diam., coarsely modelled with irregular rim, smoothed top, coarse base, sooted, coarsely tempered fabric with large organic and grog inclusions.e. CFW-VU-20-033: from Abu Geili (ca. 2nd-4th century AD), well made griddle of ca. 48 cm diam., with indented rim, smooth burnished top, wiped base, low fired brittle texture, heavily tempered ware with brown clay aggregates, dung, mica; upper face blackened and slightly abraded from use.f. CFW-VU-20-024: from Tuweina, Site 1000; Building 1, Trench 16, Position 4, FN # 1 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), flat griddle of ca. 50 cm diam., slightly raised rim, flat smooth top, coarsely tempered alluvial clay with copious amounts of sand, heavy fabric.g. CFW-VU-20-023: from Tuweina, Site 1000; Building 1, Trench 22, Position 34, FN # 1 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), flat griddle of ca. 50 cm diam.(?), plain top, very crumbly brittle paste with much sand temper, also grog and larger dung.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 88k
Titre Figure 3. a. Hamadab: view into domestic kitchen 1634 (ca. 3rd/4th century AD), b. Top view, frontal view and base of ceramic griddle HVU-08-0706
Légende 3a. With stationary oven pots, grinders and ceramic griddle HVU-08-0706 on the floor near a fire place. HVU = Hamadab vessel unit.
Crédits Photos: 3a. P. Wolf, 2008; 3b. S. Matthews, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 479k
Titre Figure 4.a. Griddle plate HVU-18-0355 from fire place 18052 in domestic house H 3300 of Hamadab, (ca. 2nd-4th century AD)b. Starch microfossils identified on the cooking surface of griddle HVU-18-0355
Légende a. Thin-walled griddle plate of 40 cm diam., interior black burnished, exterior matte brown, rough base with additional clay layer, well prepared Nile clay (fabric A1), tempered with grog and organics, low fired.b. Arrow indicating sorghum starch.
Crédits Drawing: S. Büchner-Matthews, graphic implementation: U. Nowotnick.Analysis and microphoto: L. Dietrich, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 267k
Titre Figure 5. Macro-photos of griddle fabrics from Hamadab
Légende Showing different clay mixtures with coarse tempering agents, including crushed pottery (grog) or clay particles, sand and organic matter.
Crédits Photos: U. Nowotnick, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 453k
Titre Figure 6. Variability of ceramic griddles from Late Meroitic Hamadab
Légende Ca. 3rd/4th cent. AD if not stated otherwise.a. HVU-12-0132: from domestic kitchen floor 12051 in room 1638 (ca. 3rd cent. AD); large griddle, very irregular rim (ca. 60 cm diam.?), crude underside, smooth inner face, copious grog inclusions of angular shape and various colour (see Fig. 5). b. HVU-08-0706: from floor 08094 of domestic kitchen 1634, large fragment of very flat griddle, diam. ca. 75 cm?, smooth upper face, very coarse base, coarsely tempered Nile clay with large inorganic inclusions: predominantly rounded sand and some clay aggregates (grog), calcite, fine dung (see Fig. 5); starch analysis attested sorghum bicolor on the top surface. c. HVU-10-0937: from floor 10144 of domestic kitchen 1604, large flat griddle plate of ca. 48 cm diam., coarse base, smooth slipped inner face, slightly raised rim decorated with shallow finger prints, coarsely tempered Nile clay, mixed inclusions: grog, sand, larger vegetal temper (see Fig. 5). d. HVU-10-0985: from floor 10119 of domestic kitchen 1614, rim of large bowl or griddle of ca. 54 cm diam., very smooth inner face, very rough exterior, soot marks; coarse Nile clay with much inorganic temper: predominantly coarse grog, some dung, soft brown matrix. e. HVU-10-0929: from fill 10143 of domestic kitchen 1604, large bowl or griddle with modelled rim, 56 cm diam., very coarse, exterior heavily eroded, soot stains, overfired to red-purple colour, coarse Nile clay with large inclusions. f. HVU-08-0578: from fill 08217 of domestic kitchen 1604, black shallow handmade bowl or griddle, ca. 50 cm diam., very rough base, smooth interior and rim, presumably cooking vessel, decoration of regular incised lines on flat rim top with white colour fill, coarse Nile clay, heavily tempered with clay aggregates (grog), sand, chaff. g. HVU-12-0253: from fill 12003 of room 1616, brown handmade bowl or griddle, deeper shape with distinct wall and flat base, 25.4 cm diam., cooking vessel, soot marks on exterior, smooth inner face, Nile clay with large grog inclusions. h. HVU-08-0671: from pit 08247 in room 1624 (post-Meroitic or later), small flat plate with flaring wall, 34 cm rim diam., heavily eroded, rim and interior black slipped and polished, base plain, coarsely tempered Nile clay. i. HVU-08-0583: from pit 08157 in room 1619 (post-Meroitic or later), large flat bowl or griddle, flat open shape with distinct wall and flat base, 36 cm diam., interior covered with thick smooth brown slip, well-polished, lower side rough, presumably cooking vessel but no traces of fire, Nile clay with mixed inclusions.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Titre Figure 7. Recording culinary practices in Central Sudan
