The Ruins of Karima and El-Kurru
Republic of The Sudan
February 3, 2020
A solitary geological oddity, clearly visible from every direction, Jebel Barkal rises from the flat tan desert floor into the cloudless desert sky. In the morning, my first glimpse of the mountain is from the south as I approach the site after a northbound 400-kilometer (250 mile) ride from Khartoum. In the twilight I observe the now darkened mountain from the west as I cross the Nile to El-Kurru.
Barkal Mountain is considered a “Small Mountain.” With a flat top, it’s only 98 meters high (322 feet). Apparently for the younger set, an easy climb.
Here in the desert, Jebel Barkal is “enormous.” Ancient traders used the mountain as a landmark and the ancient Nubian rulers and the ancient tribes must have thought that the mountain was the home of the gods.
The Karima and the El-Kurru areas are rich archaeological sites with temples and tombs and even pyramids yet to be uncovered.
To this day, local folks gather at the Temple of Amun (1300 BCE) to acknowledge their c.enturies old traditions.
Everywhere we travel, Jebel Barkal is our guide.
At the end of my stay in Karima, after one last glance, I remark to my driver, “There’ s our friend again.”