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VII. Temples and Palaces
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In 1916 George A. Reisner of the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Expedition, devised the numbering system which is now used by all archaeologists to designate the structures of the Jebel Barkal sanctuary.  In this system, each building’s number, prefaced by “B” (for “Barkal”), increases by one hundred (i.e. B 100, B 200, B 300, etc.) as each building is discovered.  In this way, its interior rooms can be assigned unique numbers ascending by ones (i.e. rooms in B 100 would thus be numbered 101, 102, etc.).  In exceptional cases Reisner gave small, single-room structures within or near a major structure (such as the small kiosk in front of B 500), a number rather like a room designation (“B 551”) but having a number much higher than the highest recorded room number in that temple (i.e. B 521).  The list below provides summary information about each known structure or numbered feature in the Jebel Barkal sanctuary area.

Structures and Archaeological Features in the NCAM Concession Area

Architectural Chronology of Jebel Barkal

B 100: A Meroitic Palace (View PDF)

B 200-300:  The temples to Hathor and Mut (View PDF)

B 300-sub: The New Kingdom version of B 300

B 350: The cliff monument of Taharqa (View PDF)

B 350a (full report): pinnacle construction

B 500: The temple of Amun of Napata, Egyptian Phases (View PDF)

B 500: The temple of Amun of Napata, Napatan and Meroitic Phases (View PDF)

B 500: The reliefs of Piankhy (View PDF)

B 500:  The statue cache (View PDF)

B 500:  The flag masts (View PDF)

B 500:  The kiosks (B 501, 551) (View PDF)

B 560-561:  The mammisi temple (View PDF)

B 600:  The enthronement pavilion (View PDF)

B 700: The temple of Osiris-Dedwen (View PDF)

B 700: The sub chapels (View PDF)

B 800:  The temple of Amun of Karnak at Napata (View PDF)

B 900:  "The Edifice of Piankhy" (View PDF)

B1100: The Per-Wer (temple of Weret-Hekau) (View PDF)

B 1200:  The Napatan Palace (View PDF)

B 1700:  House of the High Priest of Amun (?) (View PDF)

Cave Site I:  A large cave on the western cliff, at about 83 m elevation, penetrating the mountain to a depth of about 14 m.  Its shelf contained many prehistoric sherds.  The cave was not a habitation site but rather a source for kaolinite, which outcrops in a long narrow sill about 1 m high on the left side of the cave entrance.  This outcrop was cut back nearly 2 m by ancient miners, lying on their backs, using chipped stone chisels.

Cave Site II:  A cluster of six small caves, too small for human entry, within 30 m of each other on the western side of the mountain. These are situated beneath an overhanging ledge, just below the summit.  The walls on either side of the them bear extensive, if crude, graffiti.  Most are of Meroitic date; a few are Christian.  It may be that these holes, seeming to lead into the mountain, were “speaking tubes,” by which one could send prayers to the god in the mountain.


Structures and Archaeological Features in the Concession Area of the Italian Mission

B 1300

B 1400

B 1500

B 1800-3000