Beneath a deserted Sudanese town called Old Dongola on the Nile River, Polish archaeologists have found a large centrally located church they think might contain the tomb of a powerful archbishop from Nubia’s Christian period. Though Sudan’s population today practices Islam, in the 8th century the Kingdom of Makuria was a Christian stronghold that conducted foreign diplomacy with Muslim Egypt, Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire. The Poles had expected to find a town square because a church found in the 1960s was assumed to be the ancient capital’s primary place of worship.

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