Jebel Barkal and Karima, Sudan
Prior to the Meroitic period of 300BC to 300AD, the Kushite Kings of Egypt's 25th dynasty ruled both Egypt and Sudan from 747BC. As far back as 1500BC it was recognized that Jebel Barkal in Nubia was the sacred site of the god Amun, and over the centuries the cult of Amun revolved around the Kushite royalty. With the 25th dynasty, the Kushite King Kashta laid the foundations for the Nubian capital of Nabata at Jebel Barkal. His successors more traditionally ruled from Thebes (present-day Luxor, in Egypt), before the Assyrians under Ashurbanipal finally ended the dynasty with the defeat of the great King Taharqa's son in 663BC forcing the Nubians back to Nabata. Taharqa who ruled for 26 years is regarded as one of the great pharaohs - he is mentioned in the Bible in both the books of Isaiah and the second book of Kings, as Tirhakah, who fought with Hezekiah of Judah against the Assyrian King Sennacherib to save Jerusalem - because of his extensive building program including additions to the temples in Karnak, and as far north as Tanis in the Nile Delta.
We went first to el-Kurru, a few miles south of Karima, to see the royal burial chambers belonging to King Tantamani and Queen Kalhata.
Falcon-headed god Horus in the tombs of al-Kurru