Kushite Pyramids Discovered in Sudan

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September 27, 2015

Archaeologists have found remnants of 16 pyramids dating back 2,000 years, to the Kushite kingdom, in what is now Sudan.

References to Kush are in writings of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, and Ancient Rome. Some sources say that the Kushite civilization predated the Egyptian civilization.

The archaeological team, led by British Museum curator Derek Welsby, have been digging near the ancient town of Gematon for nearly 20 years. They have uncovered six stone pyramids and 10 mud brick pyramids. The team estimated that the largest pyramid they found would have been 35 feet long on each side and 43 feet tall.

All pyramids found had tombs underneath. The pyramids were in a cemetery that contained many other tombs, many of which were beneath mastaba (simple rectangles) or tumuli (piles of rocks). Some tombs had no remaining burial markers.

Robbers had gotten to most of the tombs, the archaeology team said, but one tomb still yielded an expensive-looking table showing the religious ceremony of both Isis and a mortal man pouring libations to the god Osiris. The team found 100 faience (ceramic) beads in one tomb, which showed no evidence of being disturbed.

Welsy said that some of the pyramids were built not by wealthy individuals but by people who had considerably less wealth, as suggested by the comparative complexity of the various structures.

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