|Dozens of pyramids stand guard in the desert at Meroë, 150 miles north-east of Khartoum. 30m high, Sudan’s tombs were built for the elite of the kingdom of Kush which emerged as a power around the eighth century BC with its capital at Napata (Karima). Dominating the trade route between Egypt and central Africa, Kush grew in wealth and importance.|
In the early seventh century BC, Qore (King) Taharqa ruled Egypt as well as Nubia (northern Sudan). Later Assyrians drove the Kushites from Egypt, and around 592 BC an Egyptian-sponsored expedition sacked Napata. The capital then transferred south to Meroë where, from around the third century, some 30 kings and eight queens were interred.
|Columns etched with carvings rise among the ruins of the vast complex at Musawwarat es Sufra, south of the necropolis. A gold bracelet was looted from the pyramid of Kandake (Queen) Amanishakheto.|
|The Kushites were expert metalworkers. Kush waned after the third century AD. It was dealt a terminal blow around AD 320–350 when forces of King Aeizanes of Axum (Ethiopia) attacked Meroë.|