Légende a. Dried vegetables for sale in Shendi market (photo: S. Matthews, 2020), b. Sorghum plant on the fields near the river Nile (photo: U. Nowotnick, 2020), c. Baking kisra bread on a rectangular griddle (saj) at Hamadab, pot with sorghum batter of white durra in foreground (photo: S. Matthews, 2020), d. Fermented sorghum batter (ajin khemir) from red durra (photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020), e. Baking kisra bread on a rectangular griddle (saj) at Musawwarat (photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020); f. Serving a variety of dishes for a workmen’s festival at Begrawiya (photo: P. Wolf, 2020), g. Sorghum bicolor (red durra) presented by food seller on Shendi market (photo: S. Matthews, 2020).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Figure 8. Household implements for sale on Shendi market, including a variety of flat and bowl-shaped metal griddles of different size
Crédits Photo: S. Matthews, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 1,4M
Titre Figure 9. Traditional use of griddle plate in Sudan
Légende Hawatif Abdallah preparing the thin sorghum flatbread kisra in the village of Hamadab.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 140k
Titre Figure 10. Metal doka placed over an open wood fire, supported by three bricks
Légende In front: container with liquid batter and scooping bowl.
Crédits Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 142k
Titre Figure 11. The pancake-like flatbread gurassa is made from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast
Légende It is typically prepared in Northern Sudan and baked both by Sudanese women and men, in this instance by cook Mahmoud El-Mahi.
Crédits Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Figure 12. Variety of cereal crops for culinary use available in Sudan
Légende Local names in italics.
Crédits Photo: S. Matthews, compilation: U. Nowotnick, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-12.png
Fichier image/png, 1,2M
Titre Figure 13. Principle processes involved in the traditional baking of kisra and other flatbreads on griddles in Sudan
Crédits U. Nowotnick.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 90k
Titre Figure 14. Traditional grinding of sorghum on a saddle quern by Suard al Tahir in a Hassania village at Musawwarat
Crédits Photo: C. Kleinitz, 2020.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-14.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Figure 15. Pouring liquid batter on a heated griddle with a range of utensils ready at hand
Légende The lubricant, a small tin, the scraper gergeriba, and a vessel for rinsing the scraper.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-15.png
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
Titre Figure 16 a and b. Removal of the finished kisra bread sheets with bare hands
Crédits Photos: a. C. Kleinitz, 2020; b. U. Nowotnick, 2018.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-16.png
Fichier image/png, 1,7M
Titre Figure 17. Shallow basketry tray of woven palm leaves (reika) used for short-term storing of kisra breads
Crédits Photo: U. Nowotnick, 2018.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/docannexe/image/4167/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 142k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Ulrike Nowotnick, « Glimpses into cooking practices—observations on past and present Sudanese griddle baking »Afriques [En ligne], 14 | 2023, mis en ligne le 29 janvier 2024, consulté le 14 avril 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/afriques/4167 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/afriques.4167

Haut de page

Auteur

Ulrike Nowotnick

Post-Doctoral researcher at the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Head office

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search