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Map of Butana

Butana (Arabic: البطانة, Buṭāna) is a region in Sudan. It is bordered by the Nile from Khartoum to Atbarah, by the Atbarah River from Atbarah to Ethiopia, by the Ethiopian border from the Atbarah River to the Blue Nile, and by the Blue Nile from Ethiopia to Khartoum. Geological characteristics found here are sandy and stony soils, light non-cracking clay, and dark cracking clay; the superficial clays cover over 70% of the plain.[1] Although there are very limited water resources, seasonal surface water wells and a few deep bore wells are present. A tropical continental climate provides rain in the southern section of the plain. Two vegetation zones feature a semi-desert Acacia shrub, short grasslands, and a low woodland savannah.[2]

The region includes most of the state of Al Qadarif plus parts of the states of Kassala, River Nile, Khartoum, Al Jazirah and Sennar. The Butana plain occupies most of Butana. The name Butana is applied to many things which come from the region, such as the Butana breed of cattle, Butana sheep,[3] Butana goats, et cetera. Historically, it was part of Alodia and later the Funj Sultanate of Sinnar.

Butana was known as "The Island of Meroe"[4] when it was part of the Kushitic kingdom of Meroe. The city of Meroe was about halfway between Atbarah and Khartoum, on the east side of the Nile river.[5] There were two other major Meroitic cities in Butana, Musawwarat es-Sufra and Naqa.[6]

Today it is mainly inhabited by the Arab Bedouins of Sudan, such as the Rashaida, the Ansar, the Awazim, and other Arabian tribes. The hafir is an important source of water.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephenson, David; Shemang, E.M.; Chaoka, T.R. (15 August 2004). Water Resources of Arid Areas: Proceedings of the International Conference on Water Resources of Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Africa, Garborone, Botswana, 3-6 August 2004. Taylor & Francis. pp. 315–. ISBN 978-0-415-35913-9. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  2. ^ Darosa, A. E. M.; H. Agab. "A field survey of some camel (Camelus dromedarius) production traits and constraints in Butana area, Sudan". Sudan University of Science and Technology. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Sudanimals.com". Archived from the original on 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
  4. ^ "The Island of Meroe", UNESCO World Heritage
  5. ^ "The Meroitic State: Nubia as a Hellenistic African State. 300 B.C.-350 AD", Nubia Museum, Aswan, Egypt Archived 2006-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Osman Elkhair and Imad-eldin Ali, Ancient Meroe Site: Naqa and Musawwarat es-Sufra (recent photographs)

Coordinates: 14°N 35°E / 14°N 35°E / 14; 35