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Senkamanisken was a Kushite King who ruled from 640 to 620 BC at Napata. He used royal titles based on those of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.[1]


He might have been married to queens Amanimalel and Nasalsa, the latter of whom bore him two sons: Anlamani and Aspelta. Both sons would ultimately assume the Kushite throne after his death at Napata, Nubia's capital city.[2] His pyramid is Nu.3 in Nuri.

Statues of Senkamanisken have been found buried or hidden in the Jebel Barkal, presumably due to Psamtik II's attack on Kush in 592 BC. A sphinx has also been found which was inscribed with his name.[3] Objects bearing the name of this king have also been found in Meroë[4] indicating that he placed a degree of importance to this site which would be the political capital of the Kushite kingdom after Psamtik II's sack of Napata in 592 BC.

He is the only Nubian king after the 25th Dynasty known from an inscription found in Egypt. He appears on a fragment of an offering table from Memphis.[5]


Temple B700 at Jebel Barkal[edit]

He also decorated Temple B700 (started by Aspelta) at Jebel Barkal, where he is shown clubbing enemies.[6]

The hieroglyphic inscription on the Temple described the role of God Amun in selecting Sekamanisken as king:

I said of you (while you were still) in your mother's womb that you were to be ruler of Kemet ("Black Land"= Egypt). I knew you in the semen, while you were in the egg, that you were to be lord. I made you receive the Great Crown, which Re (the Sun god) caused to appear on the first good occasion. (Inasmuch as) a father makes his son excellent, it is I who decreed kingship) to you. (So) who shall share it with you? For I am the Lord of Heaven. As I give to Re, (so) he gives to his children, from gods to men. It is I who gives you the royal charter.... No other (can) decree (who is to be) king. It is I who grants kingship to whomever I will.

— Amun inscription, frieze of Sekamanisken, Temple B700, Jebel Barkal.[7]


  1. ^ László Török, The kingdom of Kush: handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization
  2. ^ Dows Dunham, M. F. Laming Macadam: Names and Relationships of the Royal Family of Napata, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 35, 1949, pp.139-149
  3. ^ Derek A. Welsby/Julie R. Anderson (Hrsg.): Sudan, Ancient Treasurers, London 2004, S. 161, Nr. 144
  4. ^ Török, Laszlo; Hofmann, Inge; Nagy, István (1997). Meore City An Ancient African Capital. John Garstang's Excavations in the Sudan. pp. 235–41. ISBN 978-0-85698-137-1.
  5. ^ Pope, Jeremy, 2020, Napatan Period. In Wolfram Grajetzki and Willeke Wendrich (eds.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles. ISSN 2693-7425, p. 2 online
  6. ^ "Following their expulsion from Egypt by the Assyrians in 661 BC, the Kushites continued to develop the Barkal sanctuary . Atlanersa and Senkamanisken erected the small Temple B 700, which became a royal mortuary temple ." Museum, Sudan National (2004). Sudan: Ancient Treasures : an Exhibition of Recent Discoveries from the Sudan National Museum. British Museum Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-7141-1960-1.
  7. ^ Jebel Barkal Guide (PDF). p. 97.
  8. ^ "Jebel Barkal guide" (PDF): 97–98. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "Jebel Barkal guide" (PDF): 97–98. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]

Preceded by Rulers of Kush Succeeded by