Dr David N. Edwards


Lecturer in Archaeology

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2881

Email: dne1@le.ac.uk

Personal details

BA (York), MLitt (Newcastle upon Tyne), PhD (Cambridge), FHEA

I studied History at York University, then took an MLitt in Archaeology at Newcastle University and a PhD at Cambridge University, while working for several years as a professional field archaeologist in Britain. I have extensive field experience in Nubia/Sudan, as well as in many parts of Britain, Egypt, Jordan and Libya.


I teach at all three levels of Undergraduate studies and also Postgraduate studies. I teach both campus-based and Distance Learning students in BA and BSc programmes.



Edwards DN. 1989. Archaeology and Settlement in Upper Nubia in the 1st Millennium AD. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 36. Oxford.

1996. The Archaeology of the Meroitic State: new perspectives on its social and political organisation. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 38. Oxford.

1998. Gabati. A Meroitic, post-Meroitic and medieval cemetery in central Sudan. Volume 1. London: SARS.

1999. Musawwarat es Sufra III. A Meroitic Pottery Workshop at Musawwarat es Sufra. (Meroitica 17:2). Weisbaden: Harrassowitz.

2004. The Nubian Past: An Archaeology of the Sudan, London: Routledge.

Díaz-Andreu M, Lucy S, Babic S and Edwards D. 2005. The Archaeology of Identity. London: Routledge.

Edwards, D. N. (ed.) 2012. The Archaeology of a Nubian Frontier, Leicester: Mauhaus (with Ali Osman et al.)

Journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings etc.

Edwards, D.N. 2019.  ‘Between the Sahara and the Nile: some comparative perspectives’, In Gatto, M. et al. (eds). Burials, Migration and Identity in the Ancient Sahara and beyond. Cambridge: CUP, 195-22

Edwards, D.N. 2018. ‘Late Antique Nubia revisited’. In Bács, T., Bollók, Á and Vida, T. (eds) Across the Mediterranean - Along the Nile. Studies in Egyptology, Nubiology and Late Antiquity dedicated to László Török on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday, Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences/LTE, 539-556.

Edwards, D.N. 2018. ‘Towards a Historical Archaeology of Ottoman Nubia’, In Honegger, M. (ed.) Nubian Archaeology in the XXIst Century. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference for Nubian Studies (Neuchâtel, 1-6 September 2014). (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 273), Leuven: Peeters, 645-660.

Edwards, D.N. 2016. ‘Among the Rocks: A first look at medieval Duweishat, from the archive’. In A. Lajtar, A.Obluski & I. Zych (eds) Aegyptus et Nubia Christiana, Warsaw: PCMA/UW, 359-380.

Edwards, D. N. 2014. ‘Creating Christian Nubia: Processes and Events on the Egyptian Frontier’ in J. Dijkstra and G. Fishers (eds) Inside and Out. Interactions between Rome and the Peoples on the Arabian and Egyptian Frontiers Leuven: Peeters.

Edwards, D. N. 2014. ‘Early Meroitic Pottery and the creation of an early imperial culture?’ In A. Lohwasser & Wolf, P. (eds) Ein Forscherleben Zwischen den Welten. Zum 80. Geburtstag Steffen Wenig, Berlin, pp.51-63.

Edwards, D. N. 2014. ‘Medieval Nobadia’, In Anderson, J. and Welsby, D. (eds) The Fourth Cataract and Beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies, Leuven: Peeters, pp. 171-82.

Edwards, D. N. 2013. ‘Medieval and post-medieval states of the Nile Valley’, In P. Mitchell and P. Lane (eds) Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, Oxford: OUP, pp.789-798.

Edwards, D. N. and Mills, A. J.  2013. ‘Pharaonic’ Sites in the Batn al-Hajar – the ‘Archaeological Survey of Sudanese Nubia’ Revisited. Sudan & Nubia 17: 8-17

Edwards, D. N. 2013. African perspectives on Death, Burial and Mortuary Archaeology, in L. Stutz and S. Tarlow (eds) Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial, Oxford: OUP, 209-226.

Edwards, D. N. and M. Judd. 2012..  Gabati Revisited. In M. Judd Gabati. A Meroitic, post-Meroitic and medieval cemetery in central Sudan.  Volume 2. The Physical Antropology. London: SARS, 75-83.

