Medieval African monastery reconstructed virtually

How did medieval monasteries in Africa look? A new project from the University of Warsaw has been able to digitally reconstruct a monastery from Nubia.

Scholars from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw (PCMA UW) have created ‘Virtual Nubia‘, which will allow viewers to explore the Monastery of Ghazali, now located in northern Sudan.


Ghazali was a monastic site between the 7th and 13th centuries, and a Polish archaeological team excavated its remains in recent years. They were also able to find a small settlement, cemeteries and iron production sites. “We conducted archaeological work in parallel with a heritage management project, preparing the site for visitors,” says Dr. Artur Obłuski, PCMA UW Director and head of the expedition. “However, we were aware that not many tourists would reach the site unless the political situation becomes more inviting. Hence the idea to make a virtual tour.”

Viewers can explore a model of the monastery, and can enter various rooms, including the dormitory, churches, and the monastery kitchen. For comparison, photos show the same places during archaeological works. Reconstructions of several artefacts – ceramic and glass vessels – discovered at the site are also presented.

Click here to visit Virtual Nubia

Top Image: Courtesy University of Warsaw


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