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Hisn al-Bab

FRI Sept. 8, 2017, 4:30 PM-5:30 PM, Ars Electronica Center, Deep Space 8K
Limited space offer: Tickets available 30 minutes before the start at Ars Electronica Center's cash register

Credit: Magdalena Sickl-Leitner

Dr. Pamela Rose (UK)

This presentation invites the audience to experience the archaeological site Hisn al-Bab. It is little known but nevertheless played a significant role in Egyptian history, both with respect to its geography and its chronology. In historical terms, it was active at the very end of Roman rule and the Early Medieval Period, long after the pharaohs.

At this time the border region between Nubia and Egypt was a political hotspot. It comes as little surprise then that Hisn al-Bab, the site at the heart of our project, saw the building of several successive forts.

The ruin is as spectacular as its setting, opposite the Temple of Philae high up on the eastern shore of the river south of the low dam at Aswan, its walls preserved to a height of eight meters. In addition to the visual experience of a unique and, until recently, completely unstudied monument, we will present the results of several seasons of excavations. These help to understand the daily life of the inhabitants of the fort.

Modern technology gives us the opportunity to visit and present a site that is remote in location and also inaccessible to tourists. The exact three-dimensional documentation of the ruin is a prerequisite for conservation and protection, and also provides the means to introduce the site to a wider international public, thus ensuring its future survival.


The project is financed by the FWF Austrian Science Fund. The scanning was carried out by the Technical University, Vienna: Prof. M. Doering, T. Mitterecke, I. Mayer, G. Styhler-Adin.

Scan + Postprocessing: TU Wien, Fachgebiet Baugeschichte und Bauforschung (Prof. M. Döring), DI Irmengard Mayer
und DI Thomas Mitterecker.