Soleb is situated about 60 kilometres north of the Third Cataract, on the west bank of the Nile. Its main monument is a large temple erected under Pharaoh Amenhotep III (c. 1390–1350 BC). It was dedicated to Amun-Ra of Karnak and a local manifestation of the deified Amenhotep III as Lord of Nubia. Equalling the most important temples in Egypt, both in size and appearance, it has a classical New Kingdom structure with a processional route, massive pylons, two peristyle courts, a pillared hall and (largely lost) sanctuaries. It is also the southernmost temple built by Amenhotep III, forming an assemblage with its twin structure at Sedeinga, which was dedicated to Queen Tiye as a manifestation of the Eye of Ra.

The elaborate architectural arrangement of Soleb temple is matched by its rich relief decoration. Particularly noteworthy elements include the image of the deified Amenhotep III as Lord of Nubia with a lunar crown and ram's horns, a set of scenes detailing the first Sed festival of the king, celebrated on the occasion of his 30th regnal year, and the canonical depictions of foreign peoples on the columns of the hypostyle hall.

While the potential New Kingdom town site has not yet been archaeologically investigated, a contemporary cemetery was thoroughly explored. It is located a few hundred metres west of the temple and comprises about 50 tombs. Many of them had small pyramidal superstructures, a common feature of New Kingdom Egyptian elite tombs from the late 18th dynasty onwards.

During the investigation of this cemetery, a small prehistoric burial ground was found at the same site, the dating of which is still subject to debate.

A large Meroitic necropolis is situated about midway between the temple and the New Kingdom necropolis.


Tours coming by this location: 
Ancient Kush
October 07–20, 2018
in German
with Jens Weschenfelder, MA
October 21–November 03, 2018
in English
with Dr. Petra Weschenfelder
Sudan Special
October 28–November 10, 2018
in German
with Prof. Claudia Näser
December 02–16, 2018
in English
with Prof. Claudia Näser

Discover Sudan!

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