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Cluster of 2000-year-old pyramids discovered in Sudan

Last Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 19:33

New York: Around 35 small ancient pyramids, along with graves, dating back 2000 years have been discovered clustered closely together at a site in Sudan, archaeologists say.

The biggest pyramids discovered in Sedeinga are about 22 feet wide at their base with the smallest example, likely constructed for the burial of a child, being only 30 inches long.

"The density of the pyramids is huge," said Vincent Francigny, a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

"Because it lasted for hundreds of years they built more, more, more pyramids and after centuries they started to fill all the spaces that were still available in the necropolis," said Francigny.

Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated, `LiveScience` reported.

In 2011, during one field season alone, the researchers discovered 13 pyramids packed into roughly 500 square meters.

The pyramids date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire.

The desire of the kingdom`s people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture. At Sedeinga, pyramid building continued for centuries, researchers say.

The tops of the pyramids are not attached, as the passage of time and the presence of a camel caravan route resulted in damage to the monuments.

Francigny said that the tops would have been decorated with a capstone depicting either a bird or a lotus flower on top of a solar orb.

The building continued until, eventually, they ran out of room to build pyramids.

"They reached a point where it was so filled with people and graves that they had to reuse the oldest one," Francigny said.

The study was published in the journal Sudan and Nubia.


First Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 19:32
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