The Kush archaeological digs took place far from major cities or towns. The area, including this desert near the al-Widay site, is scheduled to be flooded by a 1,000-megawatt Nile River dam that is under construction.
Teams from six countries are working with the Sudanese antiquities service to salvage what they can before the waters rise, probably in late 2008. More than 2,500 archaeological sites will be lost to the dam's 108-mile-long (173-kilometer-long) reservoir.
The desert took its toll on the diggers from Chicago. Geoff Emberling, a co-leader of the project, said three members of the team each lost more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms) during the three-month excavation.