At the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile can be found the largest and most visited museum in Sudan, the National Museum of Sudan. Founded in 1971, it contains the largest and most important archaeological collection in the country.
The museum has exhibits from different periods in Sudanese history such as Kingdom of Kush and ancient Nubia, and also contains article facts from ancient Egypt. Among the exhibits displayed in the gardens surrounding the museum are the two Egyptian temples of Buhen Temple and Semna Temple, which were originally built by Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III that were relocated to Khartoum due to the flooding caused by Lake Nasser. The Aswan High Dam built across the Nile River in Egypt created a reservoir in the Nubia area, which extended into Sudan’s territory threatening submergence of the two ancient temples from the fifteenth century BCE. UNESCO assisted in moving these temples to a safer location as the temples and tombs were systematically dismantled from the submergence area and relocated in the garden surrounding the museum.
The antiquaries displayed relate to the history of the ancient Kush kingdom and the Nubia’s Christian period. Among the artifacts on display are: Stone age relics of the Al Saltan Al-Zarqa era [also known as the black sultanate]; Kush glassware, pottery and statuary, and frescoes and murals from the Nubian period. Over three hundred objects have been catalogued listing exhibits unearthed from archaeological excavations such as stone tools of the Paleolithic period, Pharaonic statues, ancient Christian wall frescoes and armor of the early Islamic period. Further exhibits are of the Sudanese Kerma Kings, and graves of Christian rulers.
The National Museum of Sudan was renovated with US $230,000 provided by the United States as part of a pilot project under the UNESCO Program for the Preservation of Endangered Movable Cultural Properties and Museum Development. The project was implemented over a two-year period beginning in October 2003 involving conservation and the creation of digital records of all collections.
This museum is the kind of museum I really enjoy – old school and full of hidden treasures that not many people are fortunate enough to lay their eyes on.