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Image Gallery: Medieval Art Tells a Tale

Anonymous Royalty

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

Most of the kings depicted at Banganarti, including this 12th century one holding what may be a reliquary (a container where sacred relics are kept),are anonymous, due to the lack of an inscription.

Nubian Ruler

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

One painting of a king, which archaeologists can identify, is this 13th century image of King David, a Nubian ruler of Makuria. He is dressed in what appears to be a gold and brown robe. His epitaph was found nearby.

King David Art

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

A detailed drawing, done by researchers, of the King David of Makuria painting.

Rider Lasso

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

This simple sketch shows King Paper, a ruler of Dongola, riding a horse. It's hard to make out in this image but he's actually lassoing another rider.

King Paper

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

In this drawing from the Banganarti upper church, you can see King Paper has lassoed another rider. Little is known about Paper, though he is believed to have controlled territory around Dongola sometime in the late Middle Ages. Researchers think that this is a victory scene of sorts.

Epitaph Pair

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

This image may depict a hegemone, a high-ranking official who served a secular role in Makuria, a Christian kingdom ruled by a dynasty of kings throughout the Middle Ages. Epitaphs of two of these officials were found in the church.

Nubian King David

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

The team has worked hard at restoring the interior of the church. The murals were restored and protected and the church walls were rebuilt. The image of the Nubian King David can be seen here.

Future of the Upper Church

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

Researchers are working on a reconstruction of the upper church that will give visitors a sense of its shape and size. This digital image shows the sections that need to be completed. They hope to have it up by 2014.

Upper Church Reconstruction

Banganarti Upper Church

(Image credit: Bogdan Zurawski)

An aerial image of Banganarti, showing prominently the reconstruction of the upper church.

Live Science Staff
Live Science Staff
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