Thought lost in WW2, records discovery reveals secrets of ancient people

A researcher has uncovered a set of historical records thought to have been lost during the Second World War, and the information contained in them has shed new light on an ancient people.


Jenny Metcalfe, a biomedical Egyptologist with the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, uncovered documents known as "recording cards" from one of the first-ever excavations conducted in Lower Nubia in the early 20th century.

Nubia was an ancient region in northeast Africa centered on the Nile River valley that extended across what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt. This region, inhabited by the Nubian people, was the home of one of the earliest civilizations in ancient Africa thousands of years ago.

Over the millennia, various cultures and kingdoms emerged and disappeared in the region, perhaps the most notable being the Kushite Empire. The region—parts of which were ruled by ancient Egyptian pharaohs at times—is traditionally divided into two portions: Lower and Upper Nubia. The "lower" portion is actually the northern part of Nubia.

Human remains from ancient Nubia uncovered in the early 20th century. A researcher uncovered historical records from excavations in Lower Nubia that shed new light on the ancient peoples of this region. The University of Manchester

Metcalfe found the recording cards hidden in an archive at the University of Cambridge while conducting research for her book, The Archaeological Survey of Nubia Season 2 (1908-9) Report on the Human Remains.


By Aristos Georgiou / Newsweek Science and Health Reporter

Aristos is a Newsweek science reporter with the London, U.K., bureau. He reports on science and health topics, including; animal, mental health, and psychology-related stories. Aristos joined Newsweek in 2018 from IBTimes UK and had previously worked at The World Weekly. He is a graduate of the University of Nottingham and City University, London. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Aristos by emailing [email protected]

(Source:; January 8, 2024;
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