Home | News    Thursday 29 December 2005

The Corridor’s writer receives Sudan’s highest medals

By Mahgoub El-Tigani

Dec 29, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — The American Professor William Y Adams, a well-celebrated cultural anthropologist, archeologist, ethnologist, and historian was presented the Order of the Two Niles medal by the President of Sudan at the Republican Palace, Khartoum.

Earlier in the 1950s, Adams led the salvation of many archeological sites that had been threatened by inundation of the Glen Canion Dam in his own country, the United States of America. In 1957-9, the UNESCO expert led the salvation of Nubia archeology from the inundation of the High Dam in Aswan. Still, invaluable antiquities were lost for ever in the inundated region by the Dam, let alone the unabated sufferings of the displaced Nubians.

The UNESCO salvation was made possible by an international campaign that generated millions of dollars donated by many states, and helped to move magnificent temples and monuments and a great deal of antiquities from the area of inundation safely beyond the dam’s artificial lake.

Such “colossal” efforts are desperately needed in the present time to save the archaeological wealth of the historical Nubia in the Manasir lands that will be most regrettably inundated by the Hamadab Dam.

The authorities of the Khartoum “Arab capital of culture” are indeed required to allot some of their State-financed campaigns to alert the same State and the International Community to save this invaluable wealth of the history of mankind in the sites of Ancient Nubia.

Adams led for seven consecutive years an unprecedented number of scientific teams and individual researchers that helped to preserve more than 1,000 sites of the Nubian civilization, in addition to 150 newly-explored sites. The notable expert was also a consultant of the directors of the Sudanese department of antiquities, the Sudanese pioneering archaeologists, Mr. Thabit Hussein and Dr. Najmaddeen Mohamed Sharif.

In 1969, William Adams and his wife, anthropologist Netti Kessler, returned to the Sudan for extended research on Nubian sites in the Kulb’n’arti island. In 1973-84, as well as the ongoing 2000s, the Adams pursued new explorations in Qasr Ibrim, a great site of Nubia since ancient times that included prehistoric as well as Christian and Muslim antiquities. Auspiciously, new volumes came to light with the Adams’ most recent publications on Ibrim.

Since his early academics, Professor Adams has competently learned the language of his American natives, the Navaho Indians, which is known for unique linguistic qualities. Equally importantly, he acquired a mastering knowledge of Nubians’.

With eight published books on cultural anthropology and archeology, besides hundreds of articles in academic and professional journals, William Y Adams deservedly became a world authority as well as a top published author on Nubia.

Nubia Corridor to Africa (1977, 1984), Adams’ most accomplished work on Nubia, is a creatively constructed, deeply investigated account of the voluminous history and archaeology of the Nubian civilization over long centuries of the prehistoric unknown horizons of life, side-by-side with the reported histories.

The Corridor is a masterpiece that continues to command high academic appreciation all over the world. In 1978, for example, William Adams’ volume was awarded the distinguished Herskovits Prize by the African Studies Association.

Adams’ wife, Netti, who shared with him the lifelong search for a scientific knowledge on Nubia, peoples, civilizations and cultures, has been preparing a new book on textiles that shall increase the available knowledge on the evolution of the industry since old centuries as a cultural phenomenon.

William Adams has deservedly received wide popularity by the People of Sudan and a high recognition by the State for his devout research on Nubia, which embraced both the Sudanese and the Egyptian regions, the “one nation” Nubiaologist Adams scholarly examined.

As he wrote in introduction of the Corridor, however, the dearest medal that Adams personally adored was the warm, sisterly, and faithful recognition he has been genuinely receiving as "a Member of Nubia" from Nubian academic, professional, or popular societies - a recognition that presented him with a most valuable Order: the Beloved Patron of Nubian Studies.