Inscriptions of the Church of Sonqi Tino

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Sonqi Tino is the place of a little church that has been excavated between 1966 and 1970 by a team of the University of La Sapienza, Rome, under the direction of Prof. Sergio Donadoni with the support of the Vatican State, represented by Fr. Giovanni Vantini.


In the church of Sonqi Tino (which means West Sonqi), 14 frescoes have been found and about 100 inscriptions. None of them has been yet be published.

Many of them are short graffiti but the longer ones are written with ink. Unfortunately many are damaged and difficult to read.


The language of these inscriptions is Greek for about the half and Old Nubian for the other half. No Coptic inscription has been found. Since many graffiti are short and the Greek letters are the same as the Nubian it is sometimes impossible to decide between the two languages.

State of the inscriptions

Some inscription has been transported in the Khartoum Museum with the frescoes. But many of the other has been destroyed by the waters. We have only photographs of them and the transcription done by Prof. Donadoni. Both are problematic to use.

Future Work

We hope to publish the graffiti, which contain many personal names and titles, and the longer inscriptions both in Greek and in Nubian which can bring some light in the story of Nubia and in Old Nubian language.