Sudan – pryamids, desert & not many visitorsMonday, 5 December 2016
I’ve been rather slow in posting on my travels this year, I’ll try and catch up before the end of 2016, starting with a recent week in Sudan. I started and finished in Khartoum, the capital city, and travelled around North Sudan in between.
▲ Until we got to Naqa and the Temple of Apedemak, the Egyptian lion-headed God. The king and queen who built the temple are shown on the front of it, subduing their enamies. The king is holding up his beaten enemies by their hair while a lion eats another between his feet:
▲ There were beautifully carved bas-reliefs all around the temple. From the left Amun the ram-headed God, Horus the falcon-headed God and Apedemak the lion-headed God and the king making offerings to them.
▲ We continued on to Musawarat with another Apedemak Temple with more wonderful bas reliefs. it’s about 35km off the road to Naqa, 15km to Musawarat and then 20km back to the road, so a reasonable excursion. And it definitely needs 4WD, there are some very deep sandy patches to churn through, which my driver Michel managed with alacrity. If you didn’t have a local driver and didn’t know which of the numerous turns to take a GPS location would be useful as well.
▲ Egypt has a few big pyramids, Sudan has lots and lots of smaller ones. Many of the pyramids at Meroe are square topped because of Giuseppe Ferlini, an Italian treasure hunter who came by in 1834 and lopped the tops off looking for treasure. Naughty man. Wikipedia describes him as a vandal.
▲ From Meroe we carried on to Karima and El Kuru with a crumbling pyramid and a number of tombs, most of them broken and open. Two of them still have well preserved tomb paintings although we could only find the man-with-the-key for one of them.
◄ My favourite Nuri pyramid.
▲ Jebel means ‘mountain’ in Arabic and the Jebel Barkal is an outcrop near where I was staying in Karima. We got back just in time for me to climb it for the sunset and look out over another group of pyramids.
◄ Before a really beautiful sunset.