Friday, 27 October 2017

The Nubian Pyramids of Menroe, Sudan

In Sudan, a valley is famous as “Nubia” just 200 kilometers northeast of Khartoum. The valley lies the remains of three ancient Kushite kingdoms. In this valley, you can find the largest concentration of ancient Pyramids ever built. However, these are not too much known as compare to Pyramids at Giza in Egypt. But are smaller in size their Egyptian cousins the Nubian pyramids are no less remarkable. It is believed, these pyramids were built around 2,500 years ago, long after the Egyptians had stopped entombing their Pharos in huge tombs, a practice that virtually bankrupted them.

The Nubian kings, though, were clearly spellbound by these enormous structures and attempted to imitate them. The Kush Kingdom thrived for 900 hundred years from around 800 BC to 280 A.D. and held power over a massive area covering much of the Nile Delta and as far south as Khartoum. Meroe served as the capital during the final phases of the empire. Furthermore, at their capital city, the Nubians built about 80 profoundly downsized pyramids over the tombs of kings and queens of the Kushite kingdom.  Which is about in height of 20 feet to 100 feet, and rise from fairly small foundation that infrequently exceed 25 feet, giving the sides of the pyramids steep angles. Therefore, one of the largest of the pyramids built for the rulers of Kush was for a woman, Queen Shanakdakheto 170-150 B.C.E. The sides of the pyramids are captivating embellished with decorative elements from the cultures of Pharaonic Egypt, Greece, and Rome. A pyramid excavated at MeroĆ« included hundreds of heavy items such as large blocks decorated with rock art and 390 stones that comprised the pyramid. A cow buried complete with eye ointment was also unearthed in the area to be flooded by the MeroĆ« Dam, as were ringing rocks that were tapped to create a melodic sound.[

Overall, the Kush rulers built more than 250 pyramids over the twice number of pyramids in the total of Egypt. They are well distributed in a small region in the Sudanese desert. Similar to ancient Egyptians, the Nubian kings were mummified and laid to rest, covered with jewels, in wooden coffins, before they were entombed. Hence, almost all of the pyramids have been plundered ages ago. However, at the time of their exploration by archaeologists in the 19th and 20th centuries, few pyramids were found to comprise the remains of bows, quivers of arrows, archers' thumb rings, horse harnesses, furniture, wooden boxes, pottery, colored glass, metal vessels, and many other artefacts attesting to extensive Meroitic trade with Egypt and the Hellenistic world. Nowadays, Meroe is the largest archaeological site in Sudan, and one of the main tourist attractions in Sudan. But the country, distressed by civil war, now receives less then 15,000 tourists per year.

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