The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia, which lies within present day Sudan, was home to three Kushite kingdoms during antiquity. The first had its capital at Kerma (2600–1520 BC). The second was centered on Napata (1000–300 BC). Finally, the last kingdom was centered on Meroë (300 BC–AD 300).
The last two kingdoms, Napata and Meroe, were heavily influenced by ancient Egypt; culturally, economically, politically, and militarily. The Kushite kingdoms in turn competed strongly with Egypt. In fact, during the late period of Ancient Egyptian history, the rulers of Napata conquered and unified Egypt herself. The Napatans ruled as the pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The Napatan domination of Egypt ended with the Assyrian conquest in 656 BC.
Approximately 255 pyramids were eventually constructed at three sites in Nubia over a period of a few hundred years to serve as tombs for the kings and queens of Napata and Meroë. Fourteen pyramids were constructed for their queens, several of whom were renowned warrior queens.
The physical proportions of Nubian pyramids differ markedly from the Egyptian edifices: they are built of stepped courses of horizontally positioned stone blocks and range from approximately six to thirty metres in height, but rise from fairly small foundation footprints that rarely exceed eight metres in width, resulting in tall, narrow structures inclined at approximately seventy degrees. By comparison, Egyptian pyramids of similar height generally had foundation footprints that were at least five times larger and were inclined at angles of between forty and fifty degrees.
All of the pyramid tombs of Nubia were plundered in ancient times, but wall reliefs preserved in the tomb chapels reveal that their royal occupants were mummified, covered with jewelry and laid to rest in wooden mummy cases.
A pyramid excavated at Meroë included hundreds of heavy items such as large blocks adorned 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 musical rocks that were tapped to create a melodic sound.
Our third annual Lost Ancient Technology Tour of Egypt will be from March 8 to 21, 2015 and you can of course join us:
Your details are HERE
We also have 2 final major tours of Peru and Bolivia for 2014:
Tour Details HERE
Tour Details HERE