Page images
PDF
EPUB

the ruins of the pylon of a temple which was decorated with sculptured scenes.

2. The Temple of Piānkhi (B). Piānkhi ruled at Napata in the last quarter of the VIIIth century B.C., and is famous as the Nubian monarch who invaded and conquered all Egypt. His temple, according to the figures of Mr. Hoskins, measured 500 feet in length and 135 feet in width. The first court, which contained 26 columns about 6 ft. in diameter, measured 150 feet by 135 feet; the second court, which contained 46 columns about 5$ feet in diameter, measured 125 feet by 102 feet; the hypostyle hall, which contained 10 columns about 4 feet in diameter, measured 51 feet by 56 feet; the chamber leading to the sanctuary measured 40 feet by 28 feet ; and the sanctuary, which contained three shrines, probably for Åmen-Rā, Mut, and Khonsu, 37 feet by 21} feet. The pylon which divided the two courts was decorated with battle scenes, processions, and the like. Close in under the hill are the remains of a temple which seems to have been built and added to by later Nubian kings, for the reliefs which were on its walls belong to the class which is found in the island of Meroë, further south. An idea of the style of the reliefs in this temple will be gained from the following illustration, which is taken from Cailliaud's Voyage. Here we see the Nubian king, who calls himself “the pacifier of the two lands, king of the South and North, Se-kheper-ren-Rā, the son of the sun, the lord of diadems, Senka-Åmen-seken, giver of life, like the sun.” The prenomen of this king, Se-kheper-ren-Rā

means, Rā createth name' (or renown), and his nomen shows that he was a devotee of the god Åmen-Rā. He is here depicted in the act of clubbing the representatives of a number of vanquished peoples in the presence of the god Amen, who is

offering him a short sword. An interesting collection of stelæ containing inscriptions of Piānkhi and Heru-sa-åtef, and the texts of the histories of the Dream, and the Enthronement, and the Excommunication, drawn up for certain Nubian kings, was found some years ago among the ruins of the great temple of Piānkhi at Gebel Barkal; all these are now in the Cairo Museum. The condition of the ruins at Gebel Barkal renders it extremely difficult to gain any exact idea of the appearance of the temples as a whole, but they can never have impressed the beholder

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Senka-Amen-seken, king of Nubia, clubbing his foes.

(Drawn from Cailliaud.)

with the sense of massiveness and dignity which seems to be the peculiar attribute of the great temples of Egypt. The temple remains at Gebel Barkal are naturally not to be compared with those of Şulb, but the site is one of great historic interest, for there is little reason to doubt that the Egyptian occupation of the country is certainly as old as the time of the kings of the XIIth dynasty.

At Nûri, or Nurri, 7 miles from Marawi, on the west

bank of the Nile, are the remains of 35 pyramids, which probably formed the tombs of the kings and royal personages of Napata. These pyraroids are better and more solidly built than any others which the writer has seen in the Sûdân, and in very few cases do their cores consist of anything besides well-hewn sandstone blocks laid in regular courses. Each pyramid had originally a chapel in front of its face on the south-east side, but every building of the

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

kind has long since disappeared, and there is not an inscription or bas-relief left by which any of them may be dated. The style of building suggests the Middle Empire, but only excavations of an extensive character can decide this question. The remains of two temples are to be found there, and the ruins of buildings which are found all the way between Şanam Abû.Dôm and Nûrî prove that in the flourishing times of the kingdom of Nubia a great city must have extended nearly the whole way between these places. The whole district could, under an honest government, become very flourishing, but it will need many years to recover from the misery and desolation caused in the first place by the incapacity, cruelty, and dishonesty of the officials who represented the Turkish Government, and secondly by the Mahdi and the Khalifa.

At Karêma, quite close to Marawî, is the terminus of the new line which runs from No. 10 Station in the Abû Hamed Desert along the right bank of the Nile to Marawi. The line is about 138 miles long, and is of great importance, for it brings the Provinces of Dongola and Marawi into close touch with the main line and makes Sawâkin or Port Sûdân their sea-port.

At Bělăl, or Bellal, 8} miles from Marawi, is the foot of the Fourth Cataract, which extends to Abû Hamed, a distance of 140 miles. A few miles beyond Bělăl, on the west bank, are the remains of a Coptic building, part monastery and part fortress, which contained a church, and opposite Hamdab Island, about 6 miles further on, are the ruins of a pyramid. The journey from Bělál to Abû Hamed is difficult, but the following places in the Cataract will always possess interest for the British. Birti, 48 miles from Marawî, the headquarters of the River Column in the Nile Expedition of 1884; Kirbikân, 56 miles from Marawî, where the British defeated the Dervishes, February 10, 1885, and General Earle was killed by a Dervish who "sniped' him from a hut; Salamât, 80 miles from Marawî, which was occupied by the British on February 17; and Hebbah, 88 miles from Marawi. On the 18th of September, 1884, the steamer Abbas, with Colonel Stewart on board, was run aground on the west side of the Island of Hebbah, and every one of the 44 men on board, except four, was treacherously murdered

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »