Musawwarat Graffiti Project

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.

Before the launch of the Musawwarat Graffiti Project, the graffiti corpus had been the subject of two previous documentation projects. The first was led by Ursula Hintze in the 1960s, who photographically recorded, numbered, classified and described c. 700 graffiti from across the Great Enclosure. In the 1990s Pawel Wolf took over the study of the Musawwarat graffiti. He extended Hintze's documentation by photographically recording c. 2500 of the Musawwarat graffiti.

The Musawwarat Graffiti Project launched in 2007 by Cornelia Kleinitz in a new attempt to record, study and publish the rich graffiti corpus of the Great Enclosure. Recognising limitations in the previous sets of documentation, a comprehensive recording strategy was developed, implemented and refined since the first field season in 2008. The recording strategy aims at the detailed graphic and descriptive documentation of the graffiti in their exact location on the sandstone walls of the Great Enclosure, using 'traditional' as well as various digital capture methods. To date, several thousand graffiti have been recorded and the data are in the process of being shared globally via the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive. Apart from newly generated data, the Archive is also presenting archival data from previous recording efforts.


Text: Cornelia Kleinitz (2011, last update: 14/04/2014)

Side Photo
Screenshot of the 'explore' function in the Graffiti in Place Database

Side Photo
Screenshot of the 'explore' function in the Graffiti in Place Database