Derek A. Welsby

Assistant Keeper
Archaeology of Sudan and Egyptian Nubia

Department: Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan 


+44 (0)20 7323 8311

Derek Welsby is responsible for the Sudanese and Egyptian Nubian collections in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. He is actively involved in fieldwork having directed surveys and excavations on many sites in Sudan since 1982. He has published books, excavations reports and a wide range of articles on many aspects of the archaeology of the region.

As Honorary Secretary of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society he has an important role in raising public awareness of the impressive cultures which flourished in the regions to the south of the First Nile Cataract. He is editor of the Society’s bulletin Sudan & Nubia and of its monograph series.

Current projects

British Museum/SARS Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project: Amri to Kirbekan Survey – post-excavation and publication.

Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project: Excavations in the Northern Dongola Reach within the Kushite town and cemetery at Kawa.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member, International Society for Nubian Studies

Honorary Secretary, Sudan Archaeological Research Society

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Member, Egypt Exploration Society

Member, Libyan Society

Committee member, Society for the Study of the Sudans, UK

Recent Publications

‘Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project. The Sudan Archaeological Research Society’s Amri to Kirbekan Survey’, Gdansk Archaeological Museum African Reports 7, (2010), 177-187.

‘Excavations at Kawa, 2009-10’, Sudan & Nubia 14, (2010), 48-55.

‘The Pharaonic and Kushite town of Gematon (Kawa, Northern Sudan)’, in F. Raffaele, M. Nuzzolo and I. Incordino (eds). Recent Discoveries and Latest Researches in Egyptology. Proceedings of the First Neapolitan Congress of Egyptology, Naples, June 18th – 20th 2008. (Wiesbaden, 2010), 349-358.

‘Excavations at Kawa, 2009-10’, Sudan & Nubia 15, (2011), 54-63

‘The Wadi Halfa to Kerma Railway’, The Gunboat (Jan. 2011), 31-32, with Abdelrahman Ali Mohammed

‘Early States on the Nile’, in J. Ryle, J. Willis, S. Baldo and Jok Madut Jok (eds), The Sudan Handbook. (Woodbridge and Rochester, NY, 2011), 23-30, with I. Welsby Sjöström (contribution by K. Manning)

‘Post-Meroitic Cow Burial at the Fourth Nile Cataract’, in V. Rondot, F. Alpi and F. Villeneuve (eds), La Pioche et La Plume, Autour du Soudan, du Liban et de la Jordanie. Hommages archéologiques à Patrice Lenoble. (Paris, 2011), 465-480

'The Kerma Ancien cemetery at site H29 in the Northern Dongola Reach', Sudan & Nubia 16, (2012), 20-28, with Z. Borcowski

‘The Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project (MDASP): Provisional type series of monuments’, in H.-P. Wotzka (ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Archaeology of the Fourth Nile Cataract, University of Cologne, 13–14 July 2006. Africa Praehistorica 22 (Köln: Heinrich-Barth-Institut, 2012), 15-32

‘Rome’s Solution for the Defence of its Desert Frontier – a Model for Understanding the Strategies Adopted to Combat Similar Problems by the States on the Middle Nile?’, in F. Jesse and C. Vogel  (eds), The Power of Walls - Fortifications in Ancient Northeastern Africa. Proceedings of the International Workshop held at the University of Cologne 4th-7th August 2011. Colloquium Africanum 5. (Cologne, 2013) 217-238.

‘Surveys at the Fifth Cataract and on the Sudan Military Railway and excavations at Kawa 2012-13’, Sudan & Nubia 17, (2013), 131-136, with M. G. Macklin, J. C. Woodward, G. A. T Duller, F. M. Williams and M. A. J. Williams

'Kerma and Kush and their Neighbours' in Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane (eds), the Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology (OUP, Oxford, 2013)

‘Reach-scale river dynamics moderate the impact of rapid Holocene climate change on floodwater farming in the desert Nile’, Geology 41, (2013) 695-698

'The Kingdom of Alwa', in J. R. Anderson and D. A. Welsby (eds), The Fourth Cataract and Beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies. British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan 1. (Leuven - Paris - Walpole, MA, 2014), 183-199

‘The Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project in the Northern Dongola Reach. Excavations within the Kushite town and cemetery at Kawa 2013-14’, Sudan & Nubia 18, (2014) 48-58 with J. R. Anderson (eds)

The Fourth Cataract and Beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies. (Leuven - Paris - Walpole, MA, 2014)

‘The Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project – Excavations and other activities at Kawa in the 2014-15 season’, Sudan & Nubia 19, (2015) 71-79 with Jamie Woodward, Mark Macklin, Laura Fielding, Ian Millar, Neal Spencer and Martin Williams

‘Shifting sediment sources in the world's longest river: A strontium isotope record for the Holocene Nile’, Quaternary Science Review, 130, (2015) 124-140 with Jamie Woodward, Mark Macklin, Laura Fielding, Ian Millar, Neal Spencer and Martin Williams.

‘The Sudan Archaeological Research Society’, Sudan Studies for South Sudan and Sudan, no. 53 February, (2016), 54-66.

‘Observations on the graves of the Medieval period in the SARS concession at the Fourth Cataract’, in A. Łajtar, A. Obłuski and I. Zych (eds), Aegyptus et Nubia Christiana. The Włodzimierz Godlewski Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. (Warsaw, 2016), 613-628

‘The Sudan Archaeological Research Society: the first 25 years’, Sudan & Nubia 20, (2016), 3-10

‘Gematon between the reigns of Ramesses VI and Taharqo’ in N. Spencer et al. (eds), Nubia in the New Kingdom. British Museum Studies in Egypt and Sudan. (Leuven - Paris - Walpole, MA, 2017), 473-485