Edwards, D. N., Ali Osman, Y. F. Tahir, Azhari M.Sadig & I. Soghayroun el-Zein 2012. On a Nubian frontier — landscapes of settlement on the Third Cataract of the Nile, Sudan, Azania 47(4): 450-487

Huber, R. and D. N. Edwards 2012. Gebel Adda Cemeteries 3 and 4 (1963-1964), Sudan and Nubia 16: 80-87.

Edwards, D.N.   2011. From Meroe to ‘Nubia’ – exploring culture change without the ‘Noba’,  In Rondot, V., Alpi, F. & Villeneuve, F. (eds) , La Pioche et La Plume (Hommages Archéologiques à Patrice Lenoble), Paris: PUPS, 501-514

Edwards, D.N. 2011. Slavery and slaving in the Medieval and Post-Medieval Kingdoms of the Middle Nile, In P. Lane & K. MacDonald (eds) Slavery in Africa. Archaeology and Memory (Proceedings of the British Academy 168), London: British Academy, 79-108.

Edwards D. N. 2010. Exploring rural landscapes in Sudanese Nubia, In Cowley, D. C., Standring, R. A. and Abicht, M. J. (eds), Landscapes through the lens: aerial photographs and the historic environment, Oxford: Oxbow, 167-78.

Mattingly, D. J., Daniels, C. M., Dore, J., Edwards, D. and Hawthorne, J. (eds) 2010. The Archaeology of Fazzan. Volume 3,  London: Society for Libyan Studies.

Huber, R. and Edwards, D. N. 2010. Gebel Adda Cemetery One, 1963. Post-medieval reuse of X-Group tumuli, Sudan and Nubia 14: 83-90.

Edwards D. 2007. ‘Meroitic Stelae from Qasr Ibrim’, in P Rose (ed.) The Meroitic Temples at Qasr Ibrim, Nubia, Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Monograph. (Chapter 15) - pp. 76-92. [ISBN: 9780856981845]

Edwards D. 2007. ‘Meroitic settlement landscapes in Middle Nubia’, CRIPEL 26: 59-70  [ISSN 01535021]

Edwards D. 2007. ‘The Archaeology of Sudan and Nubia’, Annual Review of Anthropology 36/2: 211-228. [ISSN 00846570] (doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.36.081406.094305)

Edwards D. 2007. ‘The Archaeology of the Sudan’, In Hopkins PG. (ed) The Kenana Handbook of Sudan, London: Kegan Paul, 40-64. [ISBN 0710311605]

Mattingly D and Edwards D. N. 2007. The Archaeology of Fazzan. Site Gazetteer, in D Mattingly (ed.) The Archaeology of Fazzan. Volume 2, London: Society for Libyan Studies, 2-293 [ISBN 9781900971054]

Edwards D. 2006. ‘Mid-Holocene game drives in Nubian landscapes?’ in K Kroeper, M Chlodnicki and M Kobusiewicz (eds.) Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa. (Studies in African Archaeology Vol. 9). Poznan: Poznan Archaeological Museum, 49-64. [ISBN 8360109060]

Edwards D. 2006. Drawing on Rocks, the most enduring monuments of Middle Nubia, Sudan and Nubia 10: 55-63

Edwards D. 2005. ‘The Archaeology of Religion’, in Díaz-Andreu M, Lucy S, Babic S and Edwards D. The Archaeology of Identity. London: Routledge, 110-28.

Edwards D and Fuller D. 2005. ‘Excavations and Survey in the central Amri-Kirbekan area, Fourth Cataract, 2003-2004’ in H Paner and S Jakobielski. (ed) The Archaeology of the Fourth Nile Cataract, (Gdansk Archaeological Museum African Reports 4), 21-29. Gdansk.

Edwards D. 2005. Looking into the Past – the SARS photographic archive, Sudan and Nubia 9: 83-5

Edwards D. 2004. ‘The Potential for Historical Archaeology in the Sudan’ in L Smith, P Rose, G Wahida and S Wahida (eds.) Fifty years in the Archaeology of Africa: themes in archaeological theory and practice. BIEA. pp. 13-33.

Edwards D. 2004. ‘Post-Meroitic Gabati’, in D Welsby and J Anderson (eds). Sudan - Ancient Treasures, (An exhibition of recent discoveries from the Sudan National Museum), London: British Museum Press.

Copley M, Jim S, Jones V, Rose P, Clapham A, Edwards DN, Horton M, Rowley-Conwey P and Evershed R. 2004. Short- and long-term foraging and foddering strategies of domesticated animals from Qasr Ibrim, Egypt’, Journal of Archaeological Science 31/9: 1273 – 1286. (ISSN  0305-4403)

Edwards D. 2003. ‘History, Archaeology and Nubian identities’. in P Lane and A Reid (eds.) African Historical Archaeologies. New York: Plenum. pp.33-58.

