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Russian archaeologists have discovered ancient fortresses of gold miners in Sudan

Archaeologists from Moscow State University described the results of the first season of the archaeological mission to the site of medieval gold mining centre in Sudan desert — they have found fortresses, residential areas and a necropolis.
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«It is believed that in ancient times there was the city of Berenika Zolotaya where the site is now. The choice of the name was not accidental: the mines located near it significantly (by twenty times, according to Pliny the Elder’s report) surpassed the other large mines in terms of productivity. There is also the assumption that even at the turn of the XII-XIII centuries BC wealth attracted prospectors to Derakhayb, who founded the settlement there,» Alexei Krol explained. Alexei Krol has Ph.D. in History and is a senior research fellow at the Department of Science Collections and Expositions of the Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology of Moscow State University.

The main part of the ancient site covers an area of one square kilometre. The archaeologists have discovered two fortresses there, as well as a settlement, three residential zones and a necropolis. Walls of fortifications, reaching 10 meters, are well preserved. The famous mines have also been found nearby. Despite that the excavations of the site have been going on for a long time — the French expedition made the first plans of Derahabe as early as 1832 — the first systematic study of the settlement was started only recently by Russian archaeologists.

Members of MSU used GPS to identify all the objects at the site in 2017, put them on the map and described carefully. The scientists made use of the new technique — created a three-dimensional computer model of one of the fortresses.

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