Monastery of Ghazali 500AD, makura -christian nubia <the throne room is in the #historyxt thread at dongola>

hope to include more entries from sudan's christian period 500-1400AD,more;
more about nubia's christian monasteries here 
more on old dongola
while i wont include all A C and X-group nubian towns (they're too many) ill adda few that became christianised
the city dates back to 3800BC, but the cathedral was first used in 700s, the ruins were latter flooded for a dam
qsar ibrm
first settled in the 8thcentury BC, grew under the kingdom of makuria <8th century>
the first churches were built in the 6th century and contain many documents in old nubian, greek, arabic and coptic
-bishop gerogios' stele
musawwarat es-sufra meroitic temple complex

is a large <55,000m2, 20 column> planned cluster of sandstone temples, courtyards, workshops that served various purposes from 270BC-
including elephant training and astronomy
great enclosure
bas relief
lion temple

sculptures of elephants, gods <amun?> and kings

like most pre-christian temples, its grounds were later reused during the christian period as a cemetary
kerma 3,000BC

was the capital of the kerma culture<later kingdom> that initially begun as three separate neolithic cultures, later united by 2500BC <until 1500BC> within extensive constructions including the (now ruined) deffufas, a palace and the walled city itself

one of the largest ruined ancient cities of meroitic kush
occupation starts after 350BC ending after the axumite invasion in the 4th century

the site features some of the best preserved classics of kushite architecture like the apedemak <nubian lion-god> temple
constructed by king natakamani and queen amanitore during kush's golden age
depicting both of them smiting enemies
bas-reliefs of Three-headed Apedemak
"roman kiosk" -actually a transitory/stationary shrine of a smaller nubian deity facing apedemak

👇amun temple, columns
banganarti, sudan
a meroitic to makurian era christian city with two large 6th cent churches, containing over 70 murals (including one of the world's oldest images of the virgin mary and archangel raphael), 1000 inscriptions in old nubian & greek
the church's
architectural styles borrow heavily from meroitic temples from its pre-christian era
it was a major pilgrimage centre for southern nubian states travelling to jerusalem
paintings indicate the makurians were in contact with other christian states like Byzantine
"Wad ban Naqa" <not to be confused with naqa/naga> was an important meroitic-era kushite city from the 350BC-
especially during the era amanishakheto and her son natakamani ,


amanishakheto's palace and apedemak, amun temples
circular temple
Amanitore's bas relief
Old Dongola -600AD, was the capital of Makuria The site contains many ruins like the 12-column granite church, houses, palaces and graves. most prominent ruin being the citadel/Mosque, originally a Christian coronation hall that was converted into a mosque in 1317 CE.
👆throne, church, houses, tombs

-The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa
T. Insoll

-The medieval kingdoms of Nubia: pagans, Christians and Muslims along the Middle Nile
D. A. Welsby

-The Nubian Past: An Archaeology of the Sudan
D. N. Edwards
dangeil was a (7th century BC- ) napatan era city of kush


most prominent ruin is the 1st century AD amun temple likely built by queen amanitore and a large 4th century fortress, it was abandoned after the aksumite invasion of kush
cc; @Amesemi
gebel adda 100AD

the now-flooded fortified city was built during the (late) meroitic - (mukurian) christian era <1st -15th century AD>
the site includes a meroitic stonewall and temple, christian palace, a number of churches and numerous houses
another feature of the makurian state were its hilltop christian monasteries

masida was a small makurian church built in the medieval era , its mudbrick walls still preserve the remains of wallpaintings
3rd-2nd cent. BC meroitic era;

temple of dakka built by king Arqamani

temple of debod was built by king Adikhalamani <now in spain>


both built when kush annexed lower nubia by arqamani taking advantage of Hugronaphor's revolt
both later extended by the ptolemies
6th-12th century medieval nubian forts of Hisn al-Bab and kulubnarti -the later was converted into a castle

such forts were common during the christian era esp as makuria faced a hostile mamluk and ottoman egypt

Hisn fort and stables
Kulubnarti island fort/houses
The forts of Hisn al-Bab and the First Cataract Frontier
A L. Gascoigne and P J. Rose

Mighty Kingdoms and their Forts
Mariusz Drzewiecki

Kulubnarti I: The Architectural Remains
W Y. Adams

The power of walls fortifications in ancient Northeastern Africa
F Jesse, C. Vogel
8th century BC fortress of Gala Abu Ahmed in sudan


the 120 x 180m napatan era drystone fortress now mostly covered in sand housed over 200 soldiers in several buildings
it was abandoned during the meroitic era
for more on similar nubian fortresses, see sources in thread

The power of walls : fortifications in ancient Northeastern Africa: Proceedings of the international workshop held at the University of Cologne 4th-7th August 2011
Friederike Jesse, Carola Vogel
Sedeinga 400BC

was a napatan-meroitic era town and cemetery of elites of the kingdom of kush in over 35 small pyramids with a unique inner cycle <cupola> design probably an extension of kerma's tumulus burials

cupola-type pyramids
intel of the goddess maat
9th cent. BC el kurru napatan royal cemetery , sudan

the oldest of the five major nubian cemeteries of the kingdom of kush <including 25th dynasty>

