Archaeologists digging in the ancient city of Meroë in the Sudan have discovered what they believe is a palace dating to 900 BC.
The team discovered the building under the remains of a later palace. It’s believed to be the oldest building yet discovered at the site, which was once the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. Kush had several great cities and exported iron all the way to China. From 747-656 BC, the Kushites ruled Egypt as the twenty-fifth dynasty. The empire lasted from about 1000 BC to 350 AD before being conquered by the Empire of Axum in Ethiopia.
Meroë is one of the greatest archaeological sites in Africa. It has more than 200 pyramids, although they’re smaller than the largest Egyptian pyramids.
For a long time Meroë and Kush were understudied in favor of the more famous Egyptian civilization. Now scholars are beginning to realize that this Sudanese civilization contributed a lot to Egyptian culture.
Meroë is two-and-a-half hours north of Khartoum and it’s feasable to do in a long day trip. If you’re not going to the Sudan, the British Museum in London has a whole room dedicated to this civilization and its art.
Image courtesy Sven-steffenarndt via Wikimedia Commons