Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe – Sudan


The ancient Kush site of Meroe Island, in a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was for a long time the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the property testifies to the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both regions.

The site consists of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe and its accompanying cemetery was the capital of the kingdom and the location where the Kings of Kushite lived. The area also included two other settlements that were associated with the capital that also served as religious centers, Naqa and Musawwarat es-Sufra. It was the seat of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and features, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management.

The ancient Kush sites of Meroe Island in Sudan were declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2011. The sites wide range of mostly well-preserved monuments and buildings so the greatness of the former Kingdom of Kush and how their contact with other civilizations throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe influenced them and led to different decorative and structural elements in their culture’s works. The pyramids in the remains of the city of Meroe show how the Kushite built their funerary monuments. The site is also unique since a lot of the remains of the former Kushite civilization were removed in the 6th century AD after Christianity arrive in the region.



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