By Sophie Rieckmann
Inspired by a National Geographic article, as a few things surprised me into writing a little blog post for you all. A couple of things may come as a shock, putting into question your beliefs about Pyramids which you have held since doing the Egyptians in history in year 3!
Contrary to popular belief, although Egypt has may pyramids which house many a Pharaoh, it is not the land with the most pyramids. One country directly to the south beats it. The Sudan. You may be thinking 'Ok. Great. I'm not that interested in pyramids anyway.' Well, hold your horses, my friend. This piece of knowledge has some significant implications.
Firstly, the pyramids in the Sudan were not built by the Egyptians. In fact, they were built by Kushite Kings and Queens of Nubia (in modern-day Sudan), after they relocated to a place named Meroë. Here, the Kushites found themselves safe from the 26th Dynasty of Egypt.
Secondly, the pyramids were built because the early Kushite Kings and Queens were members of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt and they wished to be buried in the traditional fashion. In around 250 B.C. Meroë became the preferred necropolis of the Kings and Queens, with two main burial locations within the area. The northern area in the Sudan today still contains the best-preserved pyramids, with the final resting places of 30 Kings, 8 Queens, and 3 Princes.
In comparison to Egyptian pyramids, the ones in Meroë tend to be slightly smaller and lack the pointed capstone, known as a pyramidion. This makes the pyramids of Sudan look more like those in Deir el Medina, near Luxor, which are known as chapel pyramids. Said style of pyramid was build from 1539-1075 B.C. during a time in which Kushite culture seemed to be adopting Egyptian customs.
There we are. A little de-bunking of pyramid history. So, although the Egyptians were the first to build pyramids, the place in which they stand most numerously is in fact in the Sudan- many of them still standing today.