King Amaniastabarqa
Napata (538-519 BC)


Gold; Harvard University-MFA Boston Expedition,
February 1917.
Khartoum, National Museum

Beneath a star-filled hieroglyph for "heaven," the finely chased gold sheet shows at left the falcon-headed god Ra with sun-disk, offering the hieroglyphs for "life" and "stability" in his right hand to King Amaniastabarqa at right, whose name appears in the cartouche. The latter wears the "Kushite cap" with double uraeus and diadem, as well as the royal ram's-head neck ornament, a broad collar, armlets, bracelets, and crossed bands on his forearms. Beneath the triangular central tab of his kilt is a calf-length garment with a fringed seam through which his legs are visible. The king's sandals are bowed at the toes. Above him hovers the sun-disk with uraeus and outspread wings forming a right angle. King and god each extend a hand to the other, while the king's left hand is raised to the god in a gesture of recitation. The reciprocal, interdependent relationship between the god and the king, and their close cooperation, secure the foundations of world order.
From the book Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Dietrich Wildung, 1997, p. 233