Project team

Cornelia Kleinitz - Project Director

Cornelia Kleinitz is an Africanist Archaeologist with a special interest in rock art and graffiti, the politics of archaeology and cultural heritage, and open access initiatives in the humanities. She studied History and Archaeology at Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin and University College London. In London Cornelia became interested in the archaeology of Africa and in the dynamics of rock art making and usage. Her PhD thesis, which she submitted at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, was entitled ‘Dialogues in Stone. Past and present engagements with rock art in sub-Saharan Mali, West Africa’. Cornelia moved on to positions at the Ethnographic Museum in Leiden and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she worked on open access initiatives in the humanities. At this time she became involved in archaeological rescue work at the Fourth Nile Cataract in northern Sudan, where she documented nearly 1000 rock art sites that are now lost under the waters of the Merowe Dam reservoir. Her involvement in archaeological salvage furthered her interest in the politics and ethics of archaeology and heritage.

In 2007, after she had moved to the Department of Egyptology and Northeast African Archaeology at Humboldt University Berlin, Cornelia began working on the graffiti of the Great Enclosure at Musawwarat es Sufra. She developed the Musawwarat Graffiti Project, which is dedicated to the documentation, study and publication of the historical graffiti at this singular site in Sudan. Since early 2011 she is also heading the development of the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive. Her work involves everything from on-site describing, mapping, photographing, drawing, tracing and RTI capturing graffiti, to the development of a motif thesaurus and a database, database input and supervision, data analysis, the organisation of field and lab work, the writing of funding proposals and reports, and the presentation and publication of the project and its results.

Robert Casties - Technology

Robert Casties develops Digital Humanities solutions as part of the IT-Group of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He has been involved in many digital projects since the group's inception in 2002. Being both a scholar and a computer freak in one person he understands both sides and likes to create digital projects that benefit researchers, the general public and the technological state-of-the-art – like the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive. Robert has a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science, a Diploma in Physics, and has been programming computers for as long as he can think.

Amy Stafford - Identity and Web Design

Amy Stafford is the principal of Studio Blixa 6, an independent creative agency focusing on identity development and design for cultural game changers. Her award winning designs have been featured in publications and exhibitions in Europe and the United States. In addition to graphic design and brand strategy consulting, Amy's writing has been published widely in journals and books including The New Art Examiner, Dwell, Surface Magazine and The Freelance Design Handbook (Rotovision, 2009). She teaches at various art & design colleges and often guest lectures on the topics of brand storytelling, art & design to academic, creative and business communities. Amy is also an active advisor for several non-profit organizations. Amy developed the web design for the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive, including its logo and branding.

Elisabeth Lindinger - Database Design

Elisabeth Lindinger is a prehistorian with a special interest in the European Bronze Age. For the past few years she has been involved in several projects at the interface between archaeology and information technology. After sojourns into the fields of quantitative methods and 3D digitisation in archaeology, Elisabeth's research now focuses on the use of digital media in archaeology and its effects on scientific and public discourses. She is currently based at the Research Center for Culture and Informatics of the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Berlin. For the Musawwarat Graffiti Project, Elisabeth designed the project database that serves for structuring the copious amounts of documentation and data generated in the course of the project.

Jens Weschenfelder - Documentation and Data Entry

Jens Weschenfelder is studying Archaeology and Cultural History of North East Africa at Humboldt University Berlin, focusing on the archaeology of Sudan. He has participated in numerous field projects in Egypt and Sudan, often as a pottery specialist. Due to his talents as a draftsperson, Jens became part of the Musawwarat Graffiti Project in 2008. After three field seasons documenting graffiti on site at Musawwarat, Jens has spent the better part of 2011 and 2012 entering data into the project database and introducing new project members to its intricacies. Jens prepared most of the vector-based drawings of the graffiti for the project database and he has been also been working on the web-presentation of the ‘Graffiti in Place Database’.

Stefan Schreiber - Project Assistance

Stefan Schreiber is studying Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Medieval History and Medieval German Literature and Language at Humboldt University Berlin. In 2010 he wrote his M.A. thesis on the subject of "‚Cultural appropriation’ as a strategy of the handling of things. Archaeological reflections on a cultural anthropological model". His interests are archaeological and anthropological theories, material culture studies, gender theory, culture contact situations and agency theory. Epistemologically, he argues from a constructivist point of view. Stefan's contributions to the Musawwarat Graffiti Archive include asking many difficult questions.

Hembo Pagi – RTI documentation/Photogrammetry

Hembo Pagi was educated at the University of Helsinki and the University of Southampton, from where he holds an MSc in Archaeological Computing. He has been working for more than a decade providing technical solutions for different commercial IT and archaeological projects. Recently he has been focusing on imaging techniques and working at the University of Southampton as a research assistant and technician. Hembo is member of the Archaeological Computing Research Group, which is specialized on technological approaches in archaeological research. His current projects include the prospection of data management at the Archaeology Department of the University of Southampton, and a collaborative project with the University of Oxford on imaging techniques for ancient documents and rock art recording. In addition to imaging Hembo has been working on web applications for the presentation of archaeological data. Lately he received a grant for developing a website for archaeological sites in Estonia, his homeland. Hembo headed Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) as well as photogrammetry work for the Musawwarat Graffiti Project during the 2011 field season.

