The archaeological sites in Musawwarat es Sufra
The archaeological site of Mussawwarat features 2 important remains: the Lion Temple and the complex called “Great Enclosure“. The only way to reach the sites is by a 4×4 vehicle since the road is a path in the desert. There are no local transports. There is a single ticket for both sites and can be bought straight there looking for the guardian next to the sites (he has to unlock the gate of the Temple too). We paid 300 SDG.
The Lion Temple is dedicated to Apedemak, a lion-headed warrior god worshipped by the Meroitic people. Built around 250 BC by King Arnekhamani, one of the first kings to be buried in Meroe, the Temple features well-preserved walls reproducing some scenes of the King and the God Apedemak. The Temple was reconstructed and entirely restored in 1960. Click here to see the location.
Only 1 km west of the Lion Temple, there are the ruins of a large complex called the Great Enclosure, a structure with low walls and toppled columns, a temple dedicated to Apedemak and two reservoirs. Surrounded by a perimeter wall of over 600 metres, these complex of buildings dates back to the Napatan period of the Kingdom of Kush. Click here to see the location.
The archaeological sites in Naqa
The archaeological site of Naqa features 2 significative remains of the Meroitic period: the Temple of Amun and the Lion Temple. Naqa is only 40 minutes from Musawwarat and the only way to reach the sites is by a 4×4 vehicle since the road is a path in the desert. There are no local transports. Look for the guardian at the Temple of Amun. Both sites are fenced; therefore, look for the guardian once there (we paid the entrance fee 300 SDG).
The Meroitic Temple of Amun was erected in the 1st century AD by King Natakamani and his Queen Amanitore. It features a traditional Egyptian floor plan of an outer court with a colonnade and a hypostyle hall. On the columns and pylons there are inscriptions in Meroitic, while the walls of the Temple depict some scenes of the King, the Queen and the God Amun. Click here to see the location.
The Lion Temple, always erected by the royal couple, is located only a few minutes from the Temple of Amun. Example of Kushote architecture, it is dedicated to the God Apedemak. The Temple features beautiful wall depictions of the God, the King Natakamani and his queen Amanitore. In front of the Temple is a small kiosk, built in a classic style with evident Greek-Roman architectural influences. Click here to see the location.