Places– of Charm

Are you as fascinated as I am with two ancient kingships along the Nile, Egyptian and Nubian?  The first relief (raised carvings on a flat background) is Egyptian, the photo courtesy of Charlie Phillips.


Relief of Seti I (an Egyptian pharaoh) making a devotional offering to two gods–Horus. Temple of Seti I, Abydos, Egypt. 

It’s interesting to compare Egyptian reliefs with that of Nubian King Arnekhame, Horus, and his wife at the Musawwarat es-Sufra.  This temple is one of the most beautiful ancient monuments still surviving in present-day Sudan. No historical documents survive from his reign. Because his temple relief’s are so beautiful and powerful, archaeologists believe that Arnekhamani supported growth of art and architecture. He and his dynasty also promoted the worship of the Meroitic lion god Apedemak, who became as important to the Meroitic people as Amun.  Meroi was the Nubian city in lower Egypt, once under the leadership of Egypt when “lower Egypt” was considered the Egyptian frontier.  Kushites (Nubians) kept moving south and much to their delight, discovered iron!  This amazing discovery which supported agricultural prosperity also allowed them a military advantage, and they conquered upper Egypt.  Later they were driven out by Assyrians, but Merio was a key center for iron technology.



6 thoughts on “Places– of Charm

  1. Wade Coleman

    Kathleen, I’m a bit of a Bible buff. King Solomon was at times symbolized as a lion. In first Book of Kings (10: 19-20) Solomon’s throne is described: “The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays [handrests] on either side on the place of the seat and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps there was not the like made in any kingdom.”

  2. Kathleen Rowland

    Thank you for your information, Wade. Solomon’s reign was from 971 – 931 BCE. Nubians were creating their independent kingdom of Kush about a hundred years earlier. The Nubian lion god Apedemak was worshipped regularly.

  3. Kathleen Rowland

    Mary Alice, you’re so right! Apedemak was the most popularly worshipped God in the Nubian city of Meroi. Sometimes Apedemak, the lion-headed warrior god, was depicted as a three-headed with four arms. In relief, he was a single-headed leonine deity.

  4. Wade Coleman

    The lion warrior god Apedemak was entirely a product of the Nubian culture at Merio and was not found in the Egyptian culture.

  5. Kathleen Rowland

    Hey Wade, thanks again for your input. This points to the fact that although influenced by Egyptians, the Kush (Nubian) civilization had ideas about cosmic influences of their own. The god Horus, the god of the sky that looked like a falcon, was worshipped in lower Egypt (Kush) as well as Osiris.

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