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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.