By Bonnie Bates. These are just some of the many remaining Nubian pyramids found in Meroë, located north of present-day Khartoum. Meroë was the last (of three) Kushite kingdoms, from 300 BCE to 300 CE. Differing from the Egyptian model, these pyramids are smaller and employ a unique interior design. It’s this difference that helped to preserve them over the centuries and caused confusion for the 19th and 20th century explorers, as they couldn’t figure out how to enter the pyramids. One enterprising Italian plunderer finally decided to blow the tops off each pyramid, in an attempt to reach the imagined riches inside. While unsuccessful, it did cause significant damage and destruction for which reparations were never made by Italy. Today conservation is underway by German archeologists. Only recently has the Sudanese government paid any attention to this ancient treasure, as they are now looking to tourism to help offset huge financial losses incurred during two civil wars and the loss of oil revenue.
About Bonnie Bates (13 Articles)
Currently working towards a Masters in History and African Studies at Carleton University, my areas of interest include North African and Saharan history, gender, identity, culture, politics and language.