The Sedeinga Pyramids

The Sedeinga Pyramids is a concentration of 80 small pyramids, constructed between the second and third cataracts on the west bank of the Nile Valley in Middle Nubia, near Sedeinga, Sudan.

Sedeinga served as a regional capital during the Kingdom of Kush, an ancient African kingdom located in Nubia, encompassing the areas between present-day central Sudan and southern Egypt.

This region was home to three periods of Kushite development through antiquity. The first had its capital based at Kerma (2600 to 1520 BC), which was Nubia’s first centralised state with an indigenous form of architecture and burial customs.

The second was centred on Napata (1000–300 BC), with the last kingdom being centred at Meroë (300 BC to AD 300). Both later Kingdoms saw a close influence develop from the customs and burial practices of Ancient Egypt.

- Advertisement -

Although isolated from the greater part of Kush, Sedeinga connected the Kingdom directly with Middle Egypt, likely serving as a centre of trade along an ancient trade route.

The pyramid site consists of thousands of burial chambers, and the surviving bases of 80 pyramids that date from the late Meroitic period. The largest pyramids are 22 feet wide at their base, with the smallest example likely constructed for the burial of a child, being only 30 inches wide.

Temple of Queen Tiyi – Image Credit : Laurent de Walick – CC BY 2.0

Pyramid burial was generally reserved for royalty, but the pyramids at Sedeinga was constructed mainly for the wealthy elite, exhibiting architectural features that has a greater Egyptian influence, typified by capstones depicting birds or lotuses emerging from solar discs.

During the 18th dynasty, the Egyptians controlled Nubia as far south as the 4th cataract on the Nile River. A temple was constructed at Sedeinga in dedication to Queen Tiye, the royal wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep III who had alleged Nubian origins. This temple was the female counterpart to the great temple Amenhotep III built nearby in Soleb for his own divine image and for Amun.

Header Image Credit : Laurent de Walick – CC BY 2.0

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Preserved temples from the Badami Chalukya era found in India

Archaeologists from the Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage (PRIHAH) have announced the discovery of two temples dating from the Badami Chalukya era.

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Neanderthals created stone tools held together by a multi-component adhesive

A new study published in the journal Science Advances has found evidence of Neanderthals creating stone tools that are held together using a multi-component adhesive.

Roman funerary altar found partially buried in Torre river

Archaeologists have recovered a Roman funerary altar which was found partially buried in the Torree river in the municipality of San Vito al Torre, Italy.

Post-medieval township discovered in Scottish forest

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a pre-medieval township in the Glen Brittle Forest on the Isle of Skye.

Geophysical study finds evidence of “labyrinth” buried beneath Mitla

A geophysical study has found underground structures and tunnels beneath Mitla – The Zapotec “Place of the Dead”