(Arabic: الشمالية; transliterated: ash-Shamaliyah) is one of the 26 wilayat or states of Sudan. It has an area of 348,765 km² and an estimated population of 833,743 (2006). Dongola is the capital of the state. The town of Wadi Halfa, a headquarters of the British in the late nineteenth century, is located in the north of the province. The other towns (localities) are Merowe, Karima, Al-Dabbah and Dongola. Northern Sudan was in ancient times Nubia.
The most important archeological sites starting from the northern border of the Sudan are :
It lies 330 km to the north of Dongla. The site contains the relics of all historical eras starting with pre-historic times.
Sadenga is a little distance to the south of Sai Island, on the left bank of the River Nile. The site contains a small temple which was built by King Amenohotep III (1400-1360 B.C.) for his wife Queen Tee. Napata also incorporates a cemetery, which dates to the time of that kingdom and the period of the Meroitic civilization.
Soleb lies 15 kilometers to the south of Sadenga and there exists the most famous at Egyptian temple. It is considered a unique architectural masterpiece undertaken by King Amenohotep III (1400-1360 B.C.)
It lies some kilometers to the south of Solub, where the temple which was devoted for the worshipping of the Sun God (Atone) stands.
It lies 15 km to the north of Kerma town on the right bank of the River Nile which derived its fame in the ancient world as a quarry.
Kerma culture (2500-1500 B.C)
In the mid of the third millennium B.C. a new civilized life had started to take shape at the present Kerma Town, which perches on the right bank of the River Nile (some 50 kilometers north of Dongola town). That civilization was related to its capital town i.e. Kerma.
South of Kerma and at Argo lies the village of Tabo where there is a temple built of sand stone constructed by King Terhaga (690-664 B.C.), one of the most famous kings of Nuptia (the 8th – 4th Century B.C.) and was dedicated for the worship of God Amon Ra’a.
It lies on the right bank of the River Nile. El Kawa was one of the most important towns during the era between (1347 – 1338 B.C.)
Old Dongola was the capital city of the old Makuria Christian kingdom where a number of churches and monasteries are found. Old Dongola was one of the three kingdoms, which existed in the land. There is also the church, which was changed into a mosque during the Islamic phase.
El Kurru lies some 20 kilometres down the street from Jebel Barkal and it was the first cemetery of the kings and queens of Napata before it was transferred to Nuri. The most prominent of these kings was King Ba’akhnie (747 – 716 B.C.). Their graves were stopped with pyramids, which had disappeared. . The colourful paintings of the graves still preserves their lustre. They are open for visitors. The graves belong to King Tanut Amani and his mother, queen Kalhuta (664 – 656 B.C.)
Jebel El Barkel:
El Barkel mountain overlooks Karima Town and represents a sacred religious symbol during the past kingdoms and the two kingdoms of Nuptia and Meroe. The mountain is considered as a cradle of the religion of God Amon Ra’a. The kings of Napata built a temple for God Amon Ra’a at the foot of the mountain. It is the largest temple for God Amon Ra’a in the Sudan. In front of the temple there stood six giant statues symbolizing King Amon . Behind El Barkel there are pyramids which date back to the period of Nuptia and others dating to the Meroetic Kingdom. These pyramids are most intact and preserved in their shapes. We also find residential places of the kings among which is the palace of Spelta Natakamani.
It lies on the left bank of the River Nile, opposite the town of Karima. Nurri was the second graveyard for the burial of the kings and queens of Napata (the 8th - 4th centuries B.C.). The kings and queens were buried in pyramid-shaped graves; the largest grave is that of King Terhaga (690 – 664 B.C.)
Sanam Abu Dom
It is located in modern Merowe town. The area was one of the most important towns of the Napatan kingdom. King Taharha built a temple on the site and dedicated it for the worship of God Amon. It is a small temple built of sandstone. The locality also contains relics of the ancient town.
It lies in the desert some 15 kilometres from the town of Merowe. There is a Christian monastery at El Ghazali oasis, which dates back to the Christian era. The monastery consists of a number of rooms, living rooms and seclusion or worship in isolation places. It is decorated with the elements of Christian architecture.