King Arnekhamani, Horus, and wife at the "Lion Temple" at Musawwarat es-Sufra, 235-218 BC.
Arnekhamani is famous for building the "Lion Temple" at Musawwarat es-Sufra. This temple is one of the most beautiful ancient monuments still surviving in Sudan. No historical documents survive from his reign. Because his temple relief's are so beautiful and powerful, archaeologists believe that Arnekhamani supported growth of art and architecture. He and his dynasty also promoted the worship of the Meroitic lion god Apedemak, who became as important to the Meroitic people as Amun.
On the walls of Arnekhamani’s temple sculptors carefully copied the king’s African features. In one scene the king appears riding on an elephant. On the outside walls, the king is shown with his son, Crown Prince Arka, and the major gods. On the inside walls, the king appears with at least two more sons and several women, probably his wives and daughters. Other scenes show herds of cattle and the conquest of southern enemy tribes.
This mid-200's BC relief from the Lion Temple, Musawwarat es-Sufra shows the Nubian god Arensnuphis facing King Arnekhamani.
Arensnuphis is a late Egyptian and Kushite name of the god Shu (“Wind”). He was the son of the Creator god Atum, whose Nubian name was Sebiumeker. Arensnuphis and Sebiumeker usually appear as giant statues or relief's on either side of the doorways leading into Kushite temples. They served as temple guardians. People probably thought they frightened away evil spirits. Shu was famous in stories for making peace with evil influences, especially angry lion goddesses. The largest images of these gods carved on walls were at Gebel Barkal, where they appeared beside the gate of the second pylon of the Great Amun Temple. Each one stood about about 33 feet high. Stone statues of these gods at the temple of Tabo were 7 about 23 feet and weighed 30 tons each.