The Hisn al-Bab Conservation Project

Hisn al-Bab is a unique early medieval fort on the Egyptian-Nubian border. Its towers and gateway are in danger of collapse. The project will stabilise and preserve these features. Project Director: Pamela Rose

The remarkably well‐preserved early medieval fortress of Hisn al‐Bab is a unique surviving example of a type of Nubian architecture, the 'fortified settlement', all other examples of which are now lost under Lake Nasser. It stands on the east bank of the Nile south of the first cataract, the historic border between Egypt and Nubia. The site, which has never previously been investigated, has recently become a research project of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (Cairo branch) directed by Dr Pamela Rose, and funded by a grant from the Austrian Science Fund (P24589‐G21). This grant does not cover conservation costs, and the AEF Grant will finance the conservation of three key architectural elements of the fort. Because of its relative inaccessibility by water and lack of access by road, the site has been spared any serious anthropogenic damage in recent times. However, its exposure to the elements at the edge of a steep escarpment subject to occasional flash floods, together with frequent wind and sand storms, is causing ongoing erosion, and some of the most important architectural features of the fortress, the central and south towers and the south gateway are threatened with imminent collapse.

Project Details


Location: Egypt, Northern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) Funder(s): American Research Center in Egypt - Antiquities Endowment Fund Grant Funding received: $34,265 Commencement Date: 09/2014 Project Status: Completed
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