Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts

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 Meroë 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 Meroë 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.

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Lost Pyramids of Meroe in Sudan

This is the lost city of Meroë in the sands of Sudan, inside the ancient citadel of the Black Pharoahs with beautifully maintained pyramids as impressive as their more famous counterparts in Egypt. It is situated 125 miles north of Sudan’s Capital Khartoum is rarely visited in spite of being a Unesco World Heritage site. The Sudan tourism industry has been overwhelmed by economic sanctions imposed over the conflicts in Darfur and other regions though the famous pyramids of Giza, the Sudanese site is largely deserted. Although, sanctions against the government of President Omar al-Bashir long-running internal conflicts limit its access to foreign aid and donations, while also hampering tourism. Al-Bashir's government, which came to power following a bloodless Islamist coup in 1989, has struggled to care for its antiquities. The barren site famous as the Island of Meroë, as the ancient, long-dried river ran around it, once served as the principle residence of the rulers of the Kush kingdom - one of the earliest civilizations in the Nile region and recognized as the Black Pharaohs. The height of these pyramids is ranging 20 to 100 feet tall, believed to be built between 720 and 300 B.C. 
 One photographer Eric Lafforgue said, Egypt doesn’t have the monopoly on pyramids, as Sudan has several of them, and discovers new ones are on regular basis.   The entrances usually face east to greet the rising sun. Therefore, the most beautiful and impressive pyramids form the Meroë Necropolis. However, UNESCO World Heritage describes the site “The heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.” It is also explains that the property comprises of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe and the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra.

Well, Meroë and others bear the marks of more recent history, with several marked out by their flat tops and the result of being dynamited by Italian explorer Giuseppe Ferlini, who is in 1834, came here and pillaged the site. Thus, the pyramids bear decorative elements inspired by Pharaonic Egypt, Greece and Rome. Though, overeager archaeologists in the 19th century tore off the golden tips of few pyramids and diminished some to rubble. In the recent times, local’s inhabitants reported just a few tourists with white camels roaming the place, watched by a handful of security guards. Moreover, Qatar has pledged $135 million to renovate and support Sudan's antiquities in the last few years, but Mr Omar said Sudan still receives just 15,000 tourists per year. Source: Dailymail