Cooperation between Sennar State and UNESCO


Sennar State revealed the arrangements in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to register the antiquities in the state.

Speaking to SMC, the Secretary of Sennar Museum of Archeology and History, Thiqa Hassan Abdullah said that the National Authority for Antiquities is identifying a number of sites to register, including Jebel Moya, the Sennar old site, the Singa site, in addition to the Islamic period vaults.

As a part of the main plan of the “Sennar Capital of Islamic Culture 2017 project” the museum has been established, the museum director said.

The museum contains galleries showing the historical sequence of the Sudanese civilization, which includes the prehistoric monuments (pottery and stone tools).

It also include a number of historical eras as Ancient Karma civilization, which discovered by the Swiss archaeologist Charles Bonnet, next to antiquities of the medieval Egyptian kingdom that came after 100 years of Sudanese civilization and the Nabta era in Marwa, near Jebel Barkal, that time the Sudanese pharaohs ruled Egypt then the kingdom of axum, which ended the kingdom of Meroë, came to the time of the Christian kingdoms (Nabta, Alwa and Makarh).

Thiqa added,  there are antiquities from the era of the Islamic phung kingdom and the Mahdia era as well as the prehistoric monuments 350 (BC) represented in the civilization of the Shahinab, Khartoum and the civilization the man of Singa.

Historical Overview

Historically, Sennar was not only the capital of the first Muslim sultanate of the Nilotic Sudan but also became, thanks to its location in the Sudan’s heartland and to its demographic structure which accommodated most of Sudanese ethnic groups, an emblem of the country and an important platform for Islamic and cultural influence in Africa. Besides, it represented a model of ethnic and cultural plurality under the umbrella of Islam, and epitomizes Islam’s tolerance and coexistence with local cultures. All these factors have pushed some theorists interested in the Sudanese identity to consider Sennar a good example of the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

Moreover, the very name of the city echoes the entire country. In fact, historical sources point out to the Sennari Corridor at Al-Azhar Mosque and the Sennari Caravan on the Saharan Caravan Route, both of which refer to the Sudan as a whole. Moreover, the people of the Nilotic Sudan were known as Al-Sannariyah or Al- Sananeer in both Hejaz and Egypt during the rule of the Sennar Kingdom.

With its geographical location and socio-demographic structure, is a representative sample of the Sudan as whole. This has lead many thinkers, intellectuals and politicians to consider it as a melting pot showcasing the components of the entire nation. In the wake of independence, it was suggested to name the freshly established Sudan after Sennar but the then-president Ismail al-Azhari preferred the name “Sudan” for which the country has been known since the second half of the 19th century. However, Sennar has been a model of civilization for Sudanese intellectuals since the 1970s.

The Sennar has been chosen as capital of Islamic Culture in 2017 for the true contribution to the historical and cultural heritage of the Sudanese nation and represents a logical extension of the Sudan’s efforts to preserve Islamic culture throughout history. It is also an opportunity to publicize the city and highlight its civilizational role and potential.