Zaroog Bakri – Inspector of NCAM/RTI capture

Zaroog Bakri, who was educated at Shendi University, is an archaeologist and restorer based at the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) in Khartoum. Zaroog has been working at Musawwarat since 1995, when he got involved in restoration work at the site. In the past years Zaroog has been acting as the Inspector of Antiquities, the NCAM representative and project partner for all excavation and restoration work at Musawwarat. During the 2011 and 2012 field seasons Zaroog was part of the RTI-capture team that documented more than 1000 graffiti at the Great Enclosure. He also ensured the smooth running of the 2011 and 2012 field seasons of the Musawwarat Graffiti Project.

Hassan Ibidallah – Logistics/RTI capture

Hassan Ibidallah has been based at Musawwarat since 1995. Already his father had been involved in work at Musawwarat during the Humboldt University excavations of the 1960s. Over the past years Hassan has been organising the local workmen during restoration and excavation projects at the site as well as keeping an eye on the dig house. During the 2011 and 2012 field seasons Hassan was part of the logistics team as well as of the graffiti field team, where he was primarily involved in RTI-capture for the Musawwarat Graffiti Project.

Mohammed el Tayeb – Logistics manager/RTI capture

Mohammed el Tayeb has been part of the Musawwarat Graffiti Project since the 2011 field season, acting as the logistics manager, driver and cook of the project, but also supporting graffiti documentation on site. After having completed his education in Khartoum, worked in a series of jobs as an office employee, mechanic, driver, logistics manager, cook and tour operator. For the past 15 years he has been accompanying tourist tours to the archaeological sites and other sights of Sudan. He has ventured as far as Malakal in southern Sudan, Jebel Uweinat in the far north of Sudan, Berenike on the Red Sea and the Nuba mountains and Darfur in the west of the country. In the future Mohammed would like to go to university to study – maybe to become an archaeologist.

Julia D. Preisigke – Documentation and Data Entry

Julia Preisigke is studying Archaeology and Cultural History of North East Africa at Humboldt University Berlin. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in 2010 and is currently following a Masters course. In 2010 she became a student assistant at the Department of Egyptology and Northeast African Archaeology. Since 2008 she has been involved in an ongoing excavation (4 campaigns) of the German Archaeological Institute Cairo at Abydos/Umm el-Qaab in Egypt. Her work in the project “cult of Osiris” mainly includes documenting, drawing and photographing pottery dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Late Period. Julia joined the Musawwarat Graffiti Project for the 2011 field season, documenting graffiti on site as well as working on the project database and preparing drawings.

Dina Serova – Documentation and Data Entry

Dina Serova holds a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and Cultural History of North East Africa from Humboldt University Berlin. She has been studying for a Master’s degree in Archaeology and Cultural History of North East Africa / Egyptology at Humboldt University Berlin and Free University Berlin. Dina has a keen interest in the theory and practice of archaeological (field) research. She has taken part in field projects in Egypt and Sudan. During the 2011 field season Dina documented graffiti on site in the Great Enclosure of Musawwarat as well as working on the project database and preparing drawings. Dina is now a volunteer worker for the Musawwarat Graffiti Project.

Franziska Lehmann – Documentation and Data Entry

Franziska is a student of Greek and Roman Archaeology at Humboldt University Berlin. During her BA studies she has also become interested in the archaeology of the Middle Nile valley, pursuing courses on its history and archaeology. Franziska has been working as a student assistant at the Department of Egyptology and Northeast African Archaeology, and she is acting as a student representative to the Board of the Faculty. Franziska became a member of the Musawwarat Graffti Project in late 2011, when she started supporting data entry into the project database. She was part of the 2012 field team to Musawwarat, where she documented graffiti and entered data into the project database.

Texts: Cornelia Kleinitz & individual project members (last update: 14/04/2012)

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Cornelia Kleinitz (photo: Monika Jennrich, 2010)
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Robert Casties
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Amy Stafford
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Elisabeth Lindinger
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Jens Weschenfelder
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Stefan Schreiber
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Hembo Pagi (photo: Cornelia Kleinitz, 2011)
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Zaroog Bakri (photo: Hembo Pagi, 2011)
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Hassan Ibidallah (photo: Cornelia Kleinitz, 2011)
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Mohammed el Tayeb (photo: Cornelia Kleinitz, 2012)
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Julia Preisigke (photo: Hembo Pagi, 2011)
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Dina Serova (photo: Hembo Pagi, 2011)
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Franziska Lehmann (photo: Cornelia Kleinitz, 2012)