-mortuary temple
-"k 1" pyramid - largest at the site <abt 1/4 of giza>
-paintings in Tanutamani & Qalhata's tombs
they initially begun as tumuli -a revival of nubian mortuary traditions from kerma later transitioning into more steeply inclined pyramids borrowing from the old-kingdom style after piye's reign
the site was settled from the napatan era and abandoned after the christian era
kawa/gematon - 2400BC-400AD


is an ancient city in sudan, settlement dates back to the kerma period <25th cent> growing into a pharaonic town <14th cent.> declining then resurging during the kushite <BC 8th- AD 4th cent> era from which most of the ruins are dated 1/2
-taharqo's 684BC temple and shrine
-one of the 16 pyramids found at the meroitic era cemetery
-tin bronze offering table

most of the ruins are buried in windblown sand, pyramids were built for both the commoners and the elite most were destroyed by grave robbers
AL-khandaq 6th century (?)

settlement dates back to the kushite era, the city grew under the makurian kingdom during which the fortress was built around the 13th century, occupation continued during the islamic era under the funj kingdom
-gate to city
as one of the sultanate's northernmost towns with a number of mudbrick structures dating from that era, itd later went through a resurgence by the end of the 19th century after which it was mostly abandoned by the 70s

-abandoned houses
1st century BC Nalote/Karanog was a provincial capital of the meroitic kingdom occupied till the christian era <now flooded under lake nasser>
the city contained a governor's "castle" (inset👇) , two temples, a pyramid-cemeteries and several storied mudbrick homes
Gebel barkal <13th, 8th - 1st cent. BC>
was large nubian city during the empire of kush <25th dynasty egypt> the site has one of the most extensive complex of kushite temples considered a sacred site 1/2

-piye's amun temple
-taharqa's mut temple
-kushite pyramids
<holy mountain>
the most prominent ruins on the site are the temples of amun <small temple built by Thutmose III, rebuilt and expanded by piye, destroyed by the romans, rebuilt by natakamani> and mut <built by taharqa> and the pyramids
László Török's to books;

The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization,

Between Two Worlds: The Frontier Region Between Ancient Nubia and Egypt,

The Double Kingdom Under Taharqo
Jeremy W. Pope
7th cent. BC
nuri royal necropolis

one of several nubian cemeteries. consisting of over 20 pyramids.
construction started with pharaoh taharqa (of the 25th dynasty) and ceased with King Nastasen in the 4th cent BC afterwhich the capital and necropolis moved to meroe
For list of nubian sovereigns buried at nuri

Ancient Nubia

For general history of the region;
Between Two Worlds: The Frontier Region Between Ancient Nubia and Egypt, 3700 BC-AD 500
László Török
taharqo's shrine built in 680 BC inside his larger temple at kawa
-ashmolean museum
the shrine symbolically functioned as the "dwelling" of king within the temple by the king who was chosen as pharaoh by amun of napata "lord of the throne of Two-lands"
25th dynasty
pharaoh taharqo was a prolific builder undertaking extensive construction works in both egypt and sudan receding temples, shrines and colossal status in his double kingdom
he had promised to build the temple before his 701BC battle against sennacarib that rescued jerusalem
selib, sudan 1st cent. AD
occupation dates back to the meroitic era, it grew during the christian era under the makurian kingdom when five churches were constructed surrounded by a defensive wall serving as a fort

-st menas church
-phase I church and baptismal area
on selib
Filling in the gaps. Excavations on the site of Selib (1st to 13th century)
Bogdan Żurawski

The medieval kingdoms of Nubia: pagans, Christians and Muslims along the Middle Nile
Derek A. Welsby
It was the capital of the Mahdist state in 1881 (which covered much of modern sudan)
with a population of over 250,000

-view of old town
-Original tomb of the Mahdist state's nubian founder Muhammad Ahmad built 1885
-Khalifa house built 1888
-ruined gate
Sanam temple, 675BC -Sudan built by pharaoh taharqo

the first half of his reign was a period of prosperity for the kushite empire which extended as far as lebanon and vast building projects were undertaken
Temples like these became the nuclei for urban settlements
Fortresses of the late and post-Meroitic period, Sudan
(2nd-6th cent. A.D) a period of social upheaval b'tn the fall of meroe, the aksumite-kushite wars and rise of Christian nubia
-ras al-jazira
-umm marrahi
- el-koro
- al-hilla (1415 late christian/early islamic)
The Fortresses of Mograt Island Project
Gareth Rees, et al.

Expedition to Hosh el-Kab, Abu Nafisa, and Umm Marrahi forts.
Mariusz Drzewiecki et al.

The Nubian past : an archeology of sudan
David Edwards

13th cent. Duweishat church and settlement, sudan

A large mudbrick church surrounded by around 25 drystone houses and a cemetary; all from the late christian nubia era, likely functioned as a monastery.

Photos:The Archaeological Survey of Sudanese Nubia (ASSN) 1963-1969

Site archaeology:
Kush: Journal of the Sudan Antiquities Service, Volume 13

Architectural Evolution of the Nubian Church, 500-1400 A.D.
William Y. Adams
The fortified christian nubian city of sabagura
Built in the 6th/7th cent. within a 150m long enclosing wall were many mudbrick houses with nubian vaults and two large vaulted churches built in the 9th cent.
It's one of several early-christian nubian fortresses
The city is now flooded under lake nasser.
It was one of the northernmost nubian cities of the early Christian era (associated with the kingdom of noubadia)

Reading ...
The power of walls: Fortifications in ancient North Eastern Africa
F. Jesse C. Vogel
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