Edwards D. 2003. ‘Ancient Egypt in the Sudanese Middle Nile; a case of mistaken identity?’ In D O’Connor and A Reid (eds.) Ancient Egypt in Africa. London: UCL Press. pp.137-50.

Mattingly D, Edwards D and Dore J. 2002. ‘Radiocarbon dates from Fazzan, southern Libya’, Libyan Studies 33: 9-19.

Edwards DN. 2001. ‘The Christianisation of Nubia: some archaeological pointers.’ Sudan and Nubia 5: 89-96.

Edwards DN. 2001. ‘The archaeology of the southern Fazzān and prospects for future research.’ Libyan Studies 32: 50-66.

Edwards DN and Osman A. 2001. ‘New Kingdom and Kushite sites in the Third Cataract Region, Sudanese Nubia’. Göttinger Miszellen 182: 17-30.

Fuller D and Edwards D. 2001. ‘Medieval Plant economy in Middle Nubia: some archaeobotanical evidence from Nauri’. Sudan and Nubia 5: 96-103.

Copley M, Rose P, Clapham A, Edwards D, Horton M and Evershed R. 2001. ‘Detection of palm fruit lipids in archaeological pottery from Qasr Ibrim, Egyptian Nubia’. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 268: 593-97.

Edwards DN and Bell H. 2000. Language, settlement and long-term history in Upper Nubia. Azania 35: 191-197.

Edwards DN and Fuller D. 2000. ‘Notes on the Meroitic Epistolary Tradition: new texts from Arminna West and Qasr Ibrim.’ Meroitic Newsletter 27: 77-98

Edwards DN and Osman A. 2000. ‘The Archaeology of Arduan Island – the Mahas Survey 2000’ Sudan and Nubia 4: 58-70.

Edwards DN. 2000. ‘A Meroitic Inscription and some Pot Graffiti from central Sudan’. Beiträge zur Sudanforschung 7: 37-47.

El-Amin Y and Edwards D. 2000. ‘Field Survey in the Fifth Cataract Region, Sudan’. Sudan and Nubia 4: 44-50.

Mattingly D, al Mashai M, Balcombe P, Barnett T, Brooks N, Cole F, Dore J, Drake N, Edwards D, Hawthorne J, Helm R, Leone A, McLean S, Pelling S, Preston J, Reynold T, Townsend A, Wilson A and White K. 2000. The Fezzan project 2000: preliminary report on the fourth season of work. Libyan Studies 31: 103-120.

Edwards DN. 1999. ‘Christianity & Islam in the Middle Nile. Towards a study of religion and social change’ in T Insoll (ed.) Case Studies in Archaeology and World Religion: 94-104. Oxford: BAR.

Edwards DN. 1999. ‘Meroitic Ceramic Studies I: the pottery of the Meroe West cemetery.’ Meroitic Newsletter 26: 53-77.

Edwards DN. 1999. ‘Meroitic Settlement Archaeology’. in D Welsby (ed.) Recent Research in Kushite History and Archaeology (Proceeding of the 8th International Conference in Meroitic Studies, 1996). London: British Museum. pp.65-110.

Edwards DN. 1999. ‘Meroitic ceramic chronology: Exploring the Meroe West cemetery’. Azania 34: 25-44.

Edwards DN, Hawthorne J, Dore JN and Mattingly DJ. 1999. ‘The Garamantes of Fezzan Revisited: publishing the CM Daniels archive’. Libyan Studies 30: 109-27.

Edwards DN and Hall D. 1998. ‘Medieval Pottery from Cambridge. Sites in the Bene’t Street-Market area’. Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 86: 153-68.

Edwards DN. 1998. ‘Meroe and the Sudanic kingdoms’. Journal of African History 39/2: 175-93.

Edwards DN. 1998. ‘Meroe in the Savannah – Meroe as a Sudanic Kingdom?’ in S Wenig (ed.) Studien zum antiken Sudan: 312-20. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Edwards DN and Rose P. 1997. ‘The Meroitic, post-Meroitic and Christian Cemetery at Gabati,     Central Sudan’. Kush 17: 69-84.

Evershed R, van Bergen P, Peakman T, Leigh-Firbank E, Horton M, Edwards D, Biddle M, Kjolbe-Biddle B and Rowley-Conwy P. 1997. ‘Archaeological Frankincense’. Nature 390: 667-668.

