Photos: Royal Statue with Egyptian Hieroglyphics

Aspelta, a king

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: J. Anderson Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

Parts of a 2,600-year-old statue engraved with an Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription were discovered recently at the site of Dangeil in Sudan. The statue depicts Aspelta, a king who ruled a kingdom called "Kush" between 593-568 B.C. The inscription calls him "King of Upper and Lower Egypt" even though he did not control Egypt. [Read more about the statue discovery]

Discovering the glyphs

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: J. Anderson Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

Parts of the Aspelta statue were discovered back in 2008 while other parts (including the part with the inscription) were found during fieldwork conducted in 2016 and 2017. Archaeologists are now in the process of reconstructing the statue.

First finds

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: J. Anderson Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

The head of the Aspelta statue, seen here, was discovered back in 2008. At that time the portion of the statue with the hieroglyphic inscription had not been discovered. This meant that the statue could not be definitively identified as Aspelta until recently.

Temple to Amun

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: M. Tohami Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

The statue parts were found in a temple dedicated to the god "Amun." This image is directed towards the main gate. The temple is about 120 meters (394 feet) long from east-west and was in use until the late third or early fourth century A.D.

Ancient tombs

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: R. Hajduga Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

Archaeologists also recently found that between the late 11th century and early 13th century, long after the temple had been abandoned, people were digging graves at the temple ruins. This image, taken from above, shows several of these medieval tombs.

Beautiful jewelry

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: J. Anderson Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

This jewelry was found buried with an adult woman in one of these medieval tombs. It's possible that she was from an elite background.

Beaded belt

Dangeil Statue Hieroglyphics

(Image credit: J. Anderson Copyright Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project)

Another of the medieval tombs has this belt of glass and carnelian beads. An adult woman was also buried in this tomb.