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Modern Lens

Sudanese Clothing Through the Modern Lens

Wearing clothes answers social imperatives, many more than bodily needs in fact. As humans, we of course need to protect our bodies from the environment and from view, but how we do it is what socially matters. This is why clothing is an ever-present subject in the political debate of every country, and why this apparently simple need sustains one of the biggest economic market worldwide. The way we present ourselves to others conveys our
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Modern Lens

Forty White Tobes

The first day I came to the Copenhagen University, I happened upon a book seemingly waiting for me on a shelf of the Academic bookstore. Entitles “Khartoum at Night, Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan”, the essay is written by Mary Grace Brown, assistant professor of History at the University of Kansas. It retraces the history of women’s life in Norther Sudan from 1899 to 1956, focussing on the sharp evolutions of their bodily
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Musings

Getting Started as a Marie Curie Postdoc

Organisation central at my desk, CTR [photo E.Y.]
Here it is: you have signed your contract, (hopefully) found a decent place to live, got the keys to the office and bought a new coffee mug with your new digs’ logo. Now it is time to get the ball rolling and work! You know the intricacies of your project by heart, well ordered as they are in your grant application. You most probably have spent months on each aspects of your project, dreamed about
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Research

Databases or the beauties of a «finds office»

First research stay: German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Berlin For my first research stay, I didn’t go very far: just a one hour flight away from Copenhagen, in Berlin, Germany. My main objective was to study the textile tools discovered on the Meroitic town of Hamadab, in Central Sudan, excavated by the DAI team since 2002. Co-directed by Pawel Wolf and Ulrike Nowotnick, the mission has uncovered a large part of the town’s plan, revealing living
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Research

Invisible craft? Textile tools and production

I have been very fortunate in the past few years to work with archaeologists who understand the potential of textile archaeology and accepted to communicate many of their data to me. I have also worked on great archives…and some less great, assembled in the first decades of Sudanese archaeology. But in this field, we are often reminded of the lesser status of textile activities in the mind of many of our predecessors: “If I devote
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Research

The basics of Meroitic textiles

Nubia and Sudan, thanks to their hyper-arid climatic conditions, are favourable to the preservation of organic materials. The two regions are therefore a very fertile ground for textile studies, offering vast corpuses of well-preserved textiles, archaeobotanical remains of fibres, many spinning and weaving tools, as well as a large iconographic repertoire of people in various costumes. Taken as a whole, these different sources offer the rare chance to follow textile production from its very beginning
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Research

The Five W’s of the Meroitic Civilization

Welcome to TexMeroe! The project started a few weeks ago and I am finally ready to kick-start this blog. So…yes, I will be talking about texiles and Meroe. If you have been reading and already wonder “What or where the heck is Meroe?” then this post is for you. Generally, when I talk about my work, I start by saying words like “Nile Valley”, “Antiquity”, “funerary textiles”… and very quickly people ask if I work
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