Edwards DN. 1996. ‘Power and the State in the Middle Nile: Meroe in context. An example for the study of state development in Sudanic Africa’. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 13/1: 5-19.

Edwards DN. 1996. Meroitic Settlement. (pre-printed Main Papers for the 8th International Conference for Meroitic Studies, 1996): 19-67. London: British Museum.

Edwards DN. 1996. ‘Aerial photographs of archaeological sites in northern Sudan’. SARS Newsletter 11: 14-22.

Edwards DN. 1996. ‘Sorghum, Beer and Kushite Society’. Norwegian Archaeological Review 29/2: 65-77.

Edwards DN. 1995. ‘A Meroitic Settlement and Cemetery at Kedurma in the Third Cataract Region, Northern Sudan’. Archeologie du Nil Moyen 7: 37-51.

Edwards DN, Rose P and Filer J. 1995. ‘The SARS Excavations at Gabati, central Sudan 1994-95’. SARS Newsletter 8: 11-27.

Edwards DN. 1994. ‘Some Recent work on the post-Meroitic ('X-Group') in Lower Nubia’. SARS Newsletter 6: 9-11.

Edwards DN. 1994. ‘La forteresse de Qasr Ibrim’. Les Dossiers d'Archéologie 196: 64-9.

Edwards DN. 1994. ‘Post-Meroitic ('X-Group') and Christian burials at Sesibi, Northern Sudan. The Excavations of 1937’. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 80: 159-78

Edwards DN. 1994. ‘A new Meroitic inscription from Qasr Ibrim, and a tentative reconstruction’. Meroitic Newsletter 25: 21-25

Edwards DN and Osman A. 1994. Mahas Survey Reports 2. (The Mahas Survey 1990.  Interim Report and Site Inventory). Cambridge. Online version in Leicester Research Archive

MacDonald K and Edwards DN. 1993. ‘Chickens in Africa: The Importance of Qasr Ibrim’. Antiquity 67: 584-90.

Edwards DN and Osman A. 1992. Mahas Survey Reports 1. (The Mahas Survey 1991. Interim Report and Site Inventory). Cambridge. Online version in Leicester Research Archive

Macklin M, Passmore D, Stevenson A, Cowley D, Edwards D and O'Brien C. 1992. ‘Holocene alluviation and land-use change on Callaly Moor, Northumberland, England’. Journal of Quaternary Science 6 (3): 225-32.

Edwards DN. 1991. ‘Three Cemetery Sites on the Blue Nile’. Archéologie de Nil Moyen 5: 41-64.



While much of my research has found a regional focus in Nubia, Sudan and Sudanic Africa, my research interests remain more general above all, I’m interested in the ‘social’:

  • Archaeology and social landscapes
  • Taking landscape archaeology into unfamiliar territory (e.g. Sudanic Africa)
  • African mortuary archaeology
  • Historical/Islamic/Ottoman archaeology in Sudanic Africa
  • Social histories of pottery
  • Early trade and exchange
  • Comparative approaches to the archaeology of religion and belief

Current projects

Archaeological Survey of Sudanese Nubia (ASSN) 1963-1969:  We are now working towards the publication of the very extensive archives of the fieldwork carried out in Sudanese Nubia (Directed by Tony Mills), sponsored by UNESCO in advance of the regions' flooding by the Aswan High Dam. This material represents a unique record as well as an opportunity to investigate a now-lost landscape.

Language, Settlement and Long-term History in Upper Nubia with University of Khartoum, Sudan, supported by British Institute in Eastern Africa. This interdisciplinary landscape project (focussed on the Third Cataract region) has integrated archaeological, historical, toponymic and environmental research in this region and its social landscapes. Monograph recently published: Edwards, D. N. (ed.) 2012. The Archaeology of a Nubian Frontier, Leicester: Mauhaus

Pottery and Society in the Middle Nile: an ongoing investigation of the social history of pottery and pottery-use in the Middle Nile, from the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition to the Ottoman period.

Archaeology of Kerma/Kush (2009-2012 with AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship working with British Museum).


Topics available for PhD supervision

    • Sudanese/Nubian archaeology (including Egypt in Nubia)
    • Sudanic Africa/ trans-Saharan perspectives, especially medieval - historical/Ottoman archaeology
    • Landscape archaeology especially in non-European environments
    • Mortuary archaeology

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