Remarks on Palace Architectures
Ancient constructions that seem to be palaces at their time are
discovered throughout Northern Sudan. Yet, due to the lack of archeological
study in the area, it is difficult to speak of them in depth. So
far, archeologists have excavated and identified a few dwellings
that date back to the pre-Kerma period (4th millennium BC- 2600
BC)1. The planning of the major Pre-Kerma settlement,
in the locality of the Eastern Kerma Cemetery, reveals an urban
architectural system, where monumental buildings, rectangular storage
houses, cattle pens, palisades, and storehouses were uncovered.
Exceptionally large huts, with one reaching 7 meters in diameter,
found there have been interpreted by some as residence of wealthy
Moreover, a large number of buildings were found within the expanded
town of Kerma. Due to the lack and the inconsistent nature of Nubian
studies, however, the original function of much of the Kerma discovered
buildings is not yet possible to know. Several buildings have been
identified as royal residences; usually consisting of interconnected
rooms and courtyard enclosures.3
A fancy building at Jebel Barkal expanded with palatial apartments4,
thought to have been built by Piankhy, was identified as a palace.
The building has undergone continuous modifications throughout the
course of history making its actual function difficult to configure
within the overall urban structure.5
The architectural materials, structures, and the presence of staircases in most of the palaces suggest that they were mostly built of more than one floor. The majority of them had rectangular or square plans with long corridors and narrow rectangular rooms; a hallway was usually present after passing through the main entrance.
An interesting building-plan at Wad Banaga was identified as a palace. The structure was built with baked bricks and doors were made of stones. Many of the entrances had stone columns and Hellenistic designs. The walls of the palace were plastered and some sections (of the walls) were adorned with gold- leaves.6 The names of Amanikhable7 and Amanishekhato (10-1 BC) were found written on a cartouche in the palace.
At the Great Enclosure at Musawwarat es Sufra, three structures identified
as temples were built within wide porches that were connected to
each other through narrow entrances. Two temples are connected to
a set of rooms identified as "throne rooms" that are thought to
have been constructed as royal residence. A long corridor connected
to one of the temples, leads to an elevated 'Window of Appearance'.8
The window is opened to the widest porch in the complex, where perhaps
ceremonies were performed.