05/21/2015 07:00 am ET Updated Oct 03, 2015

Sudan's Meroe Pyramids Are Just As Spectacular As The Ones You'll Find In Egypt

While the pyramids of Egypt may be the most famous in the world, they're not the only pyramids in Northern Africa. Sudan happens to be home to its own set of incredibly impressive, ancient structures: the Meroe pyramids.

Meroe was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, which was ruled by the Nubian kings. Up to 4,600 years old, the pyramids of Meroe were built in the what's known as Nubian style, marked by steep slopes and small bases.

These pyramids are not only striking. They're numerous -- about 200 strong, to be exact. According to Slate, "there are more pyramids in one small section of the northern Sudanese desert than there are in the whole of Egypt."

Like the pyramids of ancient Egypt, the Meroe pyramids were also built as tombs. The pyramids stood the test of time until the the 1880s, when Italian explorer Giussepe Ferlini destroyed the tops of many of the structures in search of treasure. While some of the pyramids have been restored, others remain effectively decapitated. Either way, they're still striking sights to behold.

The U.S. State Department's travel warning urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states. Until travel to that region is safe, images of these stunning, lesser-known pyramids will have to suffice.

Pyramids of meroe


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