During the construction of the Aswan High Dam "Sadd el-Ali" between 1960 and 1970 there was an international effort to rescue the Nubian monuments and archaeological sites, which would be submerged once the dam was completed. The American Research Center team under the direction of Dr. Nicholas B. Millet, were given the project of excavating the site of Gebel Adda in January 1963 and the following three winter seasons.

After working at a Roman site in Switzerland I became interested in participating in this project and wrote to Dr. Millet. I was very fortunate to receive a friendly invitation from him to join his expedition team.


Gebel Adda was located on the east bank of the River Nile, about five kilometers south of Abu Simbel and opposite the town of Ballana. The townsite, also referred to as the Citadel, was situated on a prominent sandstone ridge overlooking the river. On the plane and encircling the Citadel were large cemeteries dating from the Meroitic, X-Group, Christian and Ottoman period. The size of our concession, starting from Gebel el-Shams in the south towards the Wadi el-Ur in the north, was immense and due to the fast raising water level our time, with only four excavation seasons, was very limited and a fifth season was not possible.


Over the years several members of our Gebel Adda team have passed away and I thought it necessary, since time runs so fast, to present on this website some additional unpublished photographic material of this interesting site, which is now flooded by the waters of Lake Nasser.




My special thanks go to Dr. David N. Edward, University of Leicester, England, without his generous help and professional advice it would not have been possible to publish the articles on Gebel Adda in the Bulletin "Sudan & Nubia".


I would like to thank Dr. Sabine Deschler, University of Basel, Switzerland, for her advice relating to the breast plate found at the X-Group Tumulus 151 in Cemetery 1.


Many thanks also go to the other expedition members: Dr. Horst Jaritz, Dr. Kent R. Weeks and  M.A.P. Minns, for their photographs and to Richard Edlund and Diane Nelson for their drawings. We are also grateful for the excellent work of Rais Abbady Ahmed Hamid and his skilled workmen from Quft.


This website is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Nicholas B, Millet who was an excellent scholar and an extremely nice and friendly person.


All photographs and drawings on this website are by Reinhard Huber, except where noted otherwise. 

He can be contacted at:

Our Dahabiya "Osiris" leaving Gebel Adda on the way to Shellal at the end of the first season 1963.

In the center of the photograph is Dr. Nicholas B. Millet and on the upper deck some members of the staff.