A Valley Where 800 Pyramids Were Built ... What's Its Name? | Kidadl


A Valley Where 800 Pyramids Were Built ... What's Its Name?

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Today we will explore the facts, history, and significance behind the lesser-known location of pyramids in the modern-day northern Sudan area known as Nubia.

The Nubian pyramids are a collection of more than 200 pyramids located on the banks of the Nile river. These pyramids span across the north and eastern part of the country of Sudan which is mostly covered by deserts.

The Nubian pyramids are found in the Nile valley created by the Nile River in Sudan. These pyramids are the tombs of several kings, queens, and wealthy people who lived in the Meroitic kingdom for hundreds of years, about 2,500 years ago. These pyramids have been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, where 35 different pyramids are located at five sites.

But not many people are aware of these pyramids, and they see very few tourists annually due to their remote location and less popularity compared to the pyramids in Egypt. The main difference between Nubian pyramids and Egyptian pyramids is that Nubian pyramids are a lot smaller compared to the giant pyramids found in Egypt. Nubian pyramids range from a minimum of 20 ft (6.1 m) to a maximum of 90 ft (27.4 m) on average, which is a lot smaller than the Giza pyramids which measure about 756 ft (230.4 m) tall.

The Great Pyramids along with the Great Sphinx are facing a lot of dangers in recent times. The rising level of the groundwater is posing a threat to the structure of these magnificent monuments. The reason behind this rise in the groundwater level rise is attributed to the infiltration of water from the canals built for irrigation as well as the setting up of suburbs around the Giza plateau which has led to an increase in infiltration due to rapid urbanization.

The afterlife became more accessible to the people outside the royal family only when the monarchy in the old kingdom broke down. This gave the official greater independence for opting for burial sites that were located in or near their hometowns. But the narrow stretches of land that were present along the Nile Valley left only a little room for the construction of a great pyramid.

Most of the temples and pyramids that were constructed during the time by Egyptians, were dedicated to gods and Pharaohs. The Great Sphinx is a limestone statue that most probably depicts King Khafre's head superimposed on a lion's body.

Read on to know more about the history of these grand monuments and structures that were constructed in the Nile Valley using different types of rock such as granite and limestone. Afterward, also check out facts about a year on mars and creepy facts about the world.

Nubian Pyramid History

The Nubian pyramids were built back in around 760 BC to 650 BC by the rulers and aristocrats of the ancient Kushite kingdom. Kush kingdom had great power and was a major influence on several regions in Africa and the Middle East.

The Pharaoh(s) of the Kushite kingdom to whom the Nubian pyramid tombs belong is also referred to as ‘black pharaohs’.

Ancient records reveal that the Kushite kingdom flourished for more than thousands of years which expanded in the valleys of the river Nile, the area which is known as Nubia. There are records of at least five Kushite pharaohs who ruled from Nubia to the Mediterranean sea. Their kingdom was often in conflict with Egypt, but they had alliances as well, and Nubia was a major source of trade for Egypt.

The pyramids located at Nubia were built for the ruling Pharaohs who presided over the regions of Nubia. This tradition is borrowed from ancient Egyptian culture of building pyramids for the pharaohs, long after the tradition had stopped in Egypt. The Nubian pyramids are made from building materials like granite and sandstone and use decorative and artistic elements influenced from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. The first pyramid in Nubia is said to have been built in 751 BC, for the ruler named El Kuru.

The region of Meroe is one site where the tombs or pyramids are relatively unharmed and is considered the most extensive pyramid site in Nubia. More than forty kings and queens have been buried in Meroe, along with several items of daily use like jewelry, weapons, food, furniture, etc. buried along with the mummified remains of these rulers.

Nubian Pyramid Significance

Nubian pyramids are the influence of the Egyptian culture of the burial of the rulers and their queen. These pyramids are present towards the west bank of the Nile River along the Nile Valley. But what is their historical significance? Let us explore different aspects of the importance of Nubian Pyramid: -

But they have their own unique features as well and they do not particularly resemble the pyramids which are found in Egypt. They are a lot smaller and have steeper slopes. The main difference between them is that the number of Nubian pyramids is a lot higher than the ones found in Giza and Egypt.

One of the largest sites which contains the pyramids of more than 40 rulers is situated in Meroe. The number of pyramids which have been discovered which belong to the Nubian culture is about 2,000, and it is estimated that the number is higher than that, as many pyramids have been buried into the sand or demolished or destroyed by subsequent generations.

