A hilltop fortress in , across the river and slightly upstream from the famous temple of . It was, along with IBRIM and FARAS, one of the three most important administrative centers in Lower in the medieval period.

Because only limited excavation was done in the fortress of Jabal ‘Adda prior to its flooding by the waters of , many details of its history are obscure. The original fortifications may date from the age, as do the similar fortifications of Qasr Ibrim. At a slightly later date, Jabal ‘Adda became a major administrative center in Meroitic times; it appears in Meroitic texts under the name Ado. The place may have suffered a temporary eclipse under the post-Meroitic kingdom of , but the large cemetery found nearby shows that it continued to be occupied.

Jabal ‘Adda is named by IBN SALIM AL-ASWANI as one of the three main towns in Lower Nubia at the end of the tenth century. It is not identified by him or by any other author as an episcopal see, but the main Jabal ‘Adda church was certainly far larger than most others in Lower Nubia. There were also at least three other churches in the immediate vicinity.

Jabal ‘Adda evidently attained its greatest importance in the late medieval period, when its fortified hilltop setting assumed a new strategic significance. The place is mentioned repeatedly by Arab chroniclers after the , usually under the name Daww (see ). From these sources we learn that the eparch of Nobatia, or “Lord of the Mountain,” had his main headquarters at in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, though his name is associated also with Qasr Ibrim and with MEINARTI. The fortress was temporarily seized by invaders in 1275; in 1365 the rulers of the crumbling of attempted to establish their own capital there. After the breakup of , Jabal ‘Adda evidently became the center of the splinter kingdom of Dotawo, to which it gave its name. Here a Christian monarchy survived for another century or more, finally disappearing near the end of the fifteenth century.

When the Ottomans annexed Nubia in the sixteenth century, a small garrison force was stationed at Jabal ‘Adda. Apparently it occupied Jabal ‘Adda until some time in the eighteenth century. There is no indication as to exactly when or why the settlement was finally abandoned, but it was evidently before the visit of J. L. Burckhardt in 1813.


  • Adams, W. Y. Nubia, Corridor to , pp. 350-55, 400-401, 494, 534-35. Princeton, N.J., 1977.
  • Millet, N. B. “Meroitic Nubia.” Doctoral dissertation, Department of History, Yale University, 1958.
  • , U. La Nubia médioevale, Vol. 1, pp. 176-181. Cairo, 1935.
  • Vantini, G. Christianity in the Sudan, pp. 194-200. Bologna, 1981.

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