History June 15, 2016 at 07:00 am

See Sudan’s Meroe Pyramids

Fredrick Ngugi | Contributor

Fredrick Ngugi June 15, 2016 at 07:00 am

June 15, 2016 at 07:00 am | History

Section of the famous Meroe Pyramids in Sudan. Photo (worldalldetails.com)
Nubians

The middle portion of the painting shows a Nubian noblewoman with a large floral headdress riding in an ox cart. Before her walk men carrying rings and bags of gold, brought as tribute to the Egyptian court. At the far left is a procession of manacled slaves followed by two grieving women with children. Some Nubians in the painting are wearing Egyptian wigs and robes while others are dressed in more typical Nubian clothing. The artist illustrates that the Nubian population was made up of a wide range of economic groups. This painting illustrates the key role that trade played, in the relationship between the two regions. A kneeling prince (at right image) leading the tribute bearers is identified as Hekanefer, Prince of Miam (modern Aniba), a region of northern Nubia. Hekanefer’s dress is Nubian. Details like the ostrich feather and panther skin he wears, along with other exotic products, serve to indicate that Nubia is the geographic source of these items.

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Also referred to as the Nubian Pyramids, these ancient structures in Meroe, Sudan, are as extraordinary and spectacular as the ones found in Egypt. Situated in the middle of the northern Sudanese desert, the Meroe pyramids were designed in the famous Nubian style, characterized by steep slopes and tiny foundations.

Meroe Pyramids

At the entrance of Meroe pyramids in Sudan. Photo (www.theatlantic.com)

Archaeologists say the pyramids were used as tombs thousands of years ago. Despite their dilapidated condition, these pyramids are still a sight to behold. If you are looking to have direct contact with the ancient ages, take a walk through these longstanding pyramids.

Meroe Pyramids

Some of the remaining Meroe Pyramids in Sudan. Photo (www.globalblackhistory.com)

Exact Location

Although there are pyramids erected in different parts of Sudan, the most exhaustive Nubian Pyramids site is at Meroe, which sits between the fifth and sixth cataracts of the Nile region. The area is approximately 62 miles north of Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan. The city used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries. There are more than 200 pyramids in this area, positioned in three groups.

Meroe City

The famous city of Meroe in Sudan. Photo (www.tripadvisor.co.uk)

Unique Features of Meroe Pyramids

Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, Nubian pyramids are built of stepped courses with horizontally placed blocks. Their height ranges between 20 and 98 feet. Another feature that makes these structures so unique is their fairly small foundation, which hardly exceeds 26 feet.

Meroe Pyramids

One of the Meroe pyramids in Sudan. Photo (happytobehomeless.com)

It is such a spectacular sight to stand next to one of these tall, narrow structures, slanting at 70 degrees. A closer look at the pyramids reveals the meticulous and extraordinary architectural capacity Nubian’s possessed.

At the base of each Meroe pyramid are temple structures, most of which are designed in the Cushite style.

Unfortunately, their rooftops are said to have been destroyed by Italian colonizers looking for treasures.

Archaeologists exploring Nubian pyramids in the ancient times found many treasures, including archers’ thumb rings, colored glasses, horse harnesses, metal vessels, bows, arrows, and other relics.

Tombs at Meroe Pyramids

One of the tombs found in Meroe City in Sudan. Photo (www.lipstickalley.com)

In the tombs, mummified royal occupants are said to have been covered with valuable jewelry and buried in wooden mummy caskets.

Nubian pyramids are now a major tourism attraction site in Sudan. However, political instability in Darfur and other parts of Sudan over the last decade has kept tourists from accessing this region for fear of being attacked.

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