Institute of Archaeology


Michael Brass - Honorary Research Fellow


Name: Dr Michael Brass

Honorary Title: Honorary Research Fellow

Email: michael.brass@ucl.ac.uk

IoA staff nominator’s name and email address:

Dorian Fuller d.fuller@ucl.ac.uk


IoA involvement:

Michael co-directs the UCL – UoK-NCAM Expedition to the Southern Gezira (Sudan): Mobility, identity and interaction of pastoral peoples with the Nile Valley expedition. It is a partnership between the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the Department of Archaeology at the University of Khartoum and the National Corporation of Antiquities & Museums (Sudan). The project works at the site of Jebel Moya, originally excavated by the founder of the Wellcome Trust. The excavations are currently funded by the Society for Libyan Studies. It has the largest number of excavated mortuary remains in sub-Saharan Africa with a little under 3200 human burials. Recent finds included the second oldest known domesticated sorghum, identified by Dorian Fuller and Chris Stevens. Kevin MacDonald is the archaeozoologist. In 2018-19, Patrick Quinn and Michael supervised a PhD student’s petrographic study of pottery sherds assigned to the last phase of occupation from the first millennium BC onwards.


Research Publications

  • Brass, M. and Vella Gregory, I. 2020. The chronological and social implications of the pottery from Jebel Moya (south-central Sudan). Journal of Archaeological Science Reports: Under Review.
  • Brass, M., Adam, A., Vella Gregory, I., Abdallah, R., Alawad, O., Abdalla, A., Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, I., Wellings, J., Albadwi, A., Le Moyne, C., Hassan, F., Abdelrahman, A., 2020. The second season of excavations at Jebel Moya (south-central Sudan). Libyan Studies 51. https://doi.org/10.1017/lis.2020.9
  • Brass, M., Fuller, D.Q., MacDonald, K., Stevens, C., Adam, A., Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, I., Abdallah, R., Alawad, O., Abdalla, A., Vella Gregory, I., Wellings, J., Hassan, F., Abdelrahman, A., 2019. New findings on the significance of Jebel Moya in the eastern Sahel. Azania 54, 425–444.
  • [Note: This was published as part of the Special Issue entitled Beyond the Nile: new archaeological research in Sudan and South Sudan which I was the guest editor of. The papers in this issue form the backdrop to a call for an increased focus on societies and communities outside the Nilotic Valley and for a recognition that they stand in their own right inside of serving as bit-players to dramas occurring along the main Nile River valley.]
  • Brass, M., 2019. The Emergence of Mobile Pastoral Elites during the Middle to Late Holocene in the Sahara. Journal of African Archaeology 17, 53–75. doi:10.1163/21915784-20190003
  • Brass, M. 2015. Interactions and pastoralism along the southern and southeastern frontiers of the Meroitic state, Sudan. Journal of World Prehistory 28: 1-34.