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Meinarti (also Mainarti) was an island with a Nubian village in northern Sudan. Situated in the Nile, Meinarti was just north of the 2nd Cataract, a few kilometers upstream of the Sudanese border town of Wadi Halfa. A little further north, on the west bank, was the ancient Egyptian settlement, Buhen. Meinarti was excavated by William Yewdale Adams from 1962 to 1964, prior to perishing in the 1960s with the rising of Lake Nubia due to the Aswan Dam.

The oldest settlement dates back to the late Meroitic period around 300 AD. The early settlement seems to have been destroyed by a flood of the Nile. Around 660 AD, during the Christian period, the city of Nobatia was built, measuring 200 x 80 meters. The main construction material, mud bricks, were used on low stone base dwellings. The population is estimated to have been 200 to 400. The church was situated east of the village. During its renovation, a tile floor of quarry stones was applied over a concrete floor. There was also a 12th or 13th century monastery on the south side of the island, dedicated St. Michael. The village was probably abandoned in 1286 by order of King Semamun due to an impending attack by the Mamluks. The town was re-settled afterwards as, in the middle of the 14th century, it was known to be inhabited by Arabs. The Arabs were expelled in 1500 and a Christian population returned. The island remained populated until the middle of the 19th century. During the Turkish-Egyptian rule, the soldiers of the garrison at Wadi Halfa held he medieval fortress island before the defeat of the Mahdi uprising.[1]


  • William Yewdale Adams: Sudan Antiquities Service Excavations at Meinarti, 1963–64. Kush 13, 1965
  • William Yewdale Adams: Meinarti II: The Early and Classic Christian Phases. Sudan Archaeological Research Society Publication 6, 2001, ISBN 1841712531
  • William Yewdale Adams: Meinarti III: the late and terminal Christian phases. Archaeopress, Oxford 2002, ISBN 1841714518
  • William Yewdale Adams: Meinarti IV and V: The Church and the Cemetery. The History of Meinarti, An Interpretive Overview. Sudan Archaeological Research Society Publication Number 11, 2003, ISBN 184171545X
  • Derek A. Welsby: The Medieval Kingdoms of Nubia. London 2002, S. 124–27, ISBN 0-7141-1947-4
  1. ^ William Ywedale Adams: Nubia Corridor to Africa. Princeton University Press, Princeton 1977, p. 488

Coordinates: 21°00′25″N 30°34′40″E / 21.00694°N 30.57778°E / 21.00694; 30.57778