These pyramids are a symbol of the ancient African civilization, which was heavily influenced by the burial culture followed by the pharaohs of Egypt. They signify the movement of trade and people and the spreading of knowledge between the citizens of Egypt and other African regions. Nubian civilization is also considered as one of the earliest civilizations to happen in the world, as many people decided to practice agriculture on the fertile banks of the Nile river.

But the sheer force of earthquakes over the years has resulted in extensive damage to the walls of the pyramid complex. The effect of earthquakes is also visible on the doors, openings, and foundations.

Famous Bent Pyramid under puffy clouds, Dahshur, Egypt

Most Famous Pyramids Ever Build

The list of the most famous pyramids built in the world is none other than the Egyptian pyramids. But which of the numerous pyramids present in Egypt are most famous? Here are some important details regarding the best pyramids ever built in history: -

Pyramids were a cultural phenomenon back in ancient times, as the reason for building pyramids was to imply that life does not stop after a person’s death, rather it is a way of passing on to the next stage of life.

Hence the tombs were filled with a person’s favorite objects and necessary objects, along with the story of their lives depicted on the walls inside these huge tombs.

All the standing pyramids have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, which includes the world-famous pyramids of Giza. Explorations of these pyramids were funded by National Geographic in 2015 in order to understand more about the ancient Egyptians. These pyramids attract millions of people every year.

One of these famous pyramids includes The Bent Pyramid, which is located at Dahshur in Egypt. It is named so because the angle of the slope of the surface changes halfway through the pyramid. The angle on the lower end is 55 degrees, while it becomes steeper to 43 degrees in the middle, which gives it the look of being bent.

Another is The Red Pyramid which was built by Pharaoh Sneferu. It was quite common for pharaohs at the time to fund building their own tombs, especially the pyramids. The Red Pyramid is the only true pyramid geometrically in the world. The base of the pyramid spans 726 ft (221.3 m) on each side and it has a height of 343 ft (104.5 m).

The second-largest pyramid in Giza is the Pyramid of Khafre. This pyramid has a unique feature, which is its topmost peak which has a layer on intact smooth stones. All the other pyramids at Giza have lost this layer. This pyramid has a height of 472 ft (143.9 m), although it has become shorter by 40 ft (12.2 m).

The most famous pyramid of the world, which is the only remaining monument of the seven wonders of the ancient world, is the Great Pyramid of Khufu. It is said that this pyramid took 20 years to build, and more than two million blocks of stone are used in its structure. The pyramid of pharaoh Khufu is the largest pyramid ever built, as it measures 754.6 ft (230 m) on all sides and has a height of 458 ft (139.6 m), which was 479 ft (146 m) originally.

The Relationship Between Egypt And Nubia

The pyramids are present both in Egypt and Nubia, but why? Is there any relationship between Egypt and Nubia? Let us explore the different facets of the relationship between Egypt and Nubia: -

It is believed that the kingdoms of Egypt and Nubia had regular contact with each other, both the kingdoms were often involved in the conflict as well as making alliances from time to time.

The Nubian culture is said to be highly influenced by ancient Egyptian culture, especially with respect to trade, language, art, religion, etc. Many archaeological artifacts found in excavations point to several similarities which can be found between these two cultures.

Even the burial ritual of building pyramids for the rulers was a direct influence from Egyptian culture, wherein they buried the bodies facing the western side, which was later practiced by the Kushite culture. It is believed that the Kushite kingdom had regular trade relations and trade routes going into Egypt, as Nubia formed the main link between the African regions and kingdoms in the Mediterranean regions.

It is also found that the Nubian kingdom, which included the cities of Meroe and Napata relied on the political, military, and economic knowledge laid out by the Egyptians. But they also had to compete with Egypt several times, as well as assist it on many occasions. It has been found that both the kingdoms had peaceful as well as conflicting relations that changed with time and circumstances. Both the kingdoms cooperated and made alliances by marriage and making trade deals between them.

Egypt also depended on Nubia for precious goods like gold, ebony, ivory, copper, etc. which used to come through parts of southern Africa and were transported through Nubia to Egypt.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do you know: a valley where 800 pyramids were built? Here's the answer then why not take a look at Virginia facts: famous residents, exports, geography and more, or Vietnam culture facts: their traditions, beliefs, symbols and more?

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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