The first monument to see on arrival at Nagaa is the Temple of Hathor [formerly called the Roman kiosk] a small square structure built in the Roman style of the 2nd. Or 3rd. Century AD. It is in a better state of preservation than the other monuments, though the roof is missing.
Besides there are numerous mounds which are the remains of several temples. The Amoun temple has a row of ram-headed sphinxes, which have recently been restored.
Nagaa is an interesting archaeological site. It has a well preserved Temple of Hathor, and several less well preserved Egyptian temples. The structure of the temples is still visible though much of the stone work has fallen. One building with pylon type entrance is in good condition,with a single chamber behind and the remains of a portico in front. On the southern pylon tower appears King Netek Aman and on the northern Queen Amanteri, who ruled at Meroe from 15 BC to 15 AD. Each is accompanied by a lion,and they are smiting groups of captives. The walls of the chamber are covered with relief's showing various gods and goddesses, but the temple appears to have been principally dedicated to the Lion God Apedemak and is subsequently known as the Lion Temple. There are also the remains of a large temple dedicated to Amun.
Work is still ongoing, and I believe the avenue of rams has been restored to some extent since I was there.
There are three monuments at Naga. The first one you see is actually a Roman kiosk in quite good repair. Further up the slope is a temple designed in the typical Egyptian style with temples, courtyards etc. It is in a fair state of delapidation.
Even further up the hill as another temple [to Amun?} in even greater need of repair.
The site is almost like a museum in the desert.
Since I first saw it, there has been a lot of repair and excavation taken place. the avenue of ram sphinxes has been replaced, I believe.
.The Pyramids at Begrawiya.
Fondest memory: Vivid blood-red sun peeks over the horizon
Turns the desert Gold,
Pale lemon, grey.
Flat topped massifs, pink and violet
Ranges, heaps of heat-eroded stone
Hills float on a sea of mirage.
Umbrella trees in rows and rows
Lemon-frosted grasses at their feet.
And trails of 'hundel', bitterest of fruits
No use except to fix the drifting sand.
Infertile desert, this? No way.
At last, dark masses, mesas, buttes
And on the edge, like rotten teeth they stand
Sand gums encroaching.
Closer now, like dunces' caps, the reconstructed.
Indestructible, for twenty centuries
(Thank God for sand; to bury and protect
Our heritage, till we appreciate,
Restore and cherish it)
Truncated pyramids, if such they be.
Look at the pylons, columns, entrances
And see the traces
Etchings of the past
Row upon row of figures, shapes
Discernable? Soldiers, cows being led,
Proud majesties striding out
Benecklaced and betassled
Towering over forelocked princes, obese queens,
Lions, lionesses, and an ass.
And who are these, what strange entities?
Not minotaur, but Anubis with jackal head,
Cow-headed Hathor,hawk-head Horus
Serpents climbing up the jambs, lion heads
Winged uraeus, Isis, Apedemak:
Symbols or symbolic myths?
Such things bad dreams are made of.
Fill the mind with questions.
Why here, ? From whence the stone?
For what strategic purpose?
Carrying the breath of life, the key, the ankh.
Heaps of pineapples, mundane things,
Food, libations, hand-tied prisoners.
Fancy soars, imagination too
Eyes close to the falling rubble.
And man:Osman Mahdi 1936
Fantini 1874,;Greek, English, curlicues
Of Arabic vie with crosses, camels and their like,
The curse of literate man.
Now sinks the sun. Colour spent,
Bleeds into the western sky
The desert now darkening, indigo.
We bounce on rutted tracks.