Friday, January 13, 2012

Meroe Pyramids (North Sudan)

Meroe pyramids can be found about 200kms northeast of Sudan's capital Khartoum.  In this place, you can see a few dozens of pyramids that are spread over a small hill. Together with at least 10 travel companions, we rented a mini-bus that we used exclusively for the trip. Travel time was about 3 hours.

These pyramids are much smaller than the ones that can be found in Egypt. These are the remains of a royal cemetery from the Meroitic kingdom which existed between 300 B.C and 300 A.D.

These Nubian pyramids are quite different to their Egyptian counterparts. They are built of stepped courses of horizontally positioned stone blocks that range from 6-30m in height. The structure has an entry door that is about 7ft tall. As an 'usisero', I scrutinized the inner parts of the structures to see what has remained after these were plundered by thieves hundreds of years ago. 

There is a group of enterprising Sudanese which offers camel rides to the the hills about 2kms away from the pyramids. Ahmed offered me his services. "Shukran jazeelan," (thank you very much) I said. I told him that I am a Scout Ranger and a certified foot soldier. (But, for photo ops I took a short ride from the entry gate towards the first group of structures)

Carrying my survival pack,  I went on 'foot patrol' to recon the vantage positions where you can see the terrain in the horizon.

I left some footprints on the sand dunes only to be erased by the wind several minutes later. The site of the Meroe pyramids was worth my visit. Sudan may be plagued by years of conflict but it has some interesting places to see.

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