The ancient pyramids of Nuri Necropolis
The archaeological site of Nuri was one of the royal necropoleis where the rulers who reigned in Napata, the first capital of the Kingdom of Kush, were buried. Standing out in a desert plain of white sand, the pyramids in Nuri are older than the more famous in Meroe and most of them are unfortunately crumbling.
The royal necropolis housed 19 pharaohs and 53 queens. Significantly smaller than the Egyptian pyramids, the Kushite pyramids of the Pharaohs ranged between 40 to 50 metres in height whereas the Queen’s pyramids between 10 to 17 metres. They didn’t have the mortuary room inside them; the actual tomb was dug below the pyramid itself and was connected to the outside through a sloping tunnel.
The tombs were cut out of bedrock and the pharaoh’s chamber contained three interconnecting chambers whereas the queen’s tombs contained two interconnecting chambers. The external part of the pyramids was stepped and they all featured a small chapel on the eastern side. The site became a necropolis around the 7th century BC when the Pharaoh Taharqa (690 BC – 664 BC) decided to move the Royal Cemetery from El Kurru to Nuri. Taharqa was one of the 25th Dynasty pharaohs of Egypt (the “Nubian Dynasty) and one of the most powerful rulers of Nubia. His pyramid is the largest in Nuri and the biggest of the Kingdom of Kush, with the base side about 50 meters long, and an original height between 40 and 50 meters. The Royal cemetery of Nuri is a UNESCO Heritage site since 2003.
Need to Know about Nuri necropolis
If you are travelling yourself, you can catch a bus from Khartoum to Karima, and once in the city, you can ask a taxi/tuk-tuk to take you to the site (20 km away). The best option is to bargain with a taxi driver and rent the taxi the whole day to visit the archaeological sites of the area. Once walking around the site, you’ll be reached by the guardian of the site to pay the entrance ticket. There wasn’t a fixed price, so we bargained with him paying 220 SDG each. Click here to see the location of Nuri Necropolis.