National Geographic : 1990 Nov
The naturalpinnacle on the east front ofJebel Barkal attracted the author'steam: Inscriptions above a niche near the 260-foot summit had been spotted through binoculars. The climb to the top was rewarded with a view across millet fields and date groves overlying an cient Napata beside the Nile. The climbers found sockets cut into the rock that could have held logs. Such timbers, hoisted with two shadoofs, probably formed scaffolding (painting) to give workmen access to the niche, likely repository for a statue. Lowered to that space, the author (above) was probably the first person to visit it since antiquity. Above the niche he made out hieroglyphs com memorating Taharqa's battles with the people of the Western Desert and Bedouin from the east-likely the Assyrians. Pocking the inscription were tiny holes, some still filled with bronze nails. In the Egyptian custom, the inscription was over laid with a sheet of gold, reflect ing the sun like a beacon.