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Qatar,Sudan : QATAR funds SUDAN archaeology.

Sudanese officials said on 23 March 2014, Sudan's rich but under-developed archaeological heritage got an unprecedented $135 million in funding from Qatar.

Salahaddin Mohammed Ahmed, the project coordinator said the money will support 29 projects including the rehabilitation of ancient relics, construction of museums and study of the Meroitic language.

He said the funds will support archaeological work by many Western countries as well as Sudan over five years.

Abdurrahman Ali, head of the museums said "This is the biggest amount of money for Sudanese antiquities in their entire history," adding that the project will lay the foundation for "archaeological tourism".

Sudan's remote, undiscovered pyramids, north of Khartoum, contrast with their grander and better-known cousins in Egypt, which occupied northern Sudan for around 500 years until about 1,000 BC.

These are Gebel Barkal and surrounding temples, tombs and other relics from the Meroitic and Napatan periods that came after Egyptian rule.

Also listed are the pyramids of Meroe and sites nearby including Musawwarat es Sufra and Naqa.

The first archaeological digs in Sudan took place only about 100 years ago, much later than in Egypt or Greece.

French, German, and Polish other foreign teams are working on different sites in northern Sudan and will benefit from the Qatari financing.

Director of the French archaeological mission in Sedeinga, Claude Rilly, says sponsors are hard to come by in his profession.

The funds will be used to help protect the sites, develop small local museums and tourism booklets, restore the National Museum in Khartoum, and construct two conference and presentation centres at the UNESCO sites.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Mar 24, 2014
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