Working closely with Dr. Cornelia Kleinitz of the Department of Egyptology and Northeast African Archaeology at Humboldt University Berlin and Dr. Robert Casties of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, we developed a searchable visual database of graffito found at Musawwarat, a World Heritage Site in Sudan and one of last remaining mystery sites of the ancient world. The project entailed creating a logo, flexible identity system and robust website appropriate for scientific research, academic scholars as well as the interested public.
From the website: “The Musawwarat Graffiti Project has been dedicated to the detailed documentation, study and publication of the graffiti of the Great Enclosure at Musawwarat. Ongoing research within the project has been illustrating the broad palette and intricacy of graffiti writing and image making at the Great Enclosure from the Meroitic period until today. As one of its main contributions, the project is in the process of opening up the graffiti corpus from this ancient sacral centre to a global public.”
The website provides the opportunity for visitors to explore the site virtually, zooming in on specific graffito through an extensive series of still images. One can select the desired location to navigate from a map of the site and then get closer and closer, first complex, then by wall, then area of a wall, then specific block and ultimately zooming in to isolate specific markings made on each block. While this is of particular use to researchers of rock art, the intention is to provide open access to this body of information for academic study while also making scientific data accessible and palatable to the interested public. In this way, the deep chasm normally found between the sciences and the interested layperson is bridged, without loss of academic rigor or design integrity.
Explore the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive.