The Kushite Prince (later king) Shorakaror of Meroe – 50 A.D

In his two preserved monuments the name of Shorakaror is written with the Meroitic hieroglyph. Shorakaror’s name and figure occur in the column reliefs preserved from the temple of Amun at Amara (North Sudan), and in a rock drawing at Gebel Qeili, 92 miles E of Khartoum on the road leading from Khartoum to Kassala, incised on the N face of a granite boulder. It is of monumental dimensions (covering ca. 3.70×2.0 m) and represents Shorakaror and an unknown solar god. While the Amara reliefs represent Shorakaror as Arikankharor and Arkhatani were as a member of the trio King (Natakamani)-Queen (Amanitore)-Prince and wearing princely dress and insignia.

The Gebel Qeili drawing shows him in the possession of full royal regalia. The drawing is divided into two “registers”. In the upper one the King is represented in the act of receiving victory and prosperity/fertility from a deity. He stands on a podium the sides of which are decorated with the figures of bound captives. This podium also marks the top side of the lower register in which seven dead enemies are represented, belonging to four different enemy types distinguished from each other by their headdresses. The King wears a belted, knee-length, sleeved tunic and sandals; his knees are protected by knee-pieces in the form of lion heads. He wears a diadem with streamers and with one uraeus over the Kushite skull-cap; a necklace of large beads with a pendant in the shape of the ram-headed Amun, and a cord with groups of small bells across his chest and left shoulder. In his right hand the King holds a spear, a bow and three arrows, and the end of a long cord the other end of which is divided into seven cords, each tying the elbows of a captive.

The Gebel Qeili rock drawing is usually interpreted as a monument of the pacification of the southern parts of the “island of Meroe” in a period when the maintenance of undisturbed trade contacts with the interior of Africa was of vital importance.

While the syncretistic solar deity points towards Hellenistic influences of a recent date, the representation of the dead enemies on the battlefield follows, probably on the basis of Twenty-Fifth Dynasty or Napatan prototypes, iconographical models of the Egyptian New Kingdom and may indicate the existence of pattern books compiled in the course of the late lst cent. BC and the lst cent. AD which contained various themes and iconographical details copied from Kushite Twenty-Fifth Dynasty monuments.

Shorakaror’s appearance in the Amara reliefs indicates that he was selected as heir to the throne by the co regents Natakamani and Amanitore, probably after the deaths of Arikankharor and Arkhatani who were successively crown princes but predeceased the co-regents.

Omar AlHaj

Aug 25th, 2016


Passage was copied and edited from “Fontes Historiae Nubiorum”

 Image attached is depicting the drawing of Gebel Qeil