Day 3: Karima – Jebel Barkal – El Kurru
Landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal «Jebel» means Mountain in Arabic can be seen from a few dozen kilometres whilst still in the open desert. At the foot of this wonderful and isolated red sandstone mountain, considered holy since the ancient times, there is a big temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron, Amon. Amon’s ancient “Pure Mountain”, the Olympus of the Nubians, was the religious Nubian heart for more than 1000 years. Besides the ruins of the big temple there are still several sculptured granite rams that were supposed to border a long avenue that probably led to the pier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a big room decorated with bas-relief. The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list. The Royal necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital (from 800 to 400 B.C.) before the Meroitic period, had a large number of pyramids, located in three different places: few hundred metres north of Jebel Barkal; a dozen kilometres southwards from the holy mountain, in El Kurru; in Nuri, which is located on the other bank of the Nile. After lunch at the Nubian Rest House we then move southwards to the village of El Kurru where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital, Napata. Here we can visit one tomb, which is excavated in the rock under pyramids – partially collapsed – and it is decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. The trip goes on with the visit to a site, rich in fossil trunks in the desert. In the evening return to Karima, accommodation at the NUBIAN REST-HOUSE, dinner and overnight stay.