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Wonders: City of Jebel Barkal


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Photo: granite monument Jebel Barkal was the capital and spiritual center of the ancient black kingdoms of the Nile for nearly a millenium. Pharaoh Ramses II constructed a temple to the Theban god Amon at Jebel Barkal in the 13th century B.C.; he and other Nubian pharaohs believed that the spirit of Amon resided in the mountain. King Taharqa, one of the greatest Nubian pharaohs, had the mountain's peak in gold during his reign in the 7th century B.C. and his name inscribed on a monument there.

During the 8th century B.C., King Piye further expanded his kingdom into Egypt after the Nubians conquered the Egyptians. He restored the temple at Jebel Barkal and erected a granite monument inscribed with 159 lines of hieroglyphs -- the oldest and most extensively detailed surviving ancient Egyptian text. Jebel Barkal remained the capital of the Nubian kingdom until it was moved to MeroŽ around 300 B.C.

Compiled by